Are your kids as excited as mine that school is starting up again? My girls are going into 2nd grade and can’t wait to see their friends after the summer season and to meet their new teachers. It also means nine months of school activities and events for us parents to document as part of their early school careers.
I thought I’d write several posts (this being the first) with ideas and tips for documenting your kids’ school careers. Many parents, much like my husband, don’t have the opportunity or flexibility to be in their children’s classrooms like I do (since I have my own photography business). So, I share the images. And those images include many of my girls’ classmates because school is also about friends and old schoolmates, not just the teacher and classroom. How many times do you look back at your own childhood photos and reminisce about your teacher and the kids in your class?
The first day of school is always a memorable one – new teachers, new classrooms, old friends, new classmates. Documenting a child’s school life is about making sure you capture specifics such as:
- that special outfit your child chose for the first day,
- your kids’ excited faces,
- a road sign or school crossing sign on your walk to school,
- the classroom number on the door,
- flowers for the teacher,
- decorations and painting on the windows,
- your child’s desk with his/her name tag,
- messages on the whiteboard,
- and artwork hanging from the ceiling.
All of this changes as the year goes on. And as the years go by, it will bring back memories your child will cherish.
There is no doubt that the lighting won’t be the best during the moments you’ll want to capture. And you certainly won’t have time to move your subjects (or move yourself) into a better position to take your photos. But snap away anyway – and make sure you have your flash on. Though the morning will be bright, the flash will help lighten the shadows and lessen the stark contrasts between the dark and bright parts of your photos.
Oh and don’t forget to step back and photograph those scenes that truly capture the significance of the moment such as the one below with the crowd of parents straining to get a last peek at their son or daughter in the Kindergarten classroom for the first time.