This is my first post for Live Sigma Kappa! I am so excited to be a part of this alumnae community and share some insight on interesting blog post topics.

It’s so hard to believe that August is upon us already; it feels like summer has gone by so quickly (as it usually does) and the autumn months are fast approaching. Along with fall come many things: a chill to the air, thoughts of Labor Day and Halloween, and, of course, back to school! I’m sure there are many of you out there who will be helping your children acclimate to the start of yet another school year – or perhaps introducing them to the whole new concept of school. One activity that never fails to be involved with this new beginning is taking photos. Photos of your child waiting at the bus stop, waving out the back window of the bus, walking into their school’s building… there are endless memories to capture when it comes to this exciting chapter of life.

It would be a shame to miss out on these moments, or to fail to capture them at all, which is why I will share some tips and tricks to taking the best possible photos of your kids for the back-to-school season!

When to take photos:

There are plenty of opportunities to capture memories of this time in a child’s life!

  • Document back-to-school shopping trips, your kid picking out their new backpack, or a cool big-kid folder. It’s a small thing that would otherwise be forgotten, but if you choose to take a photo it will be saved forever.
  • The first day of school: Catch your child climbing the steps of the bus, standing tall and walking into their school, or simply posing in their first-day outfit!
  • Take photos of your child and his/her friends! As the years go on, friends will change, new ones will come along, and old ones will fade into the past. But if you have photos, it will always be a memory to cherish for you and your child. Plus, it is always fun to see how they grow from year to year.
  • Do you have any back-to-school traditions?  Be sure to document these!  When I was young, on the first day of school my mom would always take a photo of me with my dog by a giant rock in our yard. I now have a photo like this of me through the years from 1st grade through to my first year of college. Your tradition could be anything – special snacks after the first day, a trip to the movies, a fun activity like miniature golf, anything goes!

How to take photos:

As I’m sure you’re aware, taking photos of kids can be quite the task!  Here are some tips for catching the perfect shots:

  • Young child? Get down on your knees or belly so you can be on the same level as them. Not only will it give a fun perspective to your photo, but it often makes the kids laugh and smile too – perfect for photographing!
  • Be playful; if they think you’re playing a game, it will be much easier to get them to cooperate with you while you take their photo.
  • Zoom in and fill the frame of the shot with your subject (your child). You can see the details of their facial expressions, or maybe the gap where they just lost a tooth. The closer the shot – the more sure you can be that you will get those quirky details that make a photo stand out over time.
  • Capture some candid moments! Posed photos are great, but sometimes the best memories can be caught when the subject doesn’t realize they are being photographed. Keep your camera around at all times so that when that special moment arrives (as it is usually unplanned), you can capture it!
  • Don’t center your subject! A centered subject makes for a boring photo. Add some depth and character to your snapshots by positioning your main subject in the outer parts of your photo. I have heard of dividing your photo frame into a tic-tac-toe board and avoid putting your subject in the center square at all costs!

One last thought on this topic before we end this post: photo albums! Digital photography spurred the beginning of the end of photo albums and scrapbooks. Most of the time when a snapshot is captured on a digital camera, it ends up dead-ended on the photographer’s computer, or – at best – in a Facebook or Snapfish photo album on the Internet. Take the time to print out your photographic memories. You don’t have to be a scrapbook enthusiast to appreciate hardcopy photos – you don’t even have to scrapbook them. Just taking the time to print and then put photos in a simple album will do it. When I gradated from high school, my mom created two huge scrapbooks of my entire life, from birth to graduation from high school and gave them to me as a graduation present. I can’t even tell you how many times I have looked back on those pages and appreciated all of the effort and love that went into its creation. On that note, go out there and take the best back-to-school snapshots you can! Happy snapping!


This post was written by Alexandra Kreher, Kappa Zeta, Elon University.



One Response to Time Flies… Try to Catch It

  1. Anne says:

    Great advice! I am big on the photo albums and scrapbook the “big stuff”. Funny thing is I was just sitting here deciding to read or go get caught up on my scrapbook (the pics are sitting there waiting) guess I should get moving! Lol photo books are another great way for non album people to make hard copies of their digital pics!

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