Take Your Time
For most of us, days are flying by and didn’t these kids just get out of school?! One of the tricks to slowing down time is doing the opposite of what we think we should do… take more time to enjoy moments. So, grab an afternoon or warm summer evening and show the kids your own back to school pictures. Talk about how you felt or what you remember and get their input on what they’d like to see in their own school portraits. You might be surprised at just how interested children can become in photographic portraits.
Pick a Good Backdrop
Most people don’t give much thought to backgrounds… it’s the background and the people are the important part, no? No. You’ll get a better portrait of your child if you think about how the colors behind him or her will react to flash. A white house that faces east may be too bright in the early morning sun and you won’t have much time to adjust if the bus is on its way.
There’s no rule that the back to school portrait has to be taken on the first day of school. Or that you can’t do a dry run. Visit a local park or do a garden tour and get some of the colors of summer in your shot. Digital cameras give everyone the freedom to take experimental shots without the expense formerly associated with developing film. Try different flash settings on your camera.
Shoot the Right Height
Your kids are probably shorter than you are. At least, until high school so don’t shoot the camera from your eye level unless you love the tops of heads. Get down on one knee and see what a difference that can make when photographing children.
If you’re tense and nervous about getting the right shot… especially if you want to do this on a busy first day of school morning… do not expect your kids to look cool and confident. Portrait subjects often reflect the mood of the person behind the camera. So, breathe deeply and suggest the children do something other than line up against the front door of your house. Ask the child to turn a bit and consider shooting more of the face and not the whole body.
Just as Premier Portraits Studio uses props in formal school portraits, you can use them in your home photographs. Your child may be carrying a book bag but maybe can hold a book or even something from mom or dad’s old school days.