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17 Best First Day of School Photo Ideas

Celebrate this childhood milestone and use one of these adorable First Day of School Photo Ideas to capture the moment and treasure it for a lifetime!

A little girl sitting in a park with an apple on her head.

First Day of School Photo Ideas

When back to school time rolls around and store aisles are stocked with bright colored crayons, pencils, and binders, social media tends to be packed with adorable Back to School photos. Now is the time to plan out how you’re going to capture the moment with your kiddos. 

There are plenty of fun First Day of School Photo Ideas you can do with a little bit of preparation. The photos will be memories you’ll want to hang on to for a lifetime. If you’re a parent you totally get this!

Related: Back to School Organizing Tips [1]

Here are some of the best ideas for back to school photos!

Small Chalkboard Sign

If you love the little sign saying what grade your child is going in to, do it with chalkboard. The blackboard with white text on it not only lends itself to a retro school feel but it also comes out better in photographs.

Tip: If you want your sign to look great, clean the board off completely in-between years or in between taking pictures of your other children. This way you won’t have any eraser marks that show up in photos.

Chalkboard Sign Picture from Mimi’s Dollhouse [2]

Celebrate your childhood milestone and use one of these First Day of School Photo Ideas to capture the moment! [3]

First and Last Day Comparison

Why settle for just a first day of school photo when you can do one on the first and last day? This way you can look back and see how much your little ones have grown in a school year, and how much they’ve grown over the summer. 

This is especially fun when puberty starts and there can be a lot of changes in just 3 short months! This photoshoot can be done in your yard, in a favorite park, or anywhere with great light.

First and Last Day of School in same outfit photo from The Suburban Mom [4]

A little girl posing for a photo [4]

At School

Head over to the school before school is in session for some great backgrounds, playground equipment or other props. If you know which classroom will be your child’s and the school is open, take a photo of your child in front of their classroom door or in front of their school bus. 

If they have a favorite piece of playground equipment incorporate that. These contextual things make the photos more personal and offer the opportunity to tell a story.

Photo from Chelle Cates Photography.

A person standing in front of a school bus

Shopping for School Supplies

When you go out shopping for school supplies bring your kids and bring your camera or just use your phone. Catch them browsing binders or standing behind a shopping cart full of their supplies for the year. Most stores have fantastic lighting for photography and the bright colors featured in the school supplies will p-o-p!

First Day of School Outfit

Most of us know well in advance what the first outfit of the school year is going to be so why not have your kids put them on the week before school and do a photoshoot?! This also allows you to catch any issues there might be with the outfit on the first day. 

Grab some props like an old school desk from a thrift store or an easel to show that this shoot is all about school. Or, if you can head to where the big yellow school buses are kept and get some photos in front of them. Perfect!

A Photo in a Photo

Start the first year with just a normal, posed photo with no props. The next year take a photo in the same spot but with the child holding the photo from last year framed. Repeat year after year so you have a photo inside of a photo inside of a photo.

Photo-in a-Photo Picture from She’s Making Cards [5]

A little girl posing for a picture [5]

White Space with Text

Do you have a light-colored wall or know where to find one? Instead of having your kids hold a sign have them stand next to a light-colored background and put them on one side of the photo. This leaves space next to them for you to put text. You’ll be able to put in whatever you like and make it easy to read.

You can include grade, their teacher’s name, some of their favorite things, and what they did over the summer, just as a few ideas.

Text on Photo from The Suburban Mom [4]

A little girl posing for a picture [4]

Mugshot Style

If you want a playful take on the holding a sign concept turn it into a mugshot. Because let’s be honest, a school can feel like a prison to kids after a fun-filled summer! Get three different shoulders up shots holding the sign from each side. 

If you want to go an extra step make the photos black and white. But, if you are doing this we recommend keeping a copy of the color versions too, just so you can remember if the dress was green or blue in years to come.

Use a Letter Board

A letter board is the perfect social media accessory! Make it say whatever you want and reuse it at the start of the school year and the end. Have your child hold it, or place it next to them, either works.

Letter Board Photo from Lilies and Lambs [6]

A young child holding a sign [6]

Shop Etsy

Etsy has some of the best custom first day of school photo props that can even include customized information about your child. Include their age, the date, what they want to be when they grow up or whatever information captures that moment in time. 

Goodbye Kisses

If you’re not into sign and printable, why not snap a shot of the goodbye kisses you’ll get as you leave the school on the first day. These tend to be adorable and really capture the emotions you’re feeling as you send your son or daughter off to school—especially for the first time.

A little girl standing in front of a building kissing her mom.

Sidewalk Chalk

If you have kids, then you probably have sidewalk chalk! Why not use it to make a cute graphic to go along side your little one to create a first day of school photo ideas with tons of visual interest. Plus, you can make the chalk colors to your child’s outfit or social media color scheme!

Sidewalk Chalk Photos from Blue Cricket design [7]

A little girl posing for a picture on the ground.

DIY Your Own Creation 

There really is no right or wrong answer to your first day of school photo ideas, so use your imagination and DIY your own creation. Make it bold. Make it muted in color. The possibilities are endless. Plus, you can make it match your social profile if you want. 

DIY Grade Idea from Childhood Beckons [8]

First day of school photo ideas with DIY Creations [8]

Print DIY Photo Booth Props

A fun way to celebrate the day is Photo Booth Props. Kristen from Capturing Joy [9]has some really good printable ones. Just download and print!

A young girl holding a sign for a picture. [10]

Hashtag Printables

If you have older kids, use printable hashtag signs. Printables and photo from Tatertots and Jello [11].

A high school senior holding a sign posing for the camera

Dress Up

This is a clever idea especially if you want to go retro. Find some old glasses, a letterman jacket or an old school uniform and create a retro feel. If you have an old desk or see one at a second-hand store, all the better! 

Photo from Ruffles and Stuff [12].

Celebrate this childhood milestone and use one of these adorable First Day of School Photo Ideas to capture the moment!

Decorate Balloons for First Day of School Photo Idea

Take some balloons and write the school year, date and any other pertinent information on them and then have your child hold them. Not only will it make them happy, but the pictures will also come out aaaadorable!

Tip: Go the extra step and tie some ribbon or bows around the string for more detail in your photo!

Other ideas are create a balloon arch or have the year created in balloons.

A little girl posing for a picture with a balloon

Get Up Close

If your kids’s school will allow you in, you can get some great up close shots of things like your child hanging up their backpack, sitting at their desk, or putting school supplies in their locker.

First Day of School Photo Tips

For nine simple pro secrets to make this year’s back-to-school photos your best pics yet check out Clickin Moms photo tips [13]!

So, do 1 or 9 of these First Day of School Photo Ideas and get posting!

Other Photo Tips

10 Tips for What to Wear in Family Photos [14]