10 Quick, Inexpensive First-Day-of-School Photo Ideas! — Hudson Valley Photographer

The countdown has officially begun! Soon it will be back-to-school day and Moms everywhere here in the Hudson Valley will be whipping out their cameras to commemorate the occasion!

In need of some fresh first-day-photo inspiration? Take a peek at some first-day poses I captured for Hudson Valley Parent Magazine.

For this shoot, I worked with a trio of siblings brimming with personality … and wearing some awesome back-to-school looks from Old Navy. (You can’t beat their prices!)

Almost all of the props we used were purchased at the Dollar Store. Of course, you might have some lying around the house already!

Dry Erase Board – Quick and easy … and just $1! The added bonus is you can easily change the board for each child.

Classroom Writing Strips – I found these in the teacher section of the Dollar Store and thought they were PERFECT (and quick and easy). We added the ball since this future fifth-grader LOVES his football. It’s always nice to work in hobbies since they may change one day!

Balloons on a Stick – I liked how easy it was to draw on their grades with permanent marker. They liked bopping each other on the head.

Your House – Go prop free and let your house be a part of the shoot! I love this idea because in the event your family moves in the future, it’s special to have photos of past homes. Molly the dog came out to join us because … DOGS ARE ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA! : )

APPLES! – This is the one prop I didn’t buy at the Dollar Store! I opted for big, red, shiny Red Delicious apples and added in their grades in Photoshop. I was originally going to paint their grades on the apples … but then I knew they’d want to eat them, so this worked out better!

QUICK TIP: See how beautifully lit their faces are? That’s because they were standing in a shaded area, but directly behind a white sidewalk. The light was bouncing off the sidewalk and lit them perfectly.

Balloons – I quickly drew on their grades and had about 1 minute before the first balloon popped.

Notebook – Write out the message yourself, or have your little one write it to commemorate her handwriting progress!

Chalk – Quick and easy!

With the School Bus – Nothing screams out school like a big yellow bus! Nab a picture right before your little one climbs aboard for a perfect first-day capture.

Walking to School (or the bus stop) – One day those backpacks won’t look so big on their backs, and they might not hold hands walking down the street. So it’s pretty special to grab those shots now.

Digital Scrapbook – Skip the props and just grab a shot of them having fun. If you’re savvy with photo editing software, you can then add in some special touches to the photo.

First day jitters and excitement may mean your little student won’t give you much time for photos. These easy ideas all took just a few minutes to prep and shoot, making them the perfect way to start the new school year.



Sunday, October 7, 2018
Vanderbilt Mansion
Hyde Park, NY

Details here.


Kate Callahan is an on-location photographer who LOVES to capture authentic memories for families. She’s available for weddings, senior photos, child photo sessions, and family photography. Kate works with clients throughout the Hudson Valley, NYC,  Delaware (and the tri-state area), and beyond. She also writes motivational books for photographers. Find them at Dear Female Photographer.


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