5 Creative Back to School Photo Ideas

Families are full of mixed emotions during back to school season. Typically, kids dread the big day that marks the end of summer freedom, while parents breathe a sigh of relief that the kids will be out of the house. 

Despite its mixed reviews, the beginning of the school year is a notably fun occasion for creative family photos. Check out these back to school photography ideas from Costco Photo Center to capture the big day with your kids. 

1. Easy Peasy: Classic School Photo Props

For the parents who are still trying to get school shopping done, let’s start with a few quick and easy first day of school photo ideas: 

  • Apples—Just grab one from the kitchen and photograph your kid in the yard holding it or balancing it on their head
  • Books—Have your student hold a book that’s relevant to their age – whether it’s Dr. Seuss or an algebra textbook
  • The bus—Just bring your camera down to the corner and snap some pics as they hop on board

Turn the best photo into a photo mug for a cute (yet quiet) way to keep them close by while they’re in class. 

2. Favorites of the Year: The Dream Job & More

As kids grow up, their interests, preferences and dreams change. Mark the new beginning that each school year brings by commemorating their annual favorites. Take a picture of them in their first day outfit against a neutral wall backdrop. Then, use Photoshop or an online photo editor to add text with their current grade, favorite color and food, and most importantly—what they want to be when they grow up. Print them out as photo plaques to display in their bedroom so they can look back year after year and discover what’s changed, and what’s stayed the same. 

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3. My Younger Years: Photo in Photo 

For a back to school photo idea that improves each year, start creating a photo within a photo project. Photograph your child wearing their backpack and a big smile and print it as a poster board or photo enlargement. Next year, take a photo of your child in the same location, holding that picture. Repeat this each year to create an intriguing, adorable project. 

4. On Location: Walking into School

Get the kids to school a little extra early on day one to capture some photos on scene. As a perfect addition to an annual family photo book, photograph them walking in the front door, posing (excited or glum) by the school sign, or on the walkway towards the classroom. It’s OK if you get a little choked up when taking these photos – surely you won’t be the only parent feeling that way! 

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5. A DIY School-Themed Photo Booth 

If you’re a crafty parent who likes to go a bit overboard with the family photo shoots, create some DIY back to school photo booth props. Depending on the age of your kids, print and cut imagery of school supplies, books, glasses or graduation caps. For the backdrop, create a hanging banner with the current year. When you’re done, add some of your best shots to the September page in photo calendars that are custom made for your family. 

Although it seems far away, school passes quickly and summer will return before you know it. Creative family photo ideas allow you to capture these fun moments in time before they fly by. 

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