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The first day of school is always exciting, both for parents and kiddos. It was especially exciting this year, as we are all navigating our new “normal” during this crazy pandemic! No matter how strange the year is, it’s still important to me to get a first day of school picture!

My children do not enjoy this time of the morning, but they know it’s not optional in this house, so they put up with me and my picture taking (most of the time)! This morning was no different… Well, the only difference was that we didn’t get to take a picture with our teachers or near the school sign. But we did capture some photos that will tell the story of what was going on this year. Since this year is different, it makes sense that the pictures are a little different too.

And here is our boring old brown door. When we began our school journey, they were so small that they barely could reach the door handle!

If you are just starting out in school with little ones, I hope you chose a cute spot for your first day pictures. Unfortunately, when my kids were little and my son was just starting preschool, we took his first day of school pictures right in front of our door. Our brown door. Our plain, brown door. Nothing special about our brown door. At all. What was I thinking??

For some reason, I felt like (and still feel this way) I should take first day pictures in the same spot each year. It’s kind of fun to see how they’ve grown compared to the old, brown door. But, as a photographer, the lighting is bad, the location is not interesting, and I wish I had started out somewhere else… Somewhere cute with good lighting. Oh well…live and learn, right?

Certainly not the best series of pictures above, but they totally capture the vibe of our morning! Never a dull moment in this house, especially when we’re trying to take photos…

As my kids have grown up, my expectations for these pictures have become much more realistic. I’ve finally accepted the fact that all of our school pictures will be in front of our plain, brown door. But when they were little, I worried about their hair, their outfit, whether or not they were smiling, etc… Now, I just want a picture with them in it – if they are grumpy, or tired, or arguing, that’s okay. Just a snapshot to capture the moment.

We did capture the moment this morning. Everyone was in a pretty good mood, too. And I actually got in a couple of photos myself this time because my husband is still working from home! But at this age, I have about 5 minutes of picture taking, and then my kiddos are done! The best advice I’ve ever heard regarding these first day photos is that you shouldn’t worry if things are too busy & crazy on the first day to snap your pictures – you can always come back and do it the 2nd or 3rd day of school. Who will know, right?

I always take a few pictures with my “real” camera, and then I chase them around with my cell phone for some snapshots. Cell phones have come such a long way since the beginning, that the pictures you can capture with your cell phone are usually perfect for this type of occasion.

And as you can see from the last picture above that I took with my cell phone, my kids were very clear about when they were DONE and just like that, picture taking time was over!

How did your first day pictures go? I hope well. Just be sure to capture something to remind you of this day, even if the kids are grumpy and frowning. Capture the moments and enjoy these times…they go by so quickly.

Until next time…

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