Take that great first day of school picture

Oh, this school thing is happening. Wednesday students in Lake Travis, Hutto, Elgin, Lockhart, Coupland and Taylor ISDs head back. On Thursday, Georgetown and Wimberley students join them. We have a bunch, including Austin, Eanes, Bastrop, Manor, Burnet and Liberty Hill, going on Monday; Round Rock and Lago Vista head back on Aug. 22, Dripping Springs on Aug. 23, and the rest head back on Aug. 28.

RELATED: Do you know when your school starts? 

We want to see your first day of school pictures! If you do remember to take a photo, send it to readerphotos@statesman.com or tag it on Twitter or Instagram #atxfirstday.

Meredith Hemphill at her new school, Gullet Elementary, in 2004. Sarah Barnes

When you do take your photos, consider these things:

Think about the background and location. Make sure it doesn’t overpower the people in the photo.

Worry about the lighting. You want to see their faces and what they are wearing, not the shadows on their face or behind them.

Get a full-body shot if you can. You want to be able to see how little they are compared with what’s around them.

Take it in an identifying place to help you remember the year. We love to do it in front of the class list or the teacher’s door. It usually will say the grade and the teacher’s name.

Ben Villalpando couldn’t wait to start kindergarten in 2006. Now he’s looking at high schools.

Take it in the same spot each year. For years, we took our photos in front of the crayons that said “Cowan” at Cowan Elementary. Now we tend to have to sneak a photo session in the car on the way to the high school bus stop or the middle school drop-off line. The same background helps us see their growth.

Don’t worry about smiles. They might not smile. That makes it all the more memorable of who they are at this age.

RELATED: COUNTDOWN TO BACK TO SCHOOL WITH THESE TIPS

RELATED: GET READY FOR SCHOOL: RESET THE SLEEP CLOCK

RELATED: SET THE CALENDAR FOR THESE IMPORTANT DATES

RELATED: BACK TO SCHOOL: BE HEALTHY THIS YEAR

Author: Nicole Villalpando

Nicole Villalpando writes about families in the Raising Austin blog and the Raising Austin column on Saturdays. She also offers a weekly and monthly family calendar at austin360.com/raisingaustin. She tweets at @raisingaustin.

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