How to take a great first day of school photo

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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 photoS, send it to readerphotos@statesman.com or tag us @statesman on Twitter or Instagram.

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 a senior in high school.

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 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.

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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