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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Tips for better back-to-school photos



It's almost time for the kids to go back to school and that means it's time for all those great back-to-school photos. So here are some tips to help you make better photos on the big day.

  • Bring your real camera too - Camera phones are nice and the picture quality is a lot better these days, but they still lack many desired features. You'll want the ability to stand back and use an optical zoom to get some candid photos, and for that you need a real camera.
  • Take some photos at home - Everyone knows it's crazy at school on the first day, so take some photos at home where you can control the environment.
  • Don't forget to include yourself - I often get so busy making photos and video of our kids that I forget to include myself. Ask another parent to take a photo of you with your child and then offer to do the same for them.
  • Don't forget the details - Look around the school and classroom for details that could be used later in a photo album or scrapbook. Signs that say "welcome back" work well and for the younger kids name tags or signs on their desks are good too.
  • Go candid - The "say cheese" photos are great but also try to get some candid photos. Step back and get a photo of your child amidst all the chaos, or walking to their classroom with that big backpack and lunchbox. Try to get them when they don't know you're taking their photo.
  • Don't forget video - If you won't be using a normal video camera, most point-and-shoot cameras have a video feature now. Get some video clips or do a short interview with your child, asking them what they expect in the coming school year. These are great to share with friends and family on social media sites like Facebook and also will be priceless memories years later.
  • Consider giving your child the camera - If you want some photos from your child's perspective, give them a camera for the day and ask them to take pictures. This works especially well for the older kids who are two embarrassed to be photographed at school by Mom and Dad. For the younger kids, disposable cameras work well.

Samsung recently released the DualView camera with two LCD screens. This lets you see yourself in the frame when you're trying to make a self-portrait or group photo including you. This camera would likely be a good one for back-to-school photos.


Have fun making those back-to-school photos and good luck!

[Last modified: Friday, August 13, 2010 10:25am]


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