Stop the Bus
If your child rides the school bus, stop the bus on the first day of school. Ask the bus driver if you can snap a couple of back to school pictures for your photo album.
Have your child stand on the steps of the school bus. When she reaches her seat on the bus, have her lean out the window for you to take some shots from the outside. But if you're taking these shots year after year to show how much she's grown, opt for the shot of her standing on the school bus steps so you can see her from head to toe.
Grab a Pencil
An oversized pencil makes a great photo prop. You can find these comically-large pencils at dollar stores or on eBay.
Once you have your pencil, you'll want to use banner paper to draw her grade level. Also make it overly large so it shows up in the photo.
Put the paper on the ground and have your child hold the pencil as if she's drawing her grade level on the banner paper. Make sure she looks at the camera and smiles while holding the pencil.
Go to School
Think of all the time she'll spend at her schools over the years. Have her stand in front of the school's sign for a picture.
Do this every year to grab a remarkable transformation as your child grows up at the school. Make sure she mimics the same pose every year. For example, hand on hip, backpack over left shoulder, hair pulled back. However she stands in that first picture should be how she appears in all of the photos over the years.
When she goes to middle school and high school, take the same type of shot at her new school but also go back to her very first school to take the same photo. Once you have 13 pictures of her from kindergarten to 12th grade standing in front of the school where it all began, you'll have one tear-jerking set of pictures.
Back to Class
Ask your child's teacher if you can snap a few photos in the classroom on the first day of school. You can let your child sit at her desk so you can take pictures of the class and the other kids sitting at their desks.
Some kids will smile. Some will make rabbit ears over another kid's head. Some will stick out their tongues. Ask your child to ignore the chaos around her and give you her best smile.
Or you can be really creative with your shots. Have her sit in the desk that's front and center in the classroom. You'll stand on a chair or step stool and angle your camera down to shoot an interesting perspective of the classroom and your favorite student.
Get to school early and take photos of your child sitting at the desk but surrounded by empty desks. Or wait until the other students arrive and take a photo of all of them.
Just be sure your child's desk is pulled closer to the camera. You want your child to stand out, not blend into the background. Remember to take the same type of picture every year in each one of her new classrooms.
Rule It Out
Use banner paper to create a custom ruler. Unroll the paper and draw your own ruler that goes well over 6 feet. Color it. Paint it. Decorate it however you want.
Measure your child's height on the first day of school. Mark it on your banner paper ruler in large, bold letters so it will show up in a picture.
After she's dressed and ready for the first day of school, hang the banner up so you can take her picture before she heads off to her first day of class. Roll the banner paper up and keep it somewhere safe. You'll be using it all the way until she graduates.
At the end of the school year, hang the banner paper again and mark her new height. If she can still fit in the same clothes she wore on the first day of school, let her put those on for the last day of school. Snap another picture.
You now have a "Before" and "After" shot of the school year and her growth marked on your banner paper ruler. When you put the two photos side by side, you won't believe the transformation she made in less than a year!