Say cheese, boys & girls! How to take great first-day-of-school pictures

TAMPA BAY, Fla. - Moms love ’em, kids loathe ’em, and social media – especially Facebook – is going to be overloaded with ’em starting today.

Yep, it’s time for back-to-school pictures, that first-day rite of passage. You want to have some of the best ones on social help? We can help!

Tampa photographer Penny Rogo, owner of MamaRazzi Foto, offers pro advice for Moms and Dads hoping to best capture those magic moments:

  1. GET ON THEIR LEVEL: “Get down on their level. You want to be at their eye level; your camera or your cellphone just above their eyes. This goes for children and pets if you want to get the dog in there, too.”
  2. BEATING THE FIRST-DAY JITTERS: “Talk to them. Don’t [yell] ‘Smile! I told you to smile!’ You want to say something funny, like ‘fuzzy pickles.’ Something to get them laughing, giggling.”
  3. FIND THE LIGHT & USE YOUR FLASH, EVEN OUTSIDE: “Look for the light that’s hitting their face. You want the sun behind you. Also, turn on your flash [outside], which most people don’t know. You catch light in their eyes.”
  4. SCHOOL SIGNS: “Don’t have them right up against the sign. You want them to be a ways back from the sign. So it’s not some little kid up against a big sign.”
  5. TRY SOMETHING DIFFERENT: “Have [two kids] go back-to-back, or waving goodbye as they walking into school. Or have them jump up like they’re so excited about school.”
  6. CRYING IS COOL, TOO: “If the little ones are headed to school for the first time, and they’re boo-hooing, that’s okay. Those are the [pictures] that are going to be the most precious.”
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