December 24, 2020 7 min read
When did the ‘first day back at school photo’ trend start? I know my parents never did it.
They bought the annual school photographs – the ones that were taken at school in our uniforms, complete with gappy teeth and funny expressions (they hung them going up the stairs at home – much to our embarrassment as we reached our teenage years) and they took plenty of photographs at Christmas, our birthdays and on family holidays, but the trend of taking photographs at specific times of the year to see how children change and grow is a new one.
And it’s a trend that I love.
I think it originally came about as the phone camera / digital camera revolution took off.
All of a sudden, we all had the ability to take instant photographs. We weren’t limited to the 26 snaps on old cameras and we could actually see the photographs as we took them.
Digital and phone cameras meant that we could now take eleventy-billion photographs on our front doorsteps, 3 minutes before the school run on the first day back at school.
Not only that, we could then sift through ourselves in a few minutes, deleting all of the ones where they weren’t looking in the right direction / they were scratching their nose / pulling strange faces at their siblings.
We could take eleventy-billion photos, pick out the good three, post online and email to Grandma. All in the space of half-an-hour.
I love my annual photographs and what started with First Day Back at School photos has now grown.
I’ve started to take photographs at key points of the year. I can see how they physically grow and change, but I can also see how they develop as individuals.
I can see how their taste in clothes changes, I can see what they were really into when they were X-years old.
I look for as many opportunities as I can, because as cliché as it sounds, it really does go way too fast (for me anyway). One second, they’re standing on the front porch steps clutching a Jellycat bunny and the next, they’ve morphed into a young adults, making decisions about Universities and their futures. It’s all so scarily fleeting.
So, for any other amateur picture-takers, album lovers and memory makers, here are a few of my favourite annual occasions that are perfect for snapping your children as they grow:
Strawberry and raspberry picking have been getting a little hard to track down in the last few years with many closing because they aren’t really profitable, but if you do have one near to you, it’s worth a trip. There are so many wonderful photo opportunities as the children rush around filling their baskets and popping ripe berries into their mouths as they go (they will occasionally do this before you can ever stop them).
A fun few hours and once you get home? Jam, syrup, strawberry pie, ice cream and fresh strawberry shortcake. More photographs (while they’re so busy they don’t even notice you taking them). Yum.
People are well aware of the appeal of the lavender fields to families and photographers alike and they’re usually very considerate.
Paper bags for collecting lavender are provided, along with scissors to carefully cut the stems. Lavender crowns are really easy to make whilst you’re there and are super cute. Sunflowers are easily picked and sold separately.
Once you get home, you can make everything from lavender wreaths to lavender soap and bath bombs – which of course is an excuse for more photographs.
Come July, it’s not worth putting my camera away. Even in the garden, with our few flowers and butterflies dancing on the breeze, there’s always something to snap.
For us, Halloween is the time to get creative with the face paints and with so many tutorials available on Youtube and Pinterest, you’ll be a dab hand before you know it.
Another Halloween themed photo, but going pumpkin picking has become something we really look forward to here. The last chance to get some gorgeous autumnal photographs outside with them all having fun in the sunshine before the winter weather really sets in.
Woolly jumpers, bobble hats, wheelbarrows, and happy smiling faces. What’s not to love?
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