Aside from the emotions and stress of a new routine (and potentially new schools), a hallmark joy of the first days of school is scrolling through Facebook and other social media feeds to see all the moms' first-day photos, many complete with pre-fab signs.

I get a kick out of the parody photos and relieved moms, but that's another blog post. Literally, this one. Or this video:

If you're looking to do something a little more fun in real life, here are some ideas to get you started on the back-to-school photos:

1) Don't hide the real emotion. Not everyone is happy. Go ahead and document interaction between siblings or sad feelings. Not everyone's smiling now, but it will be an authentic memory to share down the road.

If the first day of preschool didn't start strong, maybe next year's photo will be better.


2) Avoid the chalkboard. Instead of using a chalkboard detailing the grade, teacher, etc., why not have your child pose with his or her favorite book (a suggestion from PopSugar)? Or best friend? Or at one of his or her favorite places, such as a local park or local store?

Photo by lutfi gaos on Unsplash

3) If you can't avoid the chalkboard, at least plan ahead. You could coordinate with the last day of school with this option from Etsy. Or this one.

CreationsByBel via Etsy

4) Go full-on photo booth. Amazon has some fun, inexpensive photo booth kits, such as this one and this one.

5) Or pull out all the stops with a backdrop, such as this school bus. Or a unicorn one. Or a book case.

Gladbuy via Amazon