5 Truly Creative First Day of School Photo Ideas That Are Perfect for Instagram

mom and daughter selfie
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Your child's first day back to school is a special occasion. But between back-to-school shopping and summer reading lists, it's hard to find the time to come up with creative picture ideas to mark the special day. Don't worry, we have you covered. Whether you're a mom who wants a quick picture project she can put together in five minutes or a mom who has a dedicated craft closet, here are five amazing picture ideas for back to school!

  • 1. Starting on the first day of school, take monthly photos to make a "same spot" calendar.

    A quick shot at the beginning of the month can lead to a beautiful finished product. Just take a picture in the same place every month for a year and then compile it all into a sweet 12-month calendar, as shown on the blog Heart and Habit. You can post the photos on Instagram each month and then use phone apps like Phonto or Impressions to edit the pictures together at the end of the year, or, if you want a more polished final product, send it off to a custom calendar maker like Pinhole Press or Shutterfly. Easy! 

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  • 2. Instead of the standard chalkboard, use a black balloon!

    Surprise your child with a celebratory balloon when she wakes up for the first day of school ... and then use it to snap this memorable photo. This idea does take a little planning, but if you want a picture that looks a little different than some of the "chalkboard pictures" you've seen on Pinterest, using a black balloon and a silver paint pen might do the trick. 

  • 3. Make a back-to-school T-shirt they can grow into with each passing school year.

    This project requires a little work up front, but the reward is years in the making! Have a T-shirt printed with the year your child graduates (or use this tutorial from Where the Smiles Have Been to make your own). Then, have your child add his handprint, and take a photo of him wearing the shirt. Do this every year, from kindergarten until your child graduates, and you'll end up with an adorable keepsake AND a fun back-to-school tradition.

  • 4. Get creative with sidewalk chalk.

    A little ingenuity and a good box of chalk can make for some truly memorable back-to-school pictures. Use your imagination to create a totally unique background (you can find tips on creating backgrounds and taking the photos here) and then have your child hop in the photo. A polished finished product for less than $10 -- genius!

    More from CafeMom: 16 Moms Reveal What They Wish They Knew Before Their Kid Started Middle School

  • 5. Make a first and last day "photo within a photo."

    This is a great idea because you can see how much your child has changed in an instant! First take a digital picture of your child on the first day of school, then take his picture holding an empty picture frame on the last day. Edit in the first-day photo into the empty frame and voilà! Don't have Photoshop skills? That's okay. The ladies over at HowDoesShe.com came up with this one, and they have a tutorial with your name on it.

back to school