First-day-of-school photos are every mom's must-have. We've gathered the best and the cutest first day of school photo ideas so all you have to do is set the stage, click away and snap your Pinterest-worthy photo perfection!
Photo credit: Galit Breen

There's something so very swoon-worthy about photos of kids on their first day of school. It might be the neat hair or the new clothes, the shiny shoes or the pristine backpacks that pull at our heartstrings, or it might just be the universal first-day-of-school looks that are equal parts excitement and nerves. Moms capture these photos, share them on Facebook and Instagram and we all eagerly "Like" them and make mental notes to style that perfect shot ourselves next year. We've decided there's no reason to wait a whole year for that sweet photo, so we've gathered five kinds of photo ops for you to pin today so you're ready to capture your own on your little ones' first day of school... this year. Smile, it's the first day of school and there's nothing more photo-worthy than that.

Backpacks and shoes

Oh those backpacks and shoes, they get us every time. Whether you line them up the night before, zoom in the morning of or catch one last great shot before the kids head off to school, these relics are meant to be captured.

Galit Breen

Image credit: Galit Breen

I lined my own children's perfectly clean — and seemingly too big — backpacks and shoes up in birth order and snapped this shot that makes me swoon every time I see it.

Elizabeth McGuire

Image credit: Elizabeth McGuire

Elizabeth McGuire is a writer, photographer and mother of three, whose work captures the small moments that tell the big stories of family life. We love her capture of her little guy holding his lunch box on the first of school. And that expression? To die for.

Tracy Morrison

Image credit: Tracy Morrison

Tracy Morrison is a writer, eater of dark chocolate and a mother of three who writes about the lighter side of parenting at Sellabit Mum. Morrison's zoom-in on her girls' first-day-of-school shoes is so sweet and gives a touching peek into their personalities and the times.

Galit Breen

Image credit: Galit Breen

My favorite photos are of my family walking. There's something so natural and unposed about them from this view and without putting on the pressure to smile for the camera, I manage to see what they're really like in the moment. The walking to school photo op is not to be missed.

Using props

Using first-day-of-school props is a simple and sweet way to take the special quality of your photos up a notch or two. From handwritten signs to preprinted ones to chalkboard fun, props add the perfect touch to first-day-of-school photos.

Nichole Beaudry

Image credit: Nichole Beaudry

Nichole Beaudry is a lifestyle photographer who captures the small moments that come together to form a lifetime. We love the way Beaudry used her iPad to add a modern archiving touch to this fabulous capture.

Jenny Feldon

Image credit: Jenny Feldon

Jenny Feldon is the author of the memoir Karma Gone Bad and a mother of two. Feldon's combination of primary colors, magnetic letters and chalk make this photo op a first-day-of-school win. She added a quote on the sign for an extra sweet touch. When I grow up I want to be... is a perfect first-day-of-school prompt that will be fun to look back on from year to year.

Angie Lee last year

Image credit: Angie Lee

Angie Lee

Image credit: Angie Lee

Angie Lee works in PR, editing and social media advertising and is the mother of five, crafter and clever writer behind Seven Clown Circus. The style of Lee's printed signs change every year, but the concept stays the same. The uniform colors and font make these photos frame-worthy every single time.

Traditions big and small

From night-before dinners to morning-of breakfasts, families often have back-to-school traditions they upkeep and treasure. Capture these small moments — they're meant to be remembered.

Kate Thompson-Steel

Image credit: Kim Thompson-Steel

Kim Thompson Steel is a photographer and video editor, mother, wife and sometime blogger. Thompson Steel's sweet photo is from her family's back-to-school dinner. What we like best about it, though, is that she's in the photo as well.

Galit Breen's kids

Image credit: Galit Breen

My husband stays home on the first day of school and makes the kids waffles and bacon. I love this capture of our back-to-school breakfast tradition.

On the scene

If you can manage it, follow your kids to the back-to-school scene and catch them on the bus or in their classrooms. Photos with their friends and by their lockers, at their desks and with their teachers are hectic to get but are so very worth it. If nothing else, a photo op in front of their school or the sign to school is a big memory win.

Nicole Hempeck

Image credit: Nicole Hempeck

Nicole Hempeck is a mom to three lovely ladies, a wife to a handsome military dude and a creative soul who has the desire to launch something new on the regular. Hempeck's capture of her girls on the school bus is a keeper. Even if you can't get on the bus like she did, that walking down the bus stairs shot is absolute perfection.

Lovelyn Plam at school

Image credit: Lovelyn Palm

Lovelyn Palm is a mom to nine children who blogs at Moments with Love about mothering, large families, orphan care, adoption and faith. Her in-the-classroom photo is a heart-melting, on-location capture that shows what the first day of school is really like.

Sarah Reinhart

Image credit: Sarah Reinhart

Sarah Reinhart is a mama to five and a part-time photographer and freelance writer who blogs to share her family's stories and the joy she finds as she goes. We're in love with her sweet in front of school photo. It's a natural shot that shows her children's personalities and first-day-of-school feelings and one that can be repeated — and swooned for — from year to year.

Same place, same time

The most heartstring tugging back-to-school photos show how much our children grow in a single year. Many moms take first-day-of-school photos in the same spot every year from kindergarten to graduation to capture this bittersweet phenomenon perfectly. From front porches to favorite trees, a consistent background sets the memory-making stage.

Lovelyn Plam's children

Image credit: Lovelyn Palm

Lovelyn Palm is a mom to nine children who blogs at Moments with Love about mothering, large families, orphan care, adoption and faith. Palm's by-the-front-door photo is a perfect example of a simple shot you can stage from year to year.

Galit Breen's kids by tree

Image credit: Galit Breen

My own children love to pose by this tree and it has become one of our favorite photo spots. I love this capture of their back-to-school excitement. It doesn't get much better than kids jumping for joy for the first day of school.

More on back-to-school

Ideas for kids' lunches
Back-to-school gifts for teachers
Good tiger mom, hello dolphin dad

Topics: