Back to School Photo Checklist

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As all of you know, I love taking pictures. I love my camera, and I love capturing all of the little moments that make our days into our life story. Back to school season is such an exciting, iconic season in our kids lives, I wanted to share a list of back to school photo ideas that will help you capture all the moments that make going back to school memorable. I’m also sharing with you some of my tips for breaking away from the normal point and shoot mode and getting Instagram-worthy, beautiful photos, even just off of your camera phone. I love my big full size camera, but it’s not realistic to carry that around all of the time. I recently got the Samsung Galaxy S8 and I love that with it, I have a great quality camera on me all the time to capture all of those little moments that make life special. All of the pictures in this post, except for the ones of the phone itself, are taken with my GS8.Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Nowadays, all of us document most of out life with our cell phone camera. If you’re capturing things like your kids first steps or first day of school on your phone, you’re going to want the best camera possible right? The Galaxy S8 (and it’s larger friend, the GS8+) has a 12 megapixel rear camera, and an 8 megapixel front camera for super clear selfies. Selfies have gotten a bad rap, I love them because it means I can be in some of the pictures and have even more memories to pass down to my kids.2017-08-01 11.16.55 1

Taking great smiling pictures of our kids is fun, but I also love to capture the smaller details that we see but forget to document. When you get pictures of all the little details of back-to-school- their outfit, the morning prep, their favorite shoes, the walk to the school bus, you capture that morning forever, and for me, that means I can look back and make those moments last a little bit longer. Try taking pictures of their pencils, their handwriting, the way they brush their hair or tie their shoes, those take your photos from snapshots to a story. At the bottom of this post, I have a list of over 30 ideas for capturing the whole story of your back-to-school time.
2017-08-01 11.40.07 1galaxy s8 camera

Another idea for taking your snapshots to the next level is to change up where you are standing. Instead of just standing in front of your child and quickly pressing the button, try changing your vantage point. If it’s a picture of their handwriting, try taking it from a birds-eye view like the photo above, or if it’s them boarding the school bus, try getting to the side so your eye travels down the line of the school bus. Another way to make your photo more interesting is to zoom in or out. Up close photos like the details I talked about in the last paragraph are easy to capture by simply walking closer. A picture of your child waving that is taken far away where they are small in the picture seems even more momentous and gives you a chance to show their whole school or your neighborhood in the background.

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One important tip when shooting with cell phones, or any camera, is to look for good lighting. If it is really bright outside, I try to look for shade, like under a tree to take my picture. If you can’t find shade, try to make sure you don’t lose your child’s face in shadows. My absolute favorite feature of the camera on the GS8 is that on the camera screen, there is slider to adjust the exposure right there. As someone who is used to shooting in manual and adjusting my lighting, I was so excited to see this. No more backlit-dark shots, or blown out snaps. If I see it’s too dark or too light, I can quickly fix it before I take the picture. The Samsung S8 and S8+ are also the first cell phones to have infinity screens, which means I have more screen to make sure I’m getting the shot right.

Samsung GS8 camera (2)

Probably the best tip for taking cell phone pictures of all is to take lots! The GS8 has a microSD slot so you can have up to 256GB of storage for thousands and thousands of memories saved on your phone. That means you can snap away to make sure you capture your super fast grade schooler.

Processed with VSCO with s2 preset

Even if everything goes right when I’m taking the picture, I do edit many of my cell phone shots (I edit all of my SLR shots as well, nothing wrong with giving your photo a little extra contrast or brightness). VSCO is my favorite editing app, my favorite filters are S2 and M5. I like to try a filter and then turn it down a little so the changes aren’t so drastic. Most pictures can also benefit from a little brightening and a little more contrast to really make them pop.The GS8 can have multiple screens open at once, so I like to have VSCO open and have a youtube video open at the same time. Another cool feature is that it has the option of buying a wireless charger that you simply set it on to charge so it’s always ready for taking pictures!
Samsung GS8 camera (1)(am I the only one who still has “Despacito” stuck in my head???)

The GS8 is my favorite phone I’ve ever had. I have owned previous Galaxy’s and loved them so much that I am a loyal Samsung user. For a limited time, Target is offering a $200 gift card when you buy the GS8 or GS8+.


You can always check back here to see what future promotions they have running on the GS8 and GS8+ and tag me @goodmorningloretta on your back to school photos so I can see your awesome cell phone pictures!

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