Since my first child started attending the school I was documenting their school memories throughout the years. And now as we're at the end of the school year again, I look back at their back-to-school pictures and realize how much my children have grown. I have created a "system" that helps me to document end-of-school memories in three easy ways. But to be honest, I do all of it, as both images and videos are important to me.
1. DOCUMENT IN PICTURES
Make sure you take a picture of the first and last day of school to keep with your interview. It is just amazing to compare the first day of school photo to the last! There is something just so exciting to get to document the fun children had and the friends they made during the year. Of course you could take these anytime in the last month of school, but the last day of school photos are where you actually get to capture all those authentic moments and happy emotions you can see on the faces of your children, their friends and teachers.
Because the last day of school tends to be so busy I make sure in advance that my camera equipment charged and my memory cards are empty. When shooting the last day of school I have a list of must have photos in my mind, which is as follows:
- Head shot - I try to get to school a little bit earlier so I have enough time to take a quick headshot of each of my children. When shooting those I make sure I choose a neutral background (bushes, school wall, etc.) and I make my child stand a little bit in front in order to create some depth and background blur.
- Teacher shot - this is the most important memory to photograph, as they will never be in that grade with that teacher again. Some of the sweetest moments come when your child is interacting with the teacher, not just smiling at the camera. And don't be upset if you don't manage to take the picture in the classroom, you can take it wherever you get a chance - on the playground, outside the school, or waiting in a line. Make sure you get a good portrait of the two of them together!
- Friends shot - try to document the friendships that your child created during the school year. Who are the kids that you hear about all the time? Those are their memories and who knows what will be different next year. I try to get at least a couple of images, the first one is a portrait of the two or three of them together, and the second one is a details shot of the activity they like to do together. If they are reading bodies, I take a picture of them in their reading spot.
- Classroom shot - I like to take photos of the classroom by taking a few steps back from the action. I love the look and feel of these shots, they give a sense like you're sneaking a little peek into their day. But don't forget to snap a few photos of the little details, such as a closeup of child's backpack, or a name tag on their desk, etc. These little things really help to tell the whole story of your child's school experience and very precious to look back on!
2. PUT IT ON PAPER
The end of school is full of activities, but I always try to make time for an end-of-year interview to record this special milestone.
Yearly end-of-school interviews can be a marvelous tradition. If you ask the same questions each time, you can look back and watch them change and grow throughout the years, and you can also see how their handwriting and spelling has improved.
I am trying to follow the same list of questions I worked out the very first time, but I am pretty flexible in case I need to change them at some point or add something new.
3. MAKE A MOVIE
Last year I discovered a phone app OneDay that helps to record mini videos and document memories in a few simple steps. This is not just an app that helps you to record the video but it is a theme related questionnaire. I am recording the answers on video to make this an extra special keepsake! The movie is accompanied with a theme music. I find it really perfect for sharing with my family and friends. Very easy and no extra applications or programs are involved.
Enjoy the day with your child and don't miss out on any of the fun while trying to document it!
How do you document the last day of school?