5 Tips for Taking a Great Back-to-School Photo


Where did the time go? I know I’m not the only one wondering this. Summer has flown by this year and we are already in August preparing to send our little ones back to school! And with that, comes the famous back-to-school photos to mark the start of a new school year. Whether it’s your child’s first year in school or one of many back-to-school days, take the time to capture the moment and get a great back-to-school photo of your child!

Check out these five tips for taking a great back-to-school photo this year!

Let your child choose the outfit

A fun way to embrace the beginning of a new school year is to allow your kids to choose their own outfit! This goes especially for the younger kids in your family. The results of this can be pretty funny and will give you something to laugh about with your children as they grow older and gain a more keen fashion sense.

Play with colors and accessories

Feel free to play with some fun colors and accessories to make your kids’ back-to-school photos pop! You can even add in some great props like a sign marking the grade level of your child. Make the scene more authentic by adding in school supplies like backpacks, books and pencils! (The adorable backpack pictured here is from Bixbee.)

Bixbee backpack in back-to-school photoGet in the picture!

As a mom, I really can’t stress this enough! If you haven’t made an effort in the past to get in the shot with your kids on the first day of school, now is a great time to start! You can even make it a tradition and hop in one or more photos with your kids every year. As they grow older, you’ll be thankful that you took the time to capture these moments!

Same Pose, Same Place

Using the same pose and the same location is a great idea for back-to-school photos! This will give you a consistent background every year to compare. You’ll be able to literally watch your kids grow from year-to-year!

Toddler wearing backpack in his back-to-school photo

Tell a story

Last, but not least, try to tell a story with your photos. If your kids are younger, they might let you take pictures from the moment they wake up and get ready, to them running to the bus stop! This is a great way to capture the full morning in action and to have the full experience to look back on.

With autumn upon us, it’s a great idea to start thinking about annual family photos! Contact me today to schedule your family session!

Topsail Beach Summer Family Portraits | The S Family

As a photographer, I’m always humbled when my clients appreciate my work and choose me to capture their special family memories. These Topsail Beach summer family portraits were even more special as this particular client is a fellow photographer who trusted in me to capture her creative vision. This fellow photographer, mom and North Carolina local, came to Topsail Beach for a quick getaway with her husband and two little girls. Although it was just a quick mini-vacation, she wanted to document these moments with her family. She and I both agreed that as moms and photographers, we find we are very rarely in photos with our families. So she finally decided to hire a professional photographer to capture her fun family beach memories.

We all met at the beach on a beautiful evening. It had rained earlier in the day like most of my sessions during the summer. The rain cleared up just in time for this session and the sun was able to peak through and say good evening with a gorgeous sunset! This family chose lovely pastel colors with light blues and pinks for their session, which really popped against the neutral colors of the beach. The two daughters were so much fun and really added life to the session. They were running around and playing in the sand, which allowed me to capture some genuine fun moments between them. I also got the whole family together for group photos and of course a few romantic shots of mom and dad!

Check out these beautiful Topsail Beach summer family portraits!

Topsail Beach Summer Family Portraits in NCFamily and kids at Topsail Beach for photosTopsail Beach Summer Family PortraitsNorth Carolina beach family photos



Beach sessions are a ton of fun and a great way to capture family memories whether you are a local or a visitor! If you’re interested in booking a family session, contact me!

Wrightsville Beach Twins Family Photos | The R Family

There’s nothing quite as awesome as the bond between siblings, especially when the siblings happen to be twins! This brother and sister duo was just seven years old and a blast to work with. They were so adorable and had no problem showing some brother/sister love during these Wrightsville Beach twins family photos! Typically, siblings at this age can be really silly about hugging or holding hands for photos. Not these two! The grandparents also joined in the fun for a couple photos as well for some fun family photos.

This family session was my first try at shooting near the south end of Wrightsville beach, but I couldn’t resist the magical setting. This awesome spot provides a unique experience with water surrounding the beach on almost all sides. This makes for stunning sunset sessions with pretty pink and orange hues in the sky. Taking advantage of this, we ended the shoot with a family stroll along the shore with a stunning sunset in the background!

Check out these stunning Wrightsville Beach twins family photos!

sunset at wrightsville beach with familykids and family at the beach during sunsetfamily at wrightsville beach ncwrightsville beach twins family photos

Whether it’s for the kids or the whole family, it’s never a bad time to take advantage of the beautiful beaches of North Carolina. If you’re interested in setting up your next photo session, contact me today!

3 Things to do With Your Kids Before School Starts

August is finally here, and with it comes the back-to-school woes for the kids! But with still a few weeks left of summer break, it’s not too late for some last-minute summer fun. With plenty of things to do with your kids before school starts, here are a few of my musts!

Check out these 3 things to do with your kids before school starts!

1. Check out Bump & Beyond for cute and functional back-to-school supplies.

Get your kids lunch boxes, drinkware and backpacks for back to school at the Bump & Beyond in Wilmington NC

It’s time for back to school and you know what that means! Yes, time to gather school supplies. The Bump & Beyond is one of my favorite local shops and mom-community where I can purchase fun and functional gear for my little one. You name it and they have it! Visit The Bump & Beyond for cute backpacks, lunch boxes and more!

2. Visit the Raleigh-Durham Life & Science Museum!

One of the best things to do with your kids before school starts is take a mini vacation to the Life and Science Museum

If you’re looking for a quick getaway or a mini-vacation before school starts, the Raleigh-Durham Life & Science Museum is the place for you! With over 84-acres of fun things to discover, a two-story interactive science center, over 60 species of live animals and more makes this one of the best spots for family fun! Check out some of the feature exhibits like the magic wings butterfly house where the kids can walk with hundreds of tropical butterflies. If that’s not your cup of tea, check out the dinosaur trail exhibit where the whole family can discover life during the age of the dinosaurs! It’s a little over two hours from Wilmington, so I like to stay the night in Raleigh to get the most out of the visit.

3. Stop by Manta’s Cuts to clean up that summer shag.

Best back to school haircuts for kids are at Manta's Cuts Kids Salon in Wilmington NC

With school just around the corner and fall picture day top of mind, it’s the perfect time to get that summer shag cleaned up. Stop by Wilmington’s top kids salon, Manta’s Cuts for a fun and memorable experience for the kids! Manta’s Cuts was created by a local mother with two young boys who spent a ton of time researching and creating a unique children’s salon. Oh, and here’s a bonus: you can also get a cut and style while your kid plays on the indoor shipwreck!

Bonus–this one is just for you! Treat yourself to a massage or treatment at Ki Spa & Salon before the school year starts.

Leave the kids at home for this one–enjoy a massage at Ki in Wilmington NC to relax before the school season begins

Ok moms, before all of the back-to-school hustle and bustle starts, let’s not forget about you! Treat yourself to a massage or other spa treat at Wilmington’s Ki Spa and Salon! Trust me, you wont regret taking advantage of some sweet time to yourself before the school year fills up with parent nights, school plays, little league sports and more! You can even check out the Spa Promotions for a special discount on your visit!

Of course, with the fall season fast approaching, make sure you don’t forget about those cherished fall family photos for your holiday cards! If you’re interested in booking a fall family session, contact me to make it happen!

Wrightsville Beach Dreamy Family Photos | The F Family

This family lives just a couple hours away and booked me for these dreamy family photos at Wrightsville Beach. They brought along their two adorable girls, Eleanor and Aletta who loved the beach and were full of smiles during the entire session. Little Eleanor was turning three in just a few weeks, so mom brought a big balloon to add a special birthday theme to the session. This little addition was too cute and I loved the idea of celebrating little Eleanor! I enjoy when clients bring items or props that are important to them. It not only provides a fun spin on the photo session, but it also makes them extra special! Whether it’s a special family heirloom quilt to sit on, a bouquet of flowers for mom to hold or even a favorite stuffed animal, it can add a lot more meaning and personalization to the photos.

The weather was great and worked in our favor!  We were given a perfect evening for this shoot. We had just enough cloud coverage to diffuse the intense light from the setting sun. The soft light worked beautifully before we caught a stunning sunset in the background. The sky turned a beautiful orange and pink that looked lovely with the pinks and blues in their outfits and the light glistened beautifully on the water as the family skipped alongside the shoreline. So dreamy!

Take a look at these Wrightsville Beach dreamy family photos!

family on the beach in north carolinafamily vacation photos at wrightsville beach in north carolinafamily photos at wrightsville beach in north carolinawrightsville beach dreamy family photos

Whether it’s a quick weekend getaway or a fun filled beachfront vacation, hiring a professional photographer to capture it all is a great way to share these moments! Be sure to Contact me today to set up your next family photo session.


I'm Erika and I am a maternity, newborn, and family photographer based near Wilmington, NC. I use only available natural light to capture authentic and beautiful images that show the magic of childhood and the love between parents and children. Click on my photo to learn more about me or contact me, I'd love to get to know you!

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Wilmington North Carolina Lifestyle Family Photographer

910.719.3633 hello@erikariggerphotography.com