#11 ‘Back to School’


Theme: Back to School

Thanks to Anne for this theme, spot on for September hey! As Anne suggests, if you have them you could get a great portrait of your kid in uniform. If you don’t then capture something that reminds you of your school days and of course we’ll need a script to go with it.

Alternatively why not try some school stationery product shots or maybe take some lovely shots of a sleepy village school.

Or… basically anything else related to ‘school’!


See the details from back in challenge #1, I don’t want to keep filling each post with the rules.


Just had a quick search for Schools and come up with these random images to get you started. This could be as broad as you like and it’s a great one to get us back in the habit of taking photos.


It’s a bit broad to give you specify instructions here but if you need some help let me know in the comments.

I reckon we could do with some inspiration in the comment please people…

Get posting!

It’s over to you!

So why not post your ideas below and hopefully we’ll get a good selection of photos flowing down in the comments below. Feel free to comment on others’ work and please as stated above give us a bit of commentary to go along with your image and the camera’s settings.


  • Louise Dobson

    Hi there, this is my ‘back to school’ picture. Well technically, its not ‘back’ to school as it was only my daughter’s first day. I wanted to get a nice shot of her in the school grounds for memory’s sake. Louise

    • I like it very much! You had a pretty model, she looks very excited!

  • Kerry Criddle

    Hi Adrain, A little late I know but I thought I would share this photo. It doesn’t scream ‘back to school’ and it was his first dat but it was the first time I picked up my camera and didn’t instantly use ‘auto mode’. Hope you like but I am open to constructive criticism too 🙂

  • Well here’s my two entries. I had several ideas but as I was out with the dog this morning I thought I’d take a nice shot of our kid’s school. I also had the idea for my second shot of the playroom being quiet now the kids are back to school. There’s nothing special about either of them. I shot them in RAW, imported them into Lightroom and then quickly applied a preset to stylise them but for each photo I’ve left the original too.

  • Kerry Criddle

    Here are my entries. They don’t scream school but it was my sons first day at school and as you can see he was really excited. I have never used any function other than auto so this is a first for me. I zoomed right in to try defocusing the background too and I was quite happy with the results.

    • Kerry I think they’re lovely and you certainly caught the excitement on his face! Totally the right thing to do zooming in to blur the background and I will giving you plenty more tips on my training day 😉
      Great photos and thanks for sharing.

  • Debs Cook

    So as I don’t have kids I thought I would just throw a bunch of my nephews colouring pencils up in the air (not too high!) and see where they landed! Played around with focusing on one single point and settled on this colourful shot!

  • Durgesh Bhat Kalya

    Hey Adrian,
    Thank you for your videos and techniques for doing some of the beautiful things on wood, that is how I found you. A big fan of your photos as well. This is my first ever public entry of my photos. A bit skeptical of putting it out on the internet.I have for you two photos, Both photos are a few weeks old. However, the first one is of my son’s first day going to school. I was giving him instructions, and told him, “Hold it in the front” and this is what he did, though his face is hidden, I felt that he gave me the best shot. The other shot is of him doing his favorite pass time, playing with toys, natural light was my savior.Taken on a Nikon D5300. Thank you.

    • That is so cute and perfect for this theme! Durgesh can I say a huge thank you for getting involved and I’m excited for you for posting your first photo in a challenge like this. We’re all nice and you’ll only ever get positive feedback.
      Often when photographing children I recommend getting down on their eye level as you did in the top image and you can see from that how it works, but in the bottom one of your son I really think you add something to the story by photographing from a slightly higher plane, it adds to the cuteness of a little one off on his first day, entering the big world of school. Whether deliberately or not the bags add to it too in my opinion, I love it all!
      So for your project in the next challenge will you be trying the ‘photo onto wood’? Haha, no pressure, feel free to have a look around as long as you’re pushing yourself. If you have ideas of what you might do but need some help please comment on the challenge page and I’ll gladly support you.
      I look forward to seeing more of your great work 🙂

      … And I must ask how your son got on at school?

      • Durgesh Bhat Kalya

        Thank you for your comments and the great tip for shooting at eye level. Yes, planning to do the photo on wood on a growth chart, hopefully somebody will want one soon. But to give you an idea, see picture , my wife and I started making these recently for family and friends. Its a simple project and the numbers are carved out. Will be trying to transfer a photo on this thing next time. I Will keep you posted.

        • They’re great Durgesh and the photo transfer would work really well 🙂
          I look forward to seeing the results.

  • Debs Cook

    Hi. I used my 50.0mm lens on f/1.8 ISO 400 1/125 sec. Only editing was a little crop and increased the clarity and saturation slider a little plus a couple of other minor tweaks. It’s a great lens and need to find other opportunities to use it.

    • I’d have put money on it being that lens, it’s a real gem! It’s super for portraits when you’re out and about with friends and family, most of my recent photos on my personal Facebook page were taken with a similar portrait lens. Try just taking that with you next time you go out and keep as low with the aperture unless it’s making the exposure too bright.
      Thanks again Debs, glad you’re getting stuck in!

  • Hereward gas

    My back to school picture (ha ha)

    • Your daughter looks a little too old to be at school Tony 😉
      Lol, I’ll let you off, it’s a lovely photo of Amanda, well lit, nice composition, good job 🙂

  • Hereward gas

    My attempt at wild life

    • Bless, that’s lovely! I wouldn’t have thought to shoot it in portrait but it really works well seeing the foreground something of the background too. Nice and sharp, well exposed, good job!

  • Hereward gas

    wildlife attempt 2

    • Aww, did you have to wait for him to dry out from the previous shot lol. Very nice.

      • Hereward gas

        i waited hours and hours:-) not

  • Hereward gas

    last one

    • That looks like Hampton!
      Shame there wasn’t a gap in the reeds but I like that you cropped as a panorama, it suits it.

      • Hereward gas

        I actually took it in the cotswolds i asked the swan to part the reeds but it didn’t listen Ha Ha

  • Hereward gas

    this was also taken in the cotswold water park

  • Hereward gas

    what about a black and white challenge ?

  • Hereward gas

    portraits as a theme?

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