How to Create Your Own School Photos

When my kids were in preschool, their individual school photos were great! But the first year that my son went into elementary school, I was literally aghast at the photo when we got it. It was so bad!

But I still wanted a picture of him for that school year for a couple reasons. One was that I wanted something to remember each year and how he grew and changed. I also wanted to have an annual picture to put in the kids’ School Photos  Scrapbook.

So I decide to create my own school photos. With the help of online editing, the pictures turn out so great. Just in case you’ve had similar problems, I thought I’d share How to Create Your Own School Photos.

How to easily create your own school photos

1. First you need a current photo of your child where you are happy with how they look. You can choose one from a family photo session (which I’ve done a couple times,) you can pick one that you recently took on your phone or camera, or you can do your own quick photo shoot to get a good picture.

Tips on taking your own photos:
– Let the kids wear clothes that are bright and clean but that they like and are comfortable in
– Find a nice background, plain background. Outside is always great to get natural light.If you have a garage door that is a neutral color, that’s a good place, or a white wall or even near nature.

2. Bribe them with something they love. In my case, it was a jumbo marshmallow each. Get them to smile for you or tell a joke to get them laughing. Make sure that you get close up. You don’t want to much head room in at the top of the photo. Fill up as much of the screen as possible.
(Here are a few more tips.)

3. Then it’s time to edit. This is where you can really make it an awesome school photo that you are proud to give the grandparents. It’s actually really simple. One site I use is called PicMonkey. You don’t need to log in or create an account.

Step 1 –  Select edit. Click on open and upload the photo you like the best

Step 2 – You’ll want to click on the first icon with the three horizontal lines. That will let you Crop the photo so you can make it smaller, longer, cut something out. Then you can select Exposure to brighten the photo a bit. I also like to use Sharpen to make the photo clearer if need be and Colors if the photo is a bit washed out.

Step 3 – Once that’s done, I also like to add the grade and year. For that I select the butterfly and choose a geometric shape, usually a rectangle to have a background for the text. If you don’t want that, just skip to step 4.

Step 4 – Select Tt. This will give you lots of different choices for fonts. I use the free ones. My favourite for school photos are two fonts called Chelsea Market and Cardo but there are lots to choose from. I usually write their names, grades and the year. You can add whatever you like.

Once you’re done, remember to click on save to you have the picture downloaded to your computer.

Here are the one’s that I took of them myself this year with my DSLR camera on auto. They would have worked with an iPhone too!


And these…



It just takes using the editing tools a couple times and you’ll get the hang of it. Then you can use it with lots of different things to make your photos look better, to add text and even create collages.

I hope this helps in case you get some school pictures you’re not totally happy with this year.

If you liked this tutorial for how to make your own school photos, you may also like:
How to have awesome first day of school pictures.
How to make your own easy DIY holiday cards

*This is NOT a sponsored post, I just like sharing the stuff that I learn with you guys and hope that it’s helpful for you too!

15 thoughts on “How to Create Your Own School Photos

  1. I love the labels you added. It will be so good for them to look back and cherish their childhood. I wish I had my pictures from every grade. Picmonkey is a great tip and its a free resource.

  2. I feel like I may have told you this before, but your daughter’s hair is just adorable. My daughter has curly hair which is fun- but it’s so hard to brush through. haha. Anyways, they both look great on their first day of school. Great tips. Thanks!

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