Austin American-Statesman Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - By Ni­cole Vil­lal­pando nvil­lal­pando@states­ Con­tact Ni­cole Vil­lal­pando at 512-912-5900.

School is al­ready back in ses­sion for many Cen­tral Texas kids, but those in Austin and sev­eral

other school dis­tricts start on Mon­day, with even more dis­tricts start­ing later in the week or on Aug. 28. In the hus­tle of that first day, don’t for­get to ac­tu­ally take a photo. Think about the back­ground and lo­ca­tion. Make sure it doesn’t over­power the peo­ple in the photo. Worry about the light­ing. You want to see their faces and what

they are wear­ing, not the shad­ows on their face or be­hind them. Get a full-body shot if you can. You want to be able to see how lit­tle they are com­pared with what’s around them. Take it in an iden­ti­fy­ing place to help you re­mem­ber the year. We love to do it in front of the class list or the teacher’s door. It usu­ally will say the grade and the teacher’s name. Take it in th esam es­poteach

year. Fory ears, we took our pho­tos in front of the crayons that said “Cowan”atCowanEle­men­tary. Now we tend to have to sneak a photo ses­sion in the car on the way to the high school bus stop or the mid­dle school drop-off line. The same back­ground helps us see their growth. Don’t worry about smiles. They might not smile. That makes itall the more mem­o­rable of who they are at this age.

Whether your child’s al­ready hit­ting the books or still en­joy­ing a few last days of free­dom, once you do take that photo, send it to read­er­pho­tos@states­ or tag it on Twit­ter or In­sta­gram #atx­first­day.

AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN 2013 If you take your photo in the same spot each year, you can see just how­muchy our kids have grown. In 2013, Re­becca Amador snapped daugh­ters Alexa and Kather­ine Her­nan­dez, then 5 and 9, in front of Guer­rero Thomp­son El­e­men­tary School.

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