Now that’s we’ve officially kicked off “Back To School” season, we reached out to our favorite photographer, Kimber Brown, for her tips and tricks on how to take “school photos” at home.

Who else’s dining room has become their classroom? Just because your little one might not be attending school in the traditional sense doesn’t mean you have to miss out on great school photos! I want to share some easy tricks to taking amazing school photos at home

I also want to preface this by saying that you do not need a fancy or expensive camera to take great photos! Even as a professional photographer most of the photos of my own children are shot on my iPhone! The key is to follow a few simple guidelines, similar to what professional photographers do!

Use Natural Light

Lighting is the most important thing to taking a great photo and is what every photographer chases; so it comes as no surprise that good lighting would also apply to even snapshots from a smartphone! To create a flattering image, place the subject so that the light naturally falls on their faces instead of behind them. 


This is my go-to trick and something that I keep in mind during every shoot. Keep it simple. It may seem silly but it’s often the number one offender for at-home photos. When there are distractions in the background such as clutter, crazy colors or even people your subject tends to get lost. I love me a good blank wall, a calm beach or even a garden! Limiting the chaos in the background will always make for a better photo — trust me.

Kids Vitamins


I will always tell my clients to laugh instead of smile because when you ask a kid to smile you’ll often times get that “Chandler Bing” smile if you know what I mean — but if you threaten them with a tickle or heaven forbid make a fart noise, the reaction of laughter photographs far better than a forced “just take the photo mom” smile ever will.

Use an Editing App!

Okay, this is my last trick and I can’t tell you how much editing can make or break a photo. A quick edit can take your photo to the next level and you don’t need to be a professional photographer to do so. Within seconds you can brighten, sharpen and even color correct right from your smartphone. My secret weapons for smartphone editing are Lightroom MobileVSCO and A Color Story and all are so easy to use!

Good luck to everyone starting school this year, virtual or in-person! With these 4 simple tricks, you’ll be able to snap some great school photos from whatever room in your house that you might be calling school these days!