After the crazy haze that is summer break, you might be rushing your kids off to their first day of school with a sense of relief that you can finally have some down time. Or, on the other hand, you might be a mess of tears and reluctance as you watch your baby zoom off to their first real day of school without you. No matter where you fall on the school-year-emotion-spectrum, it's always a good idea to have some back to school photo ideas in your mind before their big day. Even though your emotions might become more or less complicated over the years, you'll always have documentation of how adorably ready your little one was for their first day of school.

Although my kids aren't quite old enough for school yet (ie. they're still toddlers), after becoming a mother, I can already imagine the feeling of watching your little bundle of joy (whose grown up quite a bit) waltzing off to their first day of pre-school, kindergarten, or even high school, for that matter.

Whether you're having a hard time letting go or are overly-ready for a kid-free house, or are maybe feeling a strange mix of the two, having documentation of each back-to-school day will be a memory you'll always love.

1. Polariod Picture

Courtesy of ameejventura on instagram

Making a mock-polaroid frame (or buying one like this one from Crowd Signs) is the perfect way to frame your little one's big day.

2. Back To School Stand

Courtesy of Studio DIY

If you want to go all out the day before (or if you're feeling super ambition that morning), make a back to school stand like this one from Studio DIY and have an adorable photo shoot.

3. Edited Afterwards

Courtesy of The Merry Thought

If you don't have time to stage an adorable photo shoot, simply snapping a few photos of your little in their back to school gear and adding in details later with a photo editing app or website like Canva or Pic Monkey will make your work look professional and perfect for years to come, just like this gorgeous example from The Merry Thought.

4. A Sibling Heart To Heart

Courtesy of dirty_rose on instagram

There's nothing like a little bit of wisdom from big sis before your big day. Capture the candid (or mostly candid) moments — they're the ones you'll remember.

5. A Pensive Beginning

Courtesy of jessgrune on instagram

All you need is a brick wall and a classic stare-into-the-distance look to capture the perfect back-to-school moment.

6. Add In A Few Props

Courtesy of ntkmcclure on instagram

Grabbing a few antique school items, or even a few of your child's from their favorite subject is a super easy way to stage a school-themed photo shoot.

7. Catch Them In Their Natural State

Courtesy of reflectionsbylsrphotog on instagram

In an effort to lighten the mood (especially if your child is nervous) snap photos of them being silly together or with you.

8. Show Some Love

Courtesy of azue02 on instagram

Siblings heading off to school together is automatic fodder for an adorable shot.

9. Celebrate With Confetti

Courtesy of dyankethley on instagram

Confetti makes a cheap and simple prop that happens to look stunning in photos.

10. Capture The Sibling Dynamic

Courtesy of everydavismoments on instagram

Kids' big personalities are all that's really needed to get the perfect shot, no matter how excited, worried, or annoyed with big brother they may be.

11. Let Their Smile (And Style) Speak For Itself

Courtesy of _s_y_r_n_ on instagram

With a gorgeous smile and a killer fashion sense, you don't really need any fancy props or signs.

12. Capture Their Little Quirks

Courtesy of andhattiemakesthree on instagram

More than just a quick photo to document the start of a new year, snapping a first-day-of-school photo is the perfect way to capture any cute quirks and likes your child might have at this age — like that adorably cheesy smile.

13. Chalk It Up

Courtesy of Espresso.Ever.After on Instagram

If chalkboards are more your style, write up an easy description of their year and have them strike a pose.