The summer holidays are over and the kids are back to school.

All over the region, parents are taking to Facebook to show their sons and daughters off in their brand new uniforms as they have their first day at school or are returning to class for another year.

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Meanwhile, online marketplace eBay has teamed up with leading children’s photographer Millie Pilkington to provide some top tips on shooting the perfect first-day snap.

Plan ahead!  Your child’s first day of school can be full of emotion and stress, so check your camera is charged, choose the location and any props you need the day befor

Location, location, location. Natural light is preferable to a flash so, weather permitting, choose somewhere outside. Avoid cluttered backgrounds – the simpler and ‘cleaner’ it is, the more your child(ren) will stand out in the image. It’s also fun to repeat this photo every year, so select a location that will work each time. In front of a closed front door is usually great for light, framing, convenience, simplicity AND you can also measure their growth each year against the doorknob  

Avoid direct sunlight on their faces as it will make them squint. Choose a shadier spot like a doorway. Under a tree, facing into the light is another option, but make sure there is no dappled light falling onto their faces   

What if it’s raining? Choose a ‘naturally light’ room in your house with large windows, like a conservatory. Or open the front door, but ensure the light falls onto their faces. If they are standing directly in front of the light source, their faces are likely to come out dark 

Camera settings – Unless you know your way around your camera, keep it simple. Set it to automatic mode and turn off the flash. If photographing indoors and the shots are coming up dark, increase the ISO setting up to 800 or 1,600. Use the flash as a last resort  

All ready? Before you pick up the camera, ensure the kids are ready – hair brushed, coat blazer on, socks pulled up (or down!). Children have short attention spans when it comes to photos, so you have to be quick!

Props.  It’s fun to include their school bag or lunchbox, but you could try a favourite teddy, or get them to write their name and the date on a piece of paper  

Strike a pose. Don’t ask them to smile as you’ll get their ‘photo face’. Instead have a few jokes up your sleeve that will make them laugh. Loo humour almost always works! Try a wig or a whoopee cushion if that doesn’t work

Include siblings in some of the photos for a nice family feel

Don’t panic if it goes wrong. If emotions are too high and everything is rushed, just try again the following day week. When you look back on the photos, you won’t notice it wasn’t on the day itself.