I have been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card for this post. All opinions are my own.

Check out my favorite tips for capturing authentic back to school memories and for safely storing them so they last generations!

The back to school countdown is on! Jacob has less than two weeks until he returns. He’s going into 5th grade this year. It’s a pretty monumental year! He’s top of the food chain in his elementary school (our district goes up to 5th). He’s also starting band and learning the clarinet. It’s going to be an exciting year for him, and I want to document it!

I have to be honest, over the last few years, I have more pictures of my son with products for reviews than I do of him just being a kid. That’s the life of a blogger, I suppose. I look back and think “wow, I have NOTHING to send to family that they haven’t seen on my site!” This school year, I want to change that. Focus more on capturing memories of my son being a kid before he turns into a man.

Now, I’m not exactly one of those “photo prop” moms. While I absolutely love all the cute ideas floating around on Pinterest, I just can’t realistically see me saying to Jake “let’s print out a big “back to school” banner for you to pose under! So instead of giving you yet another idea that requires you to channel your inner Martha, I have a few fun realistic ways to capture lasting memories with your kids during this back to school season!

First Day Back to School Photo Montage

Rather than taking one super posed back to school photo on the first day, create a whole day of memories in just a few minutes spread out over the day.

  • Wake-up call! Who doesn’t awakening to the click of a camera shutter and a bright flash in their eyes? Seriously, though, after sleeping in all summer, that early first morning wake-up face is sure to be a keeper! Hang on to it, then do the same on the last day of school. See the difference?
  • Bus stop photos. We are always running late to get to the bus stop, so taking a dozen pictures of Jake in the front yard just isn’t feasible. Instead, wait until you get to the bus stop and are feeling a bit calmer. Then pick a nice spot and snap away. Or snap as your child gets on the bus. This is also a fun way to see how your neighborhood changes over time.
  • While you were gone: Does your family dog mope at the front door on the first day? Does the cat watch out the window for the bus? Take a few “while you were gone” photos to show your child what happens at home on the first day of school.
  • End of First Day: Snap shots of your child getting off the bus or coming in the door. I bet they’ll look happier than they did in the morning! Plus you’ll have more time to get those great “first day” shots of their new outfits.
  • First night of homework: Snap a photo of your children doing their homework. You could also have them take a picture of you doing the mountain of paperwork that comes home in their folders!
  • Tucked in and ready for bed: Finish off with a photo of your child exhausted from a long first day back to school, all cute and cozy in their favorite jammies.

Granted, these ideas are a little more mundane than the “100-foot-tall “back to school” billboard ideas, but you’ll be capturing the real story. Isn’t that what we’re trying to do here? Capture memories instead of crafting them?

Keep Your Memories Safe with SanDisk

Keep Your Back to School memories safe with SanDisk

Whether you opt for the realistic approach of Martha on overdrive, keep all your favorite memories safe with a SanDisk memory card. With SD and microSD cards designed for everything from professional-grade cameras to little point-and-shoot devices, SanDisk helps you  store and keep your favorite memories safe for generations.

SanDisk SD cards are over 10 times faster than ordinary cards and offer transfer speeds of up to 80MB per second for DSLR and camcorder cameras. Got a smartphone or tablet? Record 4K Ultra HD and full HD video and get transfer speeds up to 60MB/s. Every card is designed to meet security, capacity and performance of the top devices.

SanDisk microSD™ cards help you capture more memories by increasing your storage and giving your smartphone more responsive camera and playback functions, so you can shoot in hi-res on the go. Choose reliable data storage with capacities ranging from 4GB all the way up to 200GB. Use the extra space for a few of your favorite video and photo editing apps!

Keep Your Back to School memories safe with SanDisk

Those of us with iPhones and iPads aren’t left out in the cold, don’t worry! Did you know SanDisk makes USB storage for Apple devices? They’ll let you easily and quickly transfer photos and data between your iPhone, iPad and your PCs. Plus they help free up valuable memory.

Keep Your Back to School memories safe with SanDisk

One of my favorite SanDisk memory products, though, is for Android devices. They have a super handy Dual USB drive that lets you easily transfer just about anything to and from you Android device and a computer. I actually have one of these that I used to put music on my boyfriend’s phone for him. I also use it to transfer photos from his phone to my computer.

Whichever SanDisk memory option you choose, Best Buy is the place to get it.   Visit their SanDisk product page to learn which device is right for you. It’s super user-friendly and full of tips, charts and videos, so you can figure out exactly which SanDisk memory product is ideal for your needs.

How do you capture authentic back to school memories? Share in the comments!