School pictures suck, let’s face it. Their only uses are filling the yearbook with pictures your friends will laugh at, bullies will scan to facebook and humiliate you with, and cops will show to victims (you know some cops buy yearbooks to use as mug shot books, right?).
But some people actually use school pictures as the only record of their child’s existence. Thankfully cheaper digital cameras make it easy for almost anyone to take a frame-worthy picture of their child, which often cannot be said of school pictures.
I mean, look at the above gem. The kid looks like Lizzy Borden the evening she took a sudden liking to an axe. No one should look angry in school pictures.
Some of the blame lies with thieving parents. School takes picture, school sends proofs home, parents scan prints and don’t buy anything. Parents print pictures at CVS, since Wal-Mart asks too many questions. Now schools (and lots of other places- dance class, softball teams, gymnastics) make you pay in advance. What? Can you imagine any other artwork you have to pay for in advance before looking at? CDs? Nope. Wall Art? Nope…
How hard is it to print “proof” in big letters across the proofs? They could send those home.
And how hard is it to sell prints a la carte? If I want an 8×10 I have to buy the $50 package that also comes with a few 5x7s and three sheets of wallet sized pictures that wind up in the trash. Grandma is going to hijack the larger sheets. She doesn’t want a wallet sized photo, no one does. Who gives these out to random strangers? That’s creepy. If I want a picture of my kid to carry around and force on people, I can just take a photo of my 8×10 with the phone and show it to them.
The other problem with school pictures is that stupid logo in the corner. Even if it is a really nice photo, it says “life touch” or “olan mills” in the corner in gold leaf. So everyone knows your only pictures of your child are school photos. So you only have a few choices, go back to CVS, scan it, crop the thing and blow it up a little to get rid of the logo, OR use a paper cutter to crop it the old fashioned way and get a special mat cut for the frame for your odd size photo.
What other photographer forces you to put their ad on a photo? If I got pro pictures done and there was a logo on the thing, I’d stop payment on the check. That’s just wrong. You don’t buy a wedding cake where they write “Steve’s Bakery” across the front on bright red icing. That’s just wrong.
So, rebel against school pictures. You know they give a portion of their profits to the school, right? They aren’t that concerned with taking good pictures, just selling a LOT of them. Go somewhere else to take your child’s photo. Sears portrait studio, if you have to. Or take them yourself. The school will still take yearbook photos, after all, they have a duty to humiliate your child.