When Mom Gets Sick on School Picture Day

My daughter is quite adept at posing for the camera.

She can play it sweet and cute

naughty or nice

Silly and Excited for instr.gram iPhone pics when she loses yet ANOTHER tooth (still cute)



Having fun with giant fruit

Snow White


So — I’m completely stumped as to how a ‘professional’  can take my beautiful, freckle faced 7 year old, whose smile lights up a room and produce this —

img001 ** I couldn’t even sit up on the day of school pics so we got herself ready.  We’re still not sure who did her hair or why the photographer thought a 7 year old should have their tongue showing in a picture.

*** Don’t even get me started on the “background”


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  1. You know, I’m sure, that as a professional photographer I just laugh at the school pictures that come home. I never ever ever order them. I made the mistake of pre-ordering them the first time, because that was our only option, and boy was I pissed at the waste of money. Those backgrounds are RIDICULOUS! I think modern photographers like you and I just don’t have the desire to process and print 1000 school photos a week and that’s why there seem to be zero good school photographers.

    1. Thanks 😉 I love her dress — she did try, bless her. She even brushed her hair perfectly straight and parted, she was so proud. I’m not sure who ‘fixed’ her hair for her.

      She just looks nothing like my child — it’s so weird.

      1. I have several where my girls are hugging trees or with a crooked neck like they can’t move. My son is always making a scrunched up face in his photos.
        The zigzag part looks like someone was trying to poof up her hair.
        What does Princess think of the picture?

  2. Are you still allowed to have retakes done? It must be a special skill to take a beautiful sparkly child and turn them into a dull toothless wonder! Ahhh school photos! They haunt us forever!

    1. Sadly, they don’t do spring re-takes.
      I did buy two *sheets* because her feelings don’t need to be hurt and everyone should have a memory of school photos, right? I should share mine with y’all! LOL

  3. Well Rach…you know my feeling on school pictures lol I won’t order them and haven’t ordered them. When Matt got his senior pictures done, we had to do them at the “big box” place for the yearbook. I think they sent me 4 emails and one phone call on why I hadn’t ordered them.

    Just grin and bear it and cherish the ones you take 🙂 Take her out to a park at the golden hour in that dress and do your own 😉

  4. Now she’ll have something really fun to share at all those 2000’s parties she goes to when she’s 40! Seriously, school pics are the worst!

  5. That is why we have to prepay. This happens to me almost every year. My daughter says that the “photographer” is really just a college kid in a hurry to process all the kids through. The child is rarely comfortable, or natural in that situation. Our school has spring portraits next week and they are always worse than the fall photos; from the tacky backgrounds to the uncomfortable, unnatural required pose. My daughter refuses to stand that way.

  6. Oh’ you’d just love Zoe’s pictures!! For some
    odd reason they took off her shoe’s!
    Not only once but twice!! They did the same thing last year!
    I can’t fathom for the life of me why?? Haha
    Tell me why a professional would think that’s expectable, like we didn’t
    have enough photos of our child without her shoes, lol
    It’s beyond ridiculous !!

  7. School photos are just so awful. I was so excited to see Sabrina’s preschool photos were outside in a natural setting – they were amazing. Why do school photographers insist on those horrible backgrounds and stiff poses?

  8. I was going to post a blog on the exact same topic! My 6 yr old is a natural in front of the camera….and as a photog I have millions of photos to prove it ;c) BUT, for some reason her school pictures are always HORRIBLE. Her head is down too far and she is trying to look up at the camera, or in the latest one, she was so hunched over her head looked soooo awkward! I helped out on school picture day and was offered a free photo package as to which I declined. What in the world would I do with package of horrible pictures??

  9. For what it’s worth, I think she looks beautiful. The tongue thing is a little funny — but that’s what school photos are supposed to be: snapshots of a moment in time we look back on and laugh. Like the year our teeth were missing, we wore that terrible plaid shirt, cut our own bangs or … the year we stuck out our tongue.
    You capture the natural, electric, honest moments with your camera. The school captures the forced and stilted. At least, that’s how I look at it.
    That said, I think she looks fantastic (especially her hair).

  10. I hated the background also! My child got lost in because he wore a yellow shirt. Your daughter does have a beautiful smile and it doesn’t seem like her in the school picture. I also bought two sheets to have the “memories”. I told my son that I didn’t like the pictures, but that it wasn’t him, it was the way they had him smile, or smirk rather, and he just got lost in the background. Oh well, there’s always next year right???? lol

  11. I got almost the exact shot of my 9 year old a few weeks ago. In our district, they do traditional school pics at the first of the year and then about this time every year they do what they call “creative portraits” with a “scene” and the option of (awful) sepia processing. They print picture packages, including a sheet of key chains and trading cards and SEND THEM HOME with the kids to convince their parents to buy. Half the time the kids have punched out the key rings and handed them out to friends before they even hit their front door–forcing parents to cough up the cash and buy them. But for a kid, how do you resist that? It’s SHADY if you ask me and it makes me bristle.

  12. I may have to do my own post on this topic as well. GMan’s school pics this year were AWFUL. The worst part is, the school he currently attends has always used a private, local photog, not those typical operations that specialize in school portraiture. This guy’s normal prices are outrageous and his school photo packages are way more expensive than at the public schools. BUT we always got really good school pictures, until this year. I bought the cheapest set I could get but man, I was so disappointed.

  13. Probably the same “professionals” who gave us photos of my older daughter in the middle of saying something (yes, her mouth looked like she was talking in the pic), and photos of my younger daughter with crazy eyes, head thrown back and with her mouth wide open.

    I’m starting to wonder what the qualifications are for school photographer? (I just got their school photos this week and now I’m temped to post them, too. So bad.)

  14. Pretty pretty girl nonetheless! 🙂

    Our school does fall AND spring portraits ugh so I feel obligated to buy at least one set but they are never that good. We had one surprisingly great photo from last year. That’s the only one I can recall.

  15. If you used one of those 70’s actions on that photo it would look just like a Sears portrait circa 1975 completely with unrealistic nature scene. I love it.

    I always purchase at least one 5×7 of the crappy school pics for my kids. I think they’re a right of passage and something for your siblings to make fun of you for when you get older. We still tease my sister for the 5th grade photo of her biting her lip, with her eyes as wide open as they can possibly be. She looks like she’s seen a ghost. And they all still tease me about my 9th grade photo complete with massive 80’s glasses, feathered hairdo and with my eyes half closed.

    Ahhh, good times. Good times.

  16. All of the pics you took were super cute!

    Picture day is always kind of irritating to me. I can take really cute pics of my kids at home but then at school they take a picture and my daughter looks like she has black eyes and someone is pinching her. And I have to pay for these pics.

  17. I hate school pictures. I never buy them anymore. I just get them taken at JC Penney in the city where I can choose the ones I want and say “No, I don’t like that , take it over :)”

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