Thursday 22 October 2015

The School Photo Disaster...

It's a photo every parent has on their mantelpiece... that very first school photo. The little Reception child, smiling angelically and beaming with pure joy that they are finally big enough to go to school. I had it all planned in my head - I'd buy the Reception portraits, and the Year 6 portraits, and that would be it.

And then Ava brought her school photo home.

There's a bit of background to this one... last year, when Ava was in Nursery at a different school, we had a good giggle as the Mums when the photos came back. I don't think its an understatement to say that without exception, our children looked hideous. Grimaces, funny faces, and even closed eyes. It was as though the photographer had asked the children to look as ridiculous as they could, and then taken the shot.

So I hadn't bought the Nursery photo, and consequently, the Reception photo was all the more important. So I opened Ava's book bag with trepidation yesterday and pulled out her Reception photo.

The poor child looked like she was in pain!

"It's not a very nice photo of me, Mama..." she said matter-of-factly. "I don't look very happy, and I've got circles all over my face" (the watermark). I found I couldn't quite disagree with her. I spoke to her teacher at the end who admitted apologetically that a few of them hadn't turned out so well.

I marched home pretty frustrated... one photo... one decent photo. In the days of modern technology where you can see immediately if the photo is any good, why couldn't these photographers seem to get it right?

As a matter of principle, I was not about to part with £30 for a less than flattering picture of my eldest.

I have hundreds of photographs of the girls... but I wanted this one, just this one pretty portrait of her looking lovely in her school uniform against a clear backdrop to put on my mantelpiece and send to the Grandparents.

And so the idea dawned... I'll take it myself! How hard can it be?!

This is how hard it can be...

After taking about a hundred photos... and deleting about 90 that either had weird facial expressions or grimaces... I realised that actually these photographers have a pretty tough job on their hands. Four-year-olds have not yet perfected the art of the "natural smile" and posing is not in their repertoire.

After a while, I gave up, and just tried to make her laugh or chat to me...

And we got there... in the end!

By the time I had shots I was happy with, we'd been trying for about ten minutes. Multiply that by a school of nearly 500 children and I was slightly less irritated with the photographer than I had been at the beginning.

That's one tough job!

Have you had any school photo disasters?!

Do share in the comments below, and we can all have a good giggle!


  1. I have not brought any of Jack at CCC. BOTH YEARS HE HAS NOT LIKED THEM. THIS YEAR HE EVEN TORE IT UP! I think I will wait till Emma and Jack are both there and hopefully get a joint one

  2. I only ever brought one of Jons as the rest were awful. D took one every year and that was used for the Aunts. In Secondary school we brought them every other year and they are very nice. Perhaps our Tots photographer could be recommended next year

  3. School photos tend to be awful and over priced. I got Oscars first and second one but not doing it again. Wait for the class one! Oscars was horrific children folding their arms and hands on hips total attitude which I complained said what happens to traditional front facing all sitting standing nicely! By all accounts it was he 'relaxed' approach. I'll see if I can get out the said photos! The main thing that annoyed me is they had white background in p1, then in p2 changed it to blue which is nothing to do with school colour and doesn't match with year before so it looks really odd. X

  4. When I look at all of my school portrait photos - they were all disasters! But I kind of like that as an adult - it makes me chuckle rather than grimace! X

  5. Aww your pictures of her are lovely! I rather suspect that when Kitty's turn comes she'll just pull funny faces or go cross eyed! I think my parents bought one picture from the middle of primary school, my class photo for sixth form and my leavers photo from secondary sixth form, I suspect I must have had a number of disasters!


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