Cracking the Glass

My boys both brought home their much-anticipated school pictures last week. Somehow, these are by far their worst ones yet.

I’ve seen characters in horror movies with more pleasant facial expressions.

Hell, even Chucky the Killer Doll looks more sociable than these two.

What gives?

It’s like the photographers don’t bother waiting for a kid to be fully in position before snapping the picture.

And what are these photographers using for prompts?

“Suck on this lemon for 30 seconds, then smile!”

“Just heard your teacher say something about a pop quiz today…?”

“Whoa, did you just see that bat zoom by?”

Not only do school pictures get more expensive every year, there are also noticeably fewer pictures in the packages. Which, quite frankly, when they look that dismal, may not be such a bad thing.

But still, it’s the principal of the matter. There used to be enough pictures to wallpaper an entire bathroom . Now, what you get barely covers one of the small floor tiles.

And of course, you must commit to buying these things sight unseen. What kind of nonsense is that? It’s insane!

Speaking of insanity…

The photo packages range from $19 for the I Don’t Really Love My Child That Much package, which gets you a single 5×7 and four wallet sized photos, to the self-proclaimed Best Value! package, with a total of 19 photos, a cd with exactly one image on it, and three key tags, all for just $69!

If you really love throwing money away, there are all kinds of frivolous add-ons. Did you know you can add a sheet of 20 stickers for only $9!


Ultimately, I went with a more middle of the road package that clearly demonstrates I love my child a reasonable enough amount.

If you really think about it, the poor kids are totally set up for disaster on Picture Day.

Against all logic, it takes place at the very end of the day at least 99.9% of the time. After P.E., lunch, recess, and that 20 minute fire drill on the windiest day of the entire year.

This ingenious set up guarantees bloody toothed grins after face planting on the playground, black eyes from taking a hit to the face during dodgeball, hair sticking up in seventeen directions, pants split down the crotch after a morning bus stop dare gone wrong…

And, of course, there’s always the trademark red Kool-Aid stained mouth that makes it looks like the little vampire guzzled a vat of blood for lunch.

Oh well. Not all is lost.

The timing is actually fairly good, seeing as how my kids sort of resemble spooky ghouls and goblins in those photos. Maybe I can use them for Halloween decorations…

Say Boo!

A school picture is worth thousands of  words.

A school picture is worth thousands of words.


13 thoughts on “Cracking the Glass

  1. I’m right there with you! I actually am going to post on this soon too. I have boycotted the school’s photos for the past few years. The photographer sets up and shoots so many, it doesn’t cost them that much and the packages are more expensive and less product. F that.

    So, one year, I ended up going to Sears. I got a bigger package for less, and BETTER pictures. I think the schools started to catch on that parents were doing this instead and tried to add more options. However, the Sears photo place went out of business because everyone was using the coupon for basic portraits for like $19.00 and not purchasing the bigger stuff. Anyway, I then went to JC Penney. It cost more for a 2 year blanket sitting fee, but the packages were still cheaper and I could add whomever I wished to the sitting. So we had some friends do some pictures with us. Those are my favorite yet! The kids had on Icee T shirts from Old Navy and sipping on red or blue Icees with Icee cups. So cute!

    However, it’s been a couple of years. Grandma and Grandpa, and auntie want their pictures. Why? We take plenty of digital snap shots through the year and post on facebook and shutterfly. They can print out what they like. This year, my hubby said we have to send them this years pics. My son’s hair and face was just after PE and a forced/fake smile. My daughter, at least combed her hair, but it looks PUFFY. I hate them. But, I can’t seem to ever make it to JC Penney and now it’s holiday season- they are booked all the time. 🙂


  2. What? $19 doesn’t get you enough wallet sized photos of your little bundle of joy to give out to every stranger in town? And my parents thought that was a ripoff 3 decades ago.

    The same photographer who did the school pictures in my district also took the official pictures for high school graduation, which of course cost an arm and a leg. That once in a lifetime moment when you were presented with a rolled up piece of blank paper that was supposed to look like a diploma… they missed mine! I can’t remember what their excuse was, but it made me happy since I hate having my picture taken. At least until they offered to make up for it by having professional photos in my cap and gown made down at their studio…. complete with RETOUCHING! Sigh…

    Liked by 1 person

    • For that price, I expect to have enough photos to make a full deck of playing cards!

      I can’t believe they missed taking your graduation picture! Maybe the photographer was busy swatting a fly off the camera lens at that precise moment. 😀


  3. Hilarious, my friend! I’m dying to see one of those photos 😛 It’s funny though, ’cause I normally take the school portraits for my mom’s students and the kids are a total mess…always. Last time I did it, we ended up borrowing (basically stripping off) a perfectly clean shirt wore by one of the students to dress another one because he looked like he just rolled on mud before sitting on the chair. The horror!!! Looking back, I was just trying to save the photo shoot, but it was really not fair to the poor neat kid who had to stare at other sweaty kids use his shirt. I also have to agree with you that the first hours of the day are the best to get a semi decent portrait.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh wow, the thought of that poor kid having to share his clean shirt with a muddy mess! If only those “photo shoots” could always be first thing in the morning, the kids might actually stand a chance of looking like respectable human beings. But then again, where’s the fun in that? 😀


  4. School pictures do serve a valuable service in preparing us for the next-level horror photos assigned to our adult driver licenses. I eagerly await the day our fingerprints replace these fictitious images which simply don’t show anyone as their true self.

    Liked by 1 person

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