Friday, June 15, 2012

Class Photo Debacle

I'm on a tear - again. This time it's the class photo. We were expecting a normal, traditional class photo with the students sitting in rows, teachers on the side, most of the kids (hopefully ours) smiling into the camera - or at least looking at it.

Oh no! That is not what we received - at all. The school decided to do something different - and while I'm all for that and think the photo is unique, different, and whimsical it's not at all what I want for my daughter to have for the rest of her life.

What came instead is a long photo - not the traditional size, but a long photo with clusters of children photoshopped together in a row. There are about 4-7 children in each cluster, all in different poses. The unfortunate and most outrageous thing is that my daughter - in her cluster - is laid out on the floor on her stomach with her elbows propping her up and another child standing over her, straddling her, hands on hips (the other child's hips, not Cate's). It's deplorable.


This is for her to have to remember all the children she started her education with - the kids who were her first BFF's and the kids who will remember her - years from now when they're all adults and successful (or not) they can post of Facebook and say, remember when we were in reception? And my child is on the ground with another child looming over her as if she shot her in a big-game safari.

To say the least, as I'm wont to do, I freaked out completely. This is not what I want for Cate. I am trying to teach her to stand up for herself, to be her own person, etc.etc. and here she is laying down with someone on top of her.  When I finally looked at the photo (we had it for a few days but I've been too busy to deal and just pulled it out this morning so I could order it) I nearly exploded. I know I have a tendency to get a bit hot under the collar when it comes to my children (lest ye forget - here's how I handled the Great Pumpkin Debate while pregnant).

I cooled off and then complained to the school that I wasn't happy with the photo. I then called the photographer to see if there were any alternate poses we could choose from. No there were not. So I spoke to the other mothers and some were not happy with the photo - and their children weren't even on the ground! So, I've proposed to take another photo outside the classroom, on the steps in a traditional fashion with the teachers. The photographer mum in the class has agreed to take the photo and we'll provide a free emailed copy to everyone so that people have alternatives.

I'm waiting for permission from the school that it's okay. If they no... well, let's not think about that. Once I get a bee in my bonnet no one will rest until I get what I want. And I want a normal, traditional, decent photo for my Cate to have of her reception class that will make her proud. Then, and only then, will I be happy and let it go. I overreacting?


  1. Aah, this is like my son's class photo for this year too, though he's in a group holding hula hoops! I can certainly see what you mean, and I think your solution is a great idea. Even if the school don't agree, you could go ahead anyway without teachers in it (I know it's not the same). We had very disappointing individual photos this year. They had Toby in a strange pose and didn't capture him smiling - he didn't really look ready for the camera, and I know a lot of other parents were disappointed with their kid's photos too. It's a shame as some other schools use photographers which take a variety, post them online (password protected), then you get to pick which one you like the best. I've got an awful school photo of me - I was about 14 and ready to smile when the photographer sternly told me not to smile as I had braces on my teeth. So there I am, unsmiling, eyes brimming with tears!

  2. Um, not overreacting at all. If it was just a different arrangement of kids standing somewhere else or something I would say you were, but your daughter is on the ground?? That is not right at all.

  3. That sounds really odd. I think perhaps the school should have asked the parents' opinion before opting for such a different style of school photo. What's wrong with traditional class pics?

  4. Why bother getting permission? Arrange it on a Saturday morning and go when no one will be around. You know the school will say no because then they have to admit they hired a lunatic to take school photos.

  5. Not overreacting at all.

    We had a traditional photo again this year (thank gawd) Sadly a child at the back, on the highest tier, projectile vomitted over the sea of children below him. Do hope the photographer had the camera set to 'sport.' Looking forward to seeing those proofs.

  6. Don't ask permission. It is better to apologize for doing something than to be told "no" and then disobey. If the teachers are not in the picture, photoshop them in. If no one purchases the pictures, that sends a real message. Plus, object to the photographer being used for your school. Other schools in the system will have unhappy parents, too. Start a blog for the whole issue.


Go ahead, make my day!