Published On: Wed, Jun 3rd, 2015

The School Photo – “I am sick of paying for school photos before I see them!”

IMG_2598Every year since my kids started preschool I have purchased the class and individual photo. When I would consider the option of not buying them, it just didn’t sit well and I would almost feel it my duty envisaging some stranger throwing a fistful of guilt at me, “you don’t want a photo of your child”?

Every year since my three kids have had a sibling photo together, my son Aidan has been disjointed from the other two stirring feelings of disappointment. This year I got tired of this photo not being perfect. After 3 years you would think I would have at least one good sibling picture. So this time I wrote on the payment envelope about my gripe and am now crossing my fingers awaiting the next batch of school photos to come home.

I’m annoyed. Why I am paying for photos before I see them, and while photo companies will tell you you can get a refund, we still get attached to that photo because it’s our kids! Yes yes I understand it can be difficult to collect all monies once the photos have been handed out, but in this age of technology, shouldn’t we be able to see our children’s pictures online before we purchase? Copyright concerns can be easily taken care of with water marks across the photos.

There is no excuse for a bad professional photo these days. With digital cameras the photographer gets to see on the fly what they are producing. I do think however that they should have some system in place which puts the last taken photo up onto a bigger screen where they can see facial expressions and the finer details that paying parents will be looking at, details that you can’t see on a tiny camera screen.

In the meantime I shall be crossing my fingers like thousands of other parents that the recent school photos taken will be worth the money. Above all, I want it to look as professional as it should, rather than taken by the parent volunteer on canteen duty that day, and I’m sure she takes an okay photo.

Danielle Mantakoul
Copyright 2015

Displaying 7 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Lynda says:

    Hi Georgie

    I am going to recommend your services to our school. I really liked your reply – sounds like a great service and great sttitude. I also had a look at your website and the school photos are great.

    Regarding the reply from Kerrie – yes, we do expect the photographer to take time and get decent photos, that’s why up to 30 sets of parents end up paying for the same photo !!!

  2. Kerrie says:

    I don’t see the problem with your photo, Yes, its the photographers job to make sure the photo is professional, which yours seems to be, its in focus, the DOF is fine, but, if you expect the photographer to tell your child how to smile, thats crazy! I bet if you asked your child on command to smile, you will not get the ‘natural face’ we all want, instead more than likely get the ‘fake face’, you are lucky your kids are all looking the same way, let alone smiling! I would expect you have paid a minimal amount for your school photos, compared to the cost of professional portrait… if your expecting the photographer to take the time & make sure your children are how you want them to be, perhaps you need to pay for a professional portrait sitting. (which could be some 4-5 times the price your paying for school photos, and this is just for the sitting) This is NOT possible with school photos, at school pricing. I am a mother of 3 children myself, so i know from a mothers point of view what your wanting, & i am also a child photographer.

    • If it’s not the photographers job to get kids smiling then I don’t know what is. Isn’t that what all those silly words are for to make kids look like they are smiling? Great customer service is about making the customer happy ie we the parents rather than a “we can’t help it” attitude.

  3. Rebecca says:

    I have had a few more years of disappointment and now I don’t bother buying the individual or sibling photographs. I can take a better photograph myself. I do still get the class photo.

    • Danielle says:

      Yes I am a sucker for the class photo too Rebecca. Nice to have pics of their classmates for them to look back on. I know it makes me smile to see some of the kids in my own class photos.

  4. Georgie Beck says:

    As a frustrated parent and photographer, getting photos back that looked like they were from the 70’s each year, I decided to start a contemporary, affordable school photo company, We have the answers to all your problems-
    You can view your photos before you buy.
    We take more than one photo of your child so you have choice.
    You are given a unique shootkey so only you can view your photos.
    We also include a high resolution download for every photo.
    It is also low administration for the school.
    Please check us out and you can have photos that you want to frame.
    Georgie Beck

Leave a comment