Thursday, March 24, 2011

Just smile and nod

The Racket


Oh, School Photographer ...

How despised you've become.

You backgrounds are hokey, your lighting formulaic. Your three-quarter poses are always just a teeny bit off.

The smiles you elicit, time after time, make our children nearly unrecognizable.

You give us a menu of choices and then offer no substitutions. Of course then you make your own substitution and offer us the choice to fix it ... with reprints.

Oh, and your prices ... They make us cringe, and rail against you. Yet, they are cleverly concocted to ensure most of us return a check rather than the photographs.

It's just a business you're in. I know.

The ever-cheapening surprise in a Cracker Jack box.

It's not your fault.

Would these mothers and fathers of children complain if you were supplying any other product?

A second beer that tasted nothing like its predecessor would surely be rejected with more venom, no?

Amateurs. So what they take better pictures?

You have something they don't.

You are selling the school experience in all its Look-this-way-and-Smile awkwardness.

You are selling photographs that will come back to haunt people.

You are selling the stuff of blackmail.

Don't ever change.

6 comments:

Patrick said...

Whenever I'm in contact with another photographer, and I learn that they do school portraits, they lose a lot of credibility in my mind. Also, I put a mental asterisk next to their name.

mynonurbanlife said...

Were it not for my school photographs, there would be about a dozen pictures of me as a child, none of them of any quality at all. But those days are gone, and just about everyone has and uses a camera of some sort. We stopped buying the school photographs years ago. The girls didn't care even a little bit, we don't have a huge family to give them to, they were massively overpriced and this new thing of computerized backgrounds and super saturated colors just looks awful. In this age when there are thousands of photos of every child, I just don't see how this business survives.

toyfoto said...

I think the business survives because they provide the school with a service THEY don't have to pay for ... like photos for yearbooks.

Kristen said...

Fresh out of photography school, I interveiwed with a school photo company. They turned me down for the job because I was "over qualified." Same story with the company that photographed newborns at the local hospital.

toyfoto said...

Truthiness: I worked at a company that did weddings and school photos.

I was in sales. Not service.

Virtual Memory Archive said...

So so true. And yet I buy 'em every time and love to look at how the little darlings have changed over the years.