Today is School Picture Day.
What? It didn't register on your radar? You didn't mark your calendar?
Don't worry. I didn't either.
We did remember this morning, which is a vast improvement over past years when I've sent my children off to school in tie-dyed shirts, gym clothes, and Elegant's usual colorful outfits. Some years, I'm not even sure I washed the maple syrup off their faces.
Today, the girls gave some thought to what they were wearing, but I didn't guide them or suggest that they dress up. Hence, Graceful is wearing her usual uniform of t-shirt, casual pants, and sneakers.
I haven't always been so blase' about School Picture Day.
When I was growing up, SPD was a big deal. The one time of the year we had our photos taken by an actual professional. Occasionally my family would put on our church clothes and go to the Sears Photo Studio or some place equally not artistic.
We'd plan our outfits in advance for SPD. My mother would make sure that we kids matched so that our photos looked good when grouped together. My sister would roll her hair in hot pink sponge curlers. I'd either do the same or possibly sleep in braids overnight for an appropriately wavy effect that screamed "late 1970s."
Flash forward a couple decades to Graceful's first year in school. I think I sort of paid attention to SPD, but I don't know, maybe not. I'd have to go find the photos to see what she was wearing.
See, it just doesn't register with me.
I don't know what kind of people they hire to take these photos, but I question how much experience they have. I mean, I know it's a shitty job to take photos of hundreds of kids each day, but is it THAT difficult to get the kids to smile? Or to not tilt their heads in some asinine manner? Or to not look like deranged lunatics?
I've learned to buy the bare minimum photo package because the chances are really quite good that the entire lot is going to get tossed in the trash anyway. Yes, the photos have been that bad. And that's coming from me, the mother of two very photogenic kids. Think passport photos and you can get a good idea of what I'm talking about.
I'm not totally immune to the allure of having wonderful professional images of my children, which is why I have an appointment next week with a local photographer who I know will get amazing shots of my kids. We've been going to her for years and she's just terrific. She's more expensive, a helluva lot more than school photos, but oh so worth every penny and then some.
Here is a photo from three years ago:
The crappy quality of the photo itself is my fault, as I just did a quick scan.
Plus, the photographer won't let Elegant tilt her head like this:
Yeah, I know, she's pretty cute.