2020 - The Death of the School Photograph
2020 you just keep on taking don't you. If you have primary school children then the words 'school photograph' will no doubt resonate with you and fill you with joy and horror at the same time. Usually, on one day a year near to the start of term the day comes for the mandatory school photograph. I always felt such pressure to make sure my son looked smart, with his school jumper nicely ironed, his hair looking vaguely presentable and ensuring there was no remnants of breakfast around his mouth before sending him off to school for his photograph. It sounds ridiculous as I know the kids are ferried in and out of the booth at record speed and made to shout 'spaghetti bolognese' as quick as they can, but I think it just brings back memories from when we were going through the same at school.
I still remember to this day every.single.school photograph that I had taken. Not just one either as I had to sit next to my sister for the second sitting (my sister who hated me and I hated her with equal measure) and we had to lovingly smile at the big, scary man behind the camera. I remember one occasion when my mother (who I love dearly) had just taken me to the hairdresser to have my hair cut off. I don't mean a trim but a full man's cut. I had lovely long hair with curls and my mum didn't want the hassle of dealing with my hair when on holiday so she had the whole lot cut off. I'm not exaggerating. The longest bit of my hair was about an inch long. I shall find a photo for evidence but I'm sure you can picture how awful this was. I then had to sit in front of a camera so it could forever haunt me on my mothers wall.
So I'm not a fan of school photographs. If I'm honest I haven't purchased any of my son's photographs- he looked lovely in them (obviously as I'm biased) but the actual photos were awful. His jumper logo was cut off and his head filled the whole photograph pretty much. I don't want my son reliving my terror so I vowed never to display a photo of my son that didn't fill me with love and pride. However I do keep the small cutout preview in my purse for posterity purposes!
If you have viewed my website you will also have noticed that my style is all about showing off natural personality. Studio photography doesn't allow for this and this is why I always encourage people to choose the outdoors when children are involved. Let them be children. Let them run riot. Let them relax and enjoy the experience.
Just because the school photograph is cancelled doesn't mean we can't start a new story. This family wanted to capture the 'first day at school' and this is what we did. The only difference was there was no fake background, no studio lights and no stress. I love kids; I especially love seeing kids being kids. If 2020 has taught us anything it has taught us not to sweat the small stuff and to enjoy every day. Capture those memories. and PRINT THEM!