So here's the thing, school photography is wonderful for families with young children for the purpose it was intended; as a RECORD of their child's growth. Getting the photos done every year has traditionally been a great thing to do to ensure that you can tell the child's story during their growing years.
But a funny thing happened on the way to this visual story - smartphones.
If you look around on social media, you will see that parents capture 1000 times more 'record' photography of their child growing up than was ever done by school photographers, AND, with the advent of super duper smart auto exposure cameras, the images actually look pretty good!
School photography during the era of film was MUCH more important than it is today because amateur photographers using film struggled to get an image anywhere near as good as the professional school photographer.
Today it's a little different.
Today, school photography survives by teaching parents that the images are valued by how many they purchase. School photography is sold in 'packages' and 'prints' come on 'sheets' that contain X number of this size and Y number of that size.
So here you are buying a gazillion little pieces of paper with the same image on it, to do what with, I really am not sure, versus just opening your phone and seeing an infinite number of images that truly tell your child's story!
So what's the worst thing that school photography ever did?
School photography inadvertently taught people to buy mediocre photos of their child by the dozen rather than value that one priceless image worth investing in for the wall of their home.
Now, this is not to say that none of the images produced by the school photographer are good; certainly some images are nice enough that you may want to purchase. The real issue is that they become a commodity because they are designed to be purchased in quantity - they aren't able to really be special storytelling images because they were shot in about 90 seconds on picture day.
Our advice? Use the money you would spend on school photography and print your own photos, and then save and plan to have truly special portraits created that are worth the investment for your wall because you will never get tired of seeing them every day in your home.
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