Dear School Photographers:

The National Retail Federation says families with children in grades K-12 this year plan to spend an average of $673.57 per child to ready them for school. And within a few weeks, school pictures will again dip into parents’ wallets. 

As a septuagenarian, this grandma has a bone to pick with the photographers that want to pose nursery school and early elementary children as petulant, sexy or arrogant versions of music and Hollywood stars. Who thought the “thrust out shoulder and hand on hips look” should capture the excitement of a child learning to read?

Please pardon the 1950 look of this hand-colored portrait, but the emphasis then focused on the face. By contrast, when I searched the web for current images used for school photos, I was amazed by the number of yoga positions suggested as poses. I’ve just never thought of downward facing dog as     the school photo of my grandchild! 
Could photographers just focus on faces? Who doesn’t love those first grade classics of grins that show missing teeth? And what about the new glasses that lend such an intelligent air to a third or fourth grader? 

As children move into the upper grades, school photos need not mimic Snapchat and Instagram selfies that litter the Internet. I sigh quietly when Midleschoolers post provocative poses that garner over 100 likes in a few minutes.  Surely the eye of a trained photographer can do more than duplicate insecure teens seeking web affirmation! 
Webster’s Dictionary defines childlikeness as “resembling, suggesting or appropriate to childhood: marked by innocence, trust and ingenuousness; childlike delight.” 

Yup! For sure I will buy a package of photos that captures those attributes!

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