I’m the parent of a junior in high school and I got the email. Your child has been scheduled on – date, at – time for their senior school picture. I read that and all I thought of was muddled blue background, fake smile and a deer caught in headlights look. My son’s big, beautiful, blue eyes and long thick dark eyelashes are going to be completely masked by the “I don’t want to be doing this” expression!
Is that how I get to mark the end of the past 17 years? There was pre-school when he got 9 stitches for running into the brick wall while playing tag (possibly my favorite picture of him). Or how about elementary school; teaching him how to ride a bike, watching him win the mini-invention contest or scoring his first goal. Then there was junior high school which I think most parents (and kids) would prefer to forget. And finally, high school; first dance, first date, learning to drive…
All of those firsts, experiences, days and nights become part of who they are. It is embedded in them and has evolved into those looks and gestures you know all too well.
It’s how they give you that quizzical look with the twinkle in their eyes when you say no and they know deep down it’s going to be yes. It’s how they let their hair fall across their face and look down at the ground when they’re feeling a little uncomfortable.
Now, let’s go back to exactly why sitting in front of a blue backdrop and being asked to smile on command is a good idea.
I really don’t think that scenario will allow your crazy, beautiful, quirky child, who has developed over the past 17-18 years to shine through. Do you? Think about it. Maybe you should find a photographer to spend some time with them to uncover those looks and gestures that are just under the surface but make up exactly who your child is. Or maybe even to allow them to move around a little bit! That’s how I intend on marking the end of my son’s school years prior to college. We’ll get the 2×3 for the yearbook, but being he is not one for sitting or for that matter doing anything on command, we’re going to get images of him being exactly who he is. I know just the photographer for him!
P.S. I can hear it now, but Paige you only photograph girls! Stay tuned, with enough interest I will be opening up a few sessions for guys this summer. I’ll need your comments below or a quick email to convince me this is a good idea.