Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dear School Portrait Photographers,

Since when are you people qualified to be personal stylists?

I do not, repeat, DO NOT want you combing my child's hair--especially if you don't understand the concept of how hair naturally lays.

Big Kid's hair was clearly, obviously and unmistakenly parted one way but for some reason you felt compelled to comb the front part of his hair in the opposite direction from the rest of it. I am completely baffled.

Even if you think it would look better from how I do it--DO IT MY WAY. It's my kid, it's my $40 on pictures that almost always turn out like crap.

Big Kid has had school pictures taken three times so far in his life, and one of you beautician wannabes has done your magic 2 out of 3 times. From here on out I will be specifically telling him NOT to let you near him with a comb, no matter what.

I'd rather it be messy than unrecognizable. Just do your job, not his hair.

kthxbai,
Ashley

26 comments:

Funny in my mind said...

And someone wet my sons hair in 2nd grade and he looked like Wheres Waldo.......

Theresa said...

Our son's last picture looks so bad that we just didn't buy it. The year before it was my daughter. I always thought I would be grateful to them for trying to straighten up my little urchins, but clearly they don't know what they are doing.

Ashley said...

We have to pay before the photo is even taken--that's why those bastards don't care. If it's too ridiculous I'll accompany to him on re-take day with my own comb to fight them off.

Fuckers.

Kira said...

Use a can's worth of hairspray on picture day. They won't be able to move it without a jackhammer, but if you get the right HS you won't be able to see how stiff it is! Lol. You'd think with lice being as rampant as it is in elementary schools that they'd keep their combs to themselves... *shudder*

brown eyed girl said...

My parents had to pay in advance too. I always was soooo upset/pissed/felt ugly whenever they did my hair. Those little freebie combs are more a treat for the photographer than they are for us kids getting photgraphed.

Wow. I never realized I felt so passionately about this.

Queen of the Misfits said...

I agree, it is funny that you posted this today, my kid is taking Spring pics at school as we speak. I might as well have thrown 40.00 out the window of the car on the way to work.

Shannon said...

The cutest childhood picture of my dad is his 4th grade pic. He's missing several teeth, has on a loud print shirt and his hair is sticking up like a rooster! He said it was combed one way when he got there, but then the photogs handed out little combs and he unknowingly combed it the other way!

Joy said...

Yea I totally forgot about the spring pics and didn't send him in picture worthy clothes so those did not get purchased:)

Jennifer said...

Don't hate me. My kid's best pictures have been made at her pre-k. I don't know if it because I'm not there or what, but they do a great job. The never change her hairstyle and they come first thing in the morning.

One time they did a 50's background and fixed them all up in fifties gear. So cute. They were her best pictures ever. That is the one time they did her hair, but it was to put it in a more 50's style.

Kate said...

I HATE the fact that they give those little black combs for them to use right before they take the picture. I despise PICTURE DAY! I only EVER buy the cheapest pack just to have something to put in their scrapbook.

Former Fat Chick said...

you need to show the pic!

Also, the HUBS just got ANOTHER motorcyle... I am going to e-mail you video and your little kid is going to GO NUTS! It is very bad ass, he will beg you to come meet the BAD DUDE I am married to!

Fluffy Windover said...

When I was in 2nd grade, the school photographer CUT A PIECE OF MY HAIR that was sticking out of my ponytail wrong. Like, a big piece. So not right. It was traumatic.

Catfish said...

OMG! You have to post the school pictures! They'll be hilarious. Also you should do your own yearly school pictures of the boys...you are an amazing photographer.

Kimberly said...

Princess brought home school pictures that clearly have a prepubesant boob shot. What kindof perv doesn't correct that?

Melodie said...

As a mom who always volunteered on school picture day (after Sarah's first school pics came out horrible without me being there), I can tell you that, at least at my girls' elementary school, the photographers are not the ones who are messing with your child's hair. Usually, one of the volunteering parents are the ones who do that. When I was in charge of the hair, I would never mess with a child's hair if it looked like the parent had put a lot of effort into it (the amount of hair product used was a big clue here), and I never messed with a child's hair unless they wanted me to.
Another thing to mention is that the reason they have a voluteer do the kids' hair instead of letting them have the combs to do it themselves is because some kids these days like to keep the combs to use as weapons against each other. If I had a child who wanted to comb their own hair, I would hand him the comb and make him throw it away as soon as he was finished so he could sneak it out in his clothes.
Sorry this ended up being so long.

Alex and Ashley said...

This happened to my son too! I went through all the trouble of making him wear a nice shirt and when I got the pictures back his shaggy hair was akwardly combed to the wrong side! Naturally it usually goes to one side but it looks like they had to force it and slick it to the opposite side!
Super annoyed at this.

gloria plunkett said...

I absolutely love this post. I shot for one of the big school portrait companies for a year and this is SO true! They actually trained us to wet down kids hair and comb it for them. Some kids came up with notes pinned to them from parents that said DO NOT TOUCH THE HAIR! I'm a freelance photographer now & do school portraits and I guarantee hair doesn't get messed with! You couldn't have said it better. :)

sallychan said...

As a school photographer, I feel compelled to leave my two cents. As a parent, you might indeed know how to style and in fact try to style your childs hair before they leave the house. Between your home and my camera there are many hair messing factors that come into play. Recess, snacks, gym class and their own urge to be creative in the bathroom mirror. There have been many occassions where I have almost been sick to my stomach because a child has sat down for their picture with hair so greasy you could fry potatoes in it, b.o., messy clothes, stains, lice, coughing in our face, in need of a chiropractor and frankly often rude and without confidence. Most often the grade 6-8's. So before you go snapping about our inabilities, try a day behind the lens. Ps a portrait sitting Starts at 350.00. So when your ready to pay up, I welcome your styling skills.

Ashley said...

Sally, your comment is weird, you used "your" instead of "you're", and I spent 2 years doing children's photography...so yeah.

Congrats on your sitting fees (which I think are a rip off), I'll still do my own kid's hair, thanks.

Anonymous said...

As a professional photographer, I have to say that reading these comments, parents are pretty unrealistic when it comes to school photos. Basically, it is a line up of kids one after the other, for hours on end. It's not the photographers job to do your kids hair. That belongs to the parents.

Ashley said...

Anonymous, that's the whole point of the post--NOT to do my kid's hair. I'd rather it be messy than wet down and slicked the wrong way. Most parents seem to agree.

KG said...

I strongly suggest you speak to the photography company who arranges the photos. Frankly, I feel they are so caught up in competition with other companies, that they are not stopping to pay attn to what the needs of the parents are. Seeing you are buying the photos, or not... you need to let them know what you think of their posing, backdrops, lighting and grooming etc. SAa

Natalie said...

I am a professional photographer as well and am always happy to hear parents feedback. I know there are hundreds of photography companies, but the majority of them do not touch the children's hair with a comb or brush, maybe just takes hair out of their face.As you said, we are photographers, not stylist. How old is your child? 95% of the time, teachers or assistants fix their hair, clothes, faces, ect for kids up to 3rd grade. Any older than that, we tell the children what to fix and have mirrors around so they know what they look like. It's tough from our prospective since the parents aren't there to see how the kids come to us. I had one child who was outside playing and to cool off decided to wet his whole head. It was a super goofy picture and we knew it would be a retake, but what can we do?
I know retakes are annoying, but the company should be easy to work with. While we are chatting.. do you have any other comments or suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Awesome!

Anonymous said...

As a School Photographer I can tell you from my over 32 years of doing this-
1- We almost NEVER touch a kids hair
2- We hand out the combs to PARENT volunteers with instructions to ONLY give them to a kid IF they need to be fixed NOT to everyone.
3- If you do not like the photo you are welcome to retake it AND come with your child to make sure it is the way you want.
4- IF you DO NOT want your child's hair combed- send a note to the teacher THEY DO tell us!
5- YES, IF your child looks like they just came in outta a hurricane we WILL ask a teacher or parent to please fix them up

IN most states we can't even touch them to help pose them much less comb their hair

886039d8-7a05-11e3-91b8-000f20980440 said...

As a professional school photographer of 33 years I can honestly say your expectations of picture day are strange. On the one hand, I agree with you, the photographers should never touch the hair! Most of the time this happens BUT, when a parent volunteer does it is when most of the trouble starts. Just send a note. Two,- to expect your child's portrait to be everybit as good as someone that comes into my studio and pays me a fee to be styled and lit correctly and make up etc, thats where you are wrong, THIS IS A SCHOOL PICTURE. Also, one more thing I'd like to address here is: Parents complaints about price- do you realize the overhead and lab expenses that are involved? Do you realize most schools want a 30-50% commission on the job? Do you know that the schools expect you to give them free stuff like teacher packages and CDs and Group shots and office materials? Next time you complain about price, take those things into consideration then you'll know why our prices are so high! We'd love to offer a $5 package and in some cases we HAVE to, any wonder why that package is only 2- wallets?