Picture This – Revamping School Photos

awkwardschoolphoto

School is well underway and school pictures are just around the corner. The good, bad, ugly and awkward. In the digital age of parenthood, are you still buying them?

Today’s school photographers offer retouching and retaking options as an attempt to retain your business. But even those extras come under fire. In the age of positive body image, does your beloved tween really need to Photoshop out that zit?

My kids’ school photo package doesn’t allow me to purchase any fewer than eight of the chosen pose. I try to remember to take one to Grandma, I put one on my desk at work, but who else wants these? In my school days, kids cut and exchanged photos with each other. My boys don’t seem interested in that. So I file five or six school mug shots away in their plastic “keepsakes” box in a closet.

Why do I even purchase the minimum package? Thanks to my phone and digital storage, I take a lot more photos of my kids than my parents ever did. Just like social media is pushing out the class reunion, isn’t it also pushing out other traditions, like school photos?

In order to stay relevant, photographers must innovate. But instead of retouching, why don’t these school photographers offer social media packages? Picture this: Instagram-ready filters from which moms can choose. User-submitted digital background options for added customization (no more gray or brown!). Optimally sized digital versions per social platform. Thirty-second digital video interviews in addition to the sit-and-pose still image.

Are you a loyal school photo purchaser? What do you do with the photos? Where do you see this annual tradition headed in the future?

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