How Many Portraits Does One Kid Need?

school picture dayLast week it was soccer pictures. Next week, school picture day.

And I've been warned by the other parents: each activity means another pile of pictures.

Dance. T-Ball. Basketball.

How many stuffy portraits does one kid really need?


You don't have to tell me that photos of your kids are important -- I have a photography business in addition to writing by day.

But the kid sitting with glazed eyes and a forced grin has always been more necessary evil than, well, necessary.

And that was when I thought it was just a one-time-a-year kind of thing wherein you get your kid into the yearbook so years later you can pull it out and show their college boyfriend their really bad hair in third grade. 

I may Photoshop out bug bites, but my view of childhood through a lens is completely candid. I don't want her with her chin just so and the same hazy blue background behind her.

I have one of those from her nursery school. And it's still sitting in an envelope somewhere (what? it's the purchase that counts, right?).

So why would I want that four times over every year? A friend said her school even does two picture days: the typical September shot for the yearbook and a second in the spring to waste more of parents' money document how they've aged in a school year.

The parents can always say no, of course, but that's not without repercussion. Your kids complain, the other kids look at them funny, and when they aren't in the team shot, you get dirty looks from the coach for gumming up the works. 

In other words, Mom, Dad, you suck.

And everyone is going to let you know it.

So parents, it's time to stand up and shove our hands in front of the lens together. Just how many of these portraits does one kid need?

Image via neurofibromatosis/Flickr

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