School photo day is soon approaching at our school and given the nature of our business – I have to confess I’m a little bit excited. Being in the business of School Years Photo Frames, I can’t wait to add another photo to my kid’s frames and will be excitedly anticipating the arrival of the photo packs home in the kid’s school bags.
I recently read an article published by Go Ask Mum that really got to me (click here to read). It was the story of a child who happened to be missing his two front teeth, and bless his little heart, had a motley little smile. The mum was shocked to discover that the school photography company, without any discussion or approval from the family, had digitally altered the photo by adding the missing teeth back into the picture. How bad is that! As much as we love to see our kids looking proud and smart in their school photos, they are who they are that year. Make no bones about it, missing teeth, bad hair, weird smile – we all accept and love these photos as they are. We should be aiming for a true and accurate record how our kids looked that year, imperfections and all, we don’t need them to be digitally enhanced. We don’t need someone else’s opinion of how our children should look. Now that we have our School Years Photo Frames on display, it’s even more important.
After reading this article it got me thinking about a family portrait we had done a couple of years ago. It was a school fundraising opportunity which we jumped on, as I always find it hard to schedule family photo sessions into our hectic life. On the day I had all the family “colour coordinated” so our clothes wouldn’t clash (I know, it’s a bit sad), brushed everyone’s hair, washed faces and even put my face on – and I though we all scrubbed up just great! You can imagine my surprise when I received the photos a few weeks later to find that our gorgeous 8 year old daughter had been “digitally enhanced”! Without consultation with me, they took it upon themselves to enhance her lips, giving the effect of pink lipstick (see photo). As much as it did match her pretty dress, it was most certainly was not the look I was going for, for our little girl. On closer inspection it was obvious that they had touched us all up – applying a filter to smooth out everyone’s skin and the pink lipstick effect on me too. Now personally, in this instance for ME, I didn’t mind as I probably needed all the help I could get that day, but was this really necessary for 4 and 7 year old boys? I don’t think so.
We need to embrace our children for who they are and how they look at that moment in their life. They change so much over the years, going from totally cute, to gappy smiles, awkward pre-teens, tall, short, chubby, pimply and so on, until they finally emerge as those beautiful young adults they were destined to be. This is what we love most about School Years Photo Frames, it’s a timeline of your child and how they looked and changed during their school years.
So on photo day next week, I might take a second look at their faces, check for any breakfast remains, as they head out the door - but I’m not going to stress. I am not going to set the alarm early to construct a killer hairdo for my daughter. Instead I will rely on the lovely Class Carer mums who volunteer to check each child has a straight tie and no obvious cocky’s before they have their photo taken, and love them just the way they are.