School Picture Forms: I’ll Never Get Those 12 Hours Back

Pictures days of old... I look like a cross between a Roman Catholic Nun and some kid in a Stephen King movie.

Pictures days of old… I look like a cross between a Roman Catholic Nun and some kid in a Stephen King movie.


Ya’ll, despite the 500 blog posts that seem to indicate otherwise, I am smart. Really smart.  Not so smart that I’m “scary” or “genius” or Nobel Prizey, but smart enough to finish numero uno at law school.  And I refuse to apologize for bragging about that, because FUCK PLAYING SMALL ALL THE DAMN TIME.  Plus, it underscores the important point I am about to make.

Why, for the love of Kodachrome, are my children’s picture day forms so dang hard to understand?  My two-year-old son’s form was about six pages single-spaced.  At first I thought it was too heady to comprehend because I was ovulating.  Then there was the government shut-down, which affected my higher functioning.  Was my brain shrinking? Was I pregnant? Why oh why couldn’t I figure out whether I wanted the “Giggle” package or the “Grins” one?  (Seriously, is there anything lamer than picture-day puns?  Where was the “shits-and-giggles” mega-deal package?)

My daughter’s form wasn’t much better, but I muddled through.  Then, my husband threw a wrench into the works by suggesting we sign Sadie up for the “retake” day.  While it’s factually accurate that the initial picture looked nothing like Sadie, and could hardly be construed as a “good” picture, I was offended that he suggested we do “retakes.”  How millennial can you be? I have years of less-than-stellar school pictures that are part of the photo essay of my life.  Isn’t that the point of school pictures– they make you look hideous and provide an archival reminder of how bad your parents’ taste in youth fashion was?

When I logged on to sign up for “retakes,” I thought for a second I was applying for a mortgage, except that would be easier and less time-consuming than dealing with school pictures.  I am not sure I successfully signed up for the retakes because two different computers went down before I could complete the questions.

In the end, we’ll have the damn school pictures, even though we have no intention of displaying them anywhere because we literally have one thousand better pictures of both of the kids.  But you know, there’s something about a school picture.  I just had to have ’em, even though I’ll never get those 12 hours I spent filling out the forms back.


42 thoughts on “School Picture Forms: I’ll Never Get Those 12 Hours Back

  1. Kudos to you on law school! I hung right around the meaty part of the curve but could outdrink any of my law school mates so that’s something. Everything school related blows nowadays. Fall pictures, spring pictures, retakes, touch-ups? What the fuck, just take a picture and be done with it! I think that’s why the photographer always puts the kids in a stupid ass pose and takes a terrible picture…so we pay for the extras. Grrrrr.

  2. I hear you…all those options on the picture forms…and then all the add-ins. No, I do not need retouching for my 8 year old, thank you very much. I’m with you, the school pics are not supposed to be Glamour Shots. Not that Glamour Shots are a good thing. And high five on being numero uno law school star! I’d milk that all the way to the grave.

  3. This was hysterical. My kids forms — for class pictures anyway — were simple, but I have certainly come up against a set that seemed beyond my comprehension. You are so freaking adorable. I’m loving all the photos of late!!!!

  4. I agree that you HAVE to get the school pictures, even though I, too, do nothing with them. All I do with the form is look for the ala carte 5×7, usually $12.00.

  5. When my mother passed and I was cleaning our drawers, I found more than a few envelopes of my school pictures UNOPENED and UNSHARED. And I’m an only child. Those things should have been plastered all over the city. In packing for our upcoming move, I also found two envelopes of school pics of my children, you guessed it, unopened and unshared. But I have twice as many children as my mama did, so I’m letting myself off the hook.

  6. First of all, if I was number one in my law school class I would probably tattoo it on my forehead. That is amazing, so brag away. Second of all, yesterday my sister sent me my nephew’s school pics to help her choose which ones to buy, and holy god that form was complicated. All she wanted was a couple 5x7s for all the grandparents, and you practically needed a decoder ring to figure it all out.

  7. LOL at the photo essay of our lives being filled with goofball pictures. Our kids should have to suck it up too. I haven’t encountered crazy forms yet but I might be in the market for touch-ups because my daughter always picks the day before pictures to fall and sustain an obvious injury to her face.

  8. You’re dang right you don’t have to play small here, sister. Sing it. Top of your class. Yeah you did.
    Those forms are ludicrous. They hide the “I just want a couple of small prints” options as though they’re burying Blackbeard’s treasure.

  9. Ugh. I need to sign up for retake day. My daughter’s were really really bad this year. Which wouldn’t bother me if I hadn’t paid for an overpriced package (I’m sorry but where do they get off charging this much for two 5×7’s and 4 wallets??) and apparently no adult around her could remind her to brush her hair out of her face!!!

  10. Speaking of dumb, I knowingly bought waaay more school photos than I needed, just because that’s what my mom always did. We have years and years of excess school pictures in boxes back home, so I followed suit and now I’m sitting on a pile of photos I’ll never use. Something about school pictures – the form, the process – does not appeal to common sense.

  11. The school pics of the twins over here last year were so completely bizarre I couldn’t help but take a photo OF THE PHOTO because I’m cheap (and they were like $25 a photo) and post them on FB. I mean, they took the shoes and socks off of the twins, and put the two in these crazy wrestling positions- all the while L has this look of the devil on his face and C is shying away in fear. They are the most bizarre things I have ever seen. It makes it so much better that I put them in matching sweaters that day. Of course I can’t wait to see what they do this year….

    As for the forms? I have no idea. I did not translate after I saw how much they cost. Too much for horrible photos.

  12. I NEVER display the school pictures because I can’t commit to frames and where to display them and we’re in a rental now so that is my excuse. I don’t mail out photos b/c it’s such an effort to buys stamps and my address book is somewhere in a storage unit 1300 miles away. Except THIS year was going to be different. All 3 kids cared very much about how they looked and I spent an hour curling daughter’s hair—she has lots of long hair…AND I never sent in the order forms which must be done before picture day so I have nothing to show for my efforts. It is a damn shame.

  13. Go to the potrait studios’ websites online. I’m serious.

    Schools still shove so much paper down my throat (a bit more than government, hospitals, etc.) and when I can take an online option, I do, every single time. The web programmers/designers are often held to higher standards and online forms are usually much easier to figure out.

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