Every time I go to a portrait studio to get a school picture redone because the first ones were wretched and the retakes, remarkably, were even worse, I see a ‘help wanted’ sign in the window. It’s not that I consider myself to be a great photographer, but I know that if I had a camera set up with a stool and a backdrop, I could do better than some of the pictures my kids come home with after school pictures. I thought with the advent of digital cameras, they could at least look at the picture and determine whether or not they should put that picture on every single one of a child’s student ID cards.
Okay … the truth is; you would not believe what my kid came home with on every single one of his school IDs. It was like my Dad’s Costco picture before they dropped the resolution so low on those photos that one of my brothers could rip off my card and no one would be the wiser. “Your name is Stephanie?” My brother then answers snottily, “I go by Steve.” Trust me. No one would question him further.
Anyway, I’m seriously confused about these photo studio people. They give you options for packages that cost $300 but they won’t take 10 seconds to make sure the picture isn’t crap. And they act like everyone in the world is so freakishly lazy that they won’t seek another option.
I’m also confused by the collages of kids’ pictures that consist of four pictures and there are only two different poses. Or they zero in on the baby’s elbow or ear and put that in a little box by itself under the big picture of the baby. I find that inexplicably weird. If you want a picture of the baby’s toes, that’s fine and cute, but when it’s just an enlarged portion of the exact same picture, I’m torn to shreds. It’s like a scientific picture book showing you all about lobsters or jellyfish. Like there should be a caption underneath that reads, “This is a human baby’s toes. At this point in human development, the baby cannot use the feet for walking, but they use them as a form of entertainment when squeaky toys are unavailable.”
So, I see the ‘help wanted’ sign and I know I’m missing a possible calling. I would make a great photographer. I just don’t have time to do everything I could be good at. I’m gifted in so many different ways. Alas, even though I can take adorable pictures of my kid on my own time, the picture the school would use to find him if he were missing is so grotesque and misshapen, they might not think he was the same kid if they grabbed him off the street. “Is this you?” Glance. “Nope. That’s somebody else.”