Everyone knows the awkwardness of school photo days.
It’s all bad haircuts, oily skin, cheesy smiles, and far too much energy organising the students who are either really, really tall, or really, really short. I was in the short category, and yes, I had to stand on a box more than once.
But have you ever imagined what kind of stories must come out of school photo days, from the photographer’s perspective? Primary and high school kids are just plain weird at the best of times, let alone when they’re all taken out of class to get their photo taken.
A recent Reddit thread asked users, ‘Photographers who do school picture days, what are your most cringe-worthy/strange stories?’
The responses were predictably hilarious:
– “I spent 15 minutes with a guy because he blinked every time I took the photo. I tried everything in my book, making him close and open his eyes before snapping the picture, delaying the flash, shooting without flash, taking the picture while talking to him so he’ll be distracted. Nothing worked.
I ended up taking his picture with a cellphone, because apparently what made him close his eyes was the shutter/mirror sound.”
- "When I was a school photographer, to amuse myself I tried to give each kid in class a unique word to say. "Fuzzy puppies!" ""Funky monkeys!", etc.
So I get this little girl at my chair. She's got the thickest glasses I've seen, an overbite, and is pale as a vampire. But whatever. A kid is a kid.
So I say, "Okay, say Fuzzy Kitties!" And she gives me the most irritated look I've ever seen. "Uh, I'n allergic to kitties." Like it was the dumbest thing anyone had ever said to her, and she felt sorry for how dumb I was."
- "A kid told my assistant that they ate their pet rabbit the night before."
- "I was photographing a third grade class and I got to an adorable little boy and went through my list of instructions. 'Turn your head here, shoulders here, oopsie, your right arm there. Wait. Please move your right arm.' He gave me the saddest little look and showed me the stub on his right shoulder. He had no right arm. I felt like a terrible person."
- "I asked a kid to please look at the camera like 3 times. Then I realized...he had a lazy eye. Damn."
- "One time there were identical twins wearing the same outfit (lets call them Doug and Jeff), I had to take a couple shots of Doug and then just one of Jeff. Ended up accidentally deleting the pic of Jeff so I just relabeled one of Doug's pics as Jeff."
- "A kid comes out, and I have no clue what's wrong with him, he seems really nervous. I take a few shots and he seems really disengaged. On my final shot he starts scratching his arm rapidly. Then he yelled at me. "Delete the photos!" At this point I don't know what to say...I pretty much say that I'll go and talk to my superior and walk away. My supervisor said I could, so I did.
I came back to the kid and I told him I deleted the photos. He says that he doesn't believe me and stands up. I showed him my camera and he freaked out and threw my camera to the ground, somehow breaking it. This child then proceeded to run off..."
What's the weirdest thing you've seen happen on school photo day?