School Pictures

A new company called Stomping Ground has set out to reinvent school pictures. Their sample portraits are adorable!

Thoughts: Can school pictures be saved? Should our own children be subjected to the tacky school photos of our youth? Would you push your school to hire Stomping Ground vs. Lifetouch (or whoever handles your school photos)?

One last note. Ralph had school pictures taken a few days before school even started. One of the options we could pick: pay an extra fee to have zits photoshopped. Blessed middle school.

37 thoughts on “School Pictures”

  1. Love it! I say if more options like Stomping Ground become available, school pictures could most definitely saved.

    And I would have paid out of my own allowance to have my zits photoshopped out in middle school. And high school to, for that matter.

  2. I have to say that I think is really sad! School pictures are just that … nerdy, cheesy, & odd in their very own precious way. Think how much fun it is to look at your own old school pictures … their quirkiness is the key to their charm. I think this kind of "saving the school picture" will destroy a very unique piece of history. For this same reason, I'm not a fan of photoshopping kid's school pictures either. So you take someone's braces off in the 5th grade … is that a true picture of what they looked like in all their 5th grade glory?? Enough with all the 'sanitizing' of photos! It does not send the right message to our kids, IMHO.

  3. I offer this style of portrait program in ST. Louis but getting school to make the switch has been difficult..

    I am glad to hear its working in New York, means I'll keep plugging away at it! :)

  4. Zit photoshoppning – great idea, as long as it's done well!

    I don't have kids yet but I think Stomping Ground is a great idea. Otherwise… I might be tempted to encourage my kids to dress silly or make a goofy face for the pictures.

  5. Another vote for traditional school pictures. I take pictures of my kids all the time, and I have many cute portraits of them acting silly or doing whatever they want. I like the nostalgia of the old school headshot.

    And having to pay to have zits photoshopped would rankle! I'd be like, "Give me the digital file and I'll retouch it myself in about thirty seconds!"

  6. Love it. Love the idea. I hate school pictures. They are horrible. Half the time they aren't even in focus. And they have dust spots on them that aren't fixed. UGH!! I would love a more professional look. But I do have to agree about the photoshopping. Nothing too crazy, still make it be the kid. No taking off of braces, etc… I mean, then how are you suppossed to look back and really remember what you looked like.

  7. I love school pictures. I buy them every year for my kids. It captures their real mood and personality, because they are not styled at all.

  8. Classic school pictures do have their own special charm and place in history. But I doubt I'll pay to get the prints of my kids when I can take better photos of them myself. These ones are very fun though!

  9. School picture day is one of the ways I teach my kids what the word "rip-off" means. We skip it every year now and have our own private back-yard photo shoot with much better backgrounds and way cuter shots.

  10. I would love to have something like this available for my son. He's autistic and his school pictures are so bad we never buy them — he usually has exaggerated grimaces and terrified eyes. The props and use of natural instead of unnatural poses would really help him relax in front of the camera!

  11. I totally emailed our principal about this company and she has already made arrangments for a much needed change. She is employing a parent. Which I support, but will also be forwarding her info about these folks.

    I also have a mtg. scheduled with them next week to see if I can help them with wrangling.

    SInce I have been in the biz, I am always stunned that we got ONE click of the button for our school photo. 1 chance. That's IT.

    I do like the kitschy look of a school photo though. Nobody looks good and them and so they should be celebrated as like a right of passage or something.

  12. So amazing! My sister lives in Parkersburg, WV and her daughter's school had a wonderful photographer take their pictures. They were magical. The photographer had so many compliments, she started her own business, Lisa Lucky Photography. Visit her blog ( she has done our girls' pics and my sister's family photos. Simply stunning!
    I wish all schools could do this. I would much rather have school pictures I can frame in my home, not some I can have my kids chuckle at later.

  13. OK, so let's say this idea takes over. Then the pendulum swings. In 15-20 years mothers are saying, "I refuse to make my child pose in her tutu/his football pads as my mother made me. Why can't they take a simple, honest picture?!"
    : )

  14. this is such a fun idea. crazy but fun.
    i agree that school pictures are kind of what they are and i'm not sure that i would fully want them to change.
    but … some school districts take pictures in the fall AND spring … and i think this would be a nice option for one of the seasons!

  15. I absolutly LOVE cheesy school photos. I lobe looking at mine and I can't wait to see my sons pics from kindergarten. I took both of my sons to one of those cheesy places at 6 months and 12 months and I love seeing them as I pass down the hall.

    It is niceto know that one can fer something different, but I bet those willlook just as cheesy when they are 40!!!

    Love your blog.

  16. I like the idea of individual school portraits, but hate to pay the "highway robbery" prices for them. I just forego the school portraits, load my kids up, take them to Target and get the $3.99 package special. The best part is that I get to choose my favorite shots and not be at the mercy of the school's "photographer."

  17. I think it is great to have an opportunity to put each child's 'best face' forward in a class photo…. but I really dislike the idea of photoshopping so called 'imperfections'. Kids look wonderful being themselves and should be encouraged to celebrate their individuality. Lots of natural light and spontaneous smiles are key to a good photo. I was really happy with my class photo for my son's school – see it under 'Class Photo' over on my blog

  18. How dare they – i love Lifetouch photos for what they are and how they portray my kids.We laugh every year because as much as Icoach my kids on how to smile they always come back just perfect!

  19. My mom teaches at a grade school and they can now choose to have retouching, too. They also have like five poses that they choose from! (I think they use Lifetouch)

  20. I love it when a child's true personality comes out in pictures! These are great examples! As a photographer in Utah I have seen the need for something unique for our clients as well. "Our fresh perspective on school portraits" is an alternative to the cheesy (yet sentimental) traditional school pictures!

  21. I think this option would be great for a single class if sponsored by the parents. However, count me as another vote or the traditional photos for school. There's something really special about seeing that 90% of the kids in my son's class are missing at least one of their front two teeth.

  22. YES! I love that idea. We homeschool and I am a child's photographer. I love the fact that we get creative fun school portraits that show the child's personality. I never understood why the photographer made me cock my head like a puppy dog in my 5th grade photo. But, they are precious to look at and laugh!

  23. These pictures are very cute…but not for school pictures! School pictures are iconic and classic. It is like a rite of passage for all kids. Who would want to give that up? Save the lifestyle imaging for other times and purposes.

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