Picture day

Today is Spring Picture Day at school for Lance. They do two picture days every year. For the elementary schools, this is in the Fall and the Spring. In the Fall, it is the traditional bland background stiff posed school picture. In the Spring, they do their group class picture and then they also do non-traditional nicer pictures.

I almost always purchase a small package of the Fall pictures. I am guaranteed to have a set of good pictures of the kids. It marks the start of the school year and they are usually decent. They are not outrageously priced. They have varied over the years and I have cut back to the bare minimum when purchasing. However, I have to say that our district has been conservative and have found a photographer that is very conservative with their pricing. The package I purchase is about $13-18 and that includes usually an 8×10 with 5x7s or several 5×7 prints. The pictures are also a small fundraiser for the school, so the school gets some of the money from the purchase. I like to do my part to help off-set some of the costs when I can. At any rate, I purchase the Fall pictures every year. I know that they are going to turn out as I expect the kids to wear something fairly decent against the fairly neutral background (we usually pick grey). Even though they may not take their picture all on the same day, I try to have the kids all wear something similar. So if Andrew wears his dress clothes on his picture day, I have all of them wear them on their picture day. If we pick the grey background for Kyle, I pick it for all of them. They never have picture day on the same day. The photographer cannot be at all of the schools on the same day, after all. At least the pictures will be consistent for all three children. It works out nicely.

In the Spring, unfortunately, we do not have that luxury. We do have a bit more flexibility, however. We may not know what the selected backdrops or props are going to be in the Spring. They do not always use a solid or neutral background. Sometimes they use a scene. Sometimes they use props, sometimes they do not. Sometimes dressing up looks funny, sometimes it does not. Sometimes it does not matter if the kids all match. I do not particularly care if the kids all match in the Spring pictures. What I do like about the Spring pictures is that they are typically a higher scale of picture. They are not those traditional school pictures. While it is hit or miss, you can get some really good pictures that really capture the personality of the kids. I like that. The more unfortunate part of the deal, however, is that the pictures are a bit more expensive than the Fall pictures. They are also not prepaid like the Fall pictures. You might even get 2-3 different poses or lighting techniques depending on what they did that year. When they come in, they will send you home several sheets of prints. They will have a good variety of print sizes to select from. Then you will have all these pictures to look at. Inevitably you will have a good batch of pictures and you will be suckered into buying them because they are too stinking good to walk away from. They are just good pictures. The good news is that you do not have to buy all of them, you can buy just some of them. Of course, if you do not buy all of them, you are paying more per sheet of pictures but you are not stuck with the entire package price for the miscellaneous sheets of junk (book marks) you do not need or want.

So today is picture day…in the Spring…and this is how I started my morning…

Lance: (from upstairs) “Mom where is my white shirt? I want to wear my bow tie.”
Me: You do not need to wear your bow tie, you can wear whatever you want.
Lance: (making disappointed sounds) “I’m just going to wear it with my jeans.”
Me: “It is in the dryer probably.”
Lance: (sounds of running down the stairs)

Lance emerges around the end of the stairs dressed in jeans and a white undershirt with his maroon bow tie in hand. He had thought this through. He knew what he wanted to wear for picture day even if mom did not have any particular preference.  

Lance: (sounds of excitement as he found his shirt in the dryer)

He had his white shirt on and was putting his bow tie on before he got back up the stairs to find his socks and belt. 

Lance with his crooked maroon bow-tie. Pictures at home are often required when you are this cute. What can I say, this kid is cute.

Lance with his up close grin. You can still see his scar from a year ago. He’s still just as cute as ever. He loves his bow tie.

It was time to get the flash out. I was not liking the darkness of some of the pictures. He did not like the flash. I have to say that the flash capabilities on the iPhone 5 is just evil in all aspects of the word. Bright does not even begin to describe the flash. It did strike a smile out of Lance, however. I cannot dock it any points for that. I love you, Lance.

Lance with his picture attire – jeans, white shirt, and bow tie. He had on his tennis shoes which you cannot see in this picture. How awesome does he look? I am pretty sure that the pictures are going to be a bit hard to resist when they come home. It happens when they go to school looking this cute. What can I say?

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