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School photo: The dilemma


The dilemma: do you purchase your child’s first school photo when the photo in question is not very good? 

Sofia had her first school photo taken a few weeks ago. It felt like quite a milestone. I have strong memories of my school pictures being displayed with pride, and copies being sent to relatives home and abroad.

Then yesterday, the single proof arrived along with the order form for various different packs including the all singing, all dancing MEGA Pack boasting two 10″x8 colour photos, one 10″x8 black and white photo, three 8″x6″ versions and two 6″x4″s. Wow!

The school photo arrives

However, shock horror, the photo is not very good.

It’s not awful, it’s just the usually photogenic Sofia is really grimacing as opposed to smiling and looks a little psychotic. She’s obviously going really overboard with the ‘cheese’ (or ‘smelly socks’ I think it might have been) and it’s the most unnatural pose ever. Obviously I’m blaming the photographer.

Anyone who reads this blog knows that I’m all for recording milestones and preserving memories and I think first school photo is a major one. However, with so many lovely photos of her in my possession, I really don’t want one where she looks – I hate to say it – a bit weird. The problem is I’d just feel terrible not buying one at all and consigning my daughter’s photo to the cutting room floor.

home photo

Here’s one I prepared earlier

I mentioned my quandary on Facebook and got quite a response. I’m not alone it seems; there were quite a few other bloopers out there with mums experiencing the same dilemma. Most said – like me – that they felt they needed to buy one even if it remained hidden away. It’s a memory all the same, and as some mums pointed out, it can be used for bribery and blackmail purposes in later life.

I won’t be getting the MEGA Pack, but will be opting for the entry level order that can be tucked safely away in the draw: a recorded, but not displayed milestone.


About Author

I’m Fran: wife, mother-of-three and freelance publicist. My love for communicating and writing mirrors my passion for trying to be the best mum I can be. I love good food & wine, Italian culture and football and have a keen interest in personal finance. I also blog over on Epsom & Ewell Families and Habyts, and write sporadically for a number of other sites.


  1. So, what did you end up doing? Our nursery ones are through and they’re good, but they’re expensive. Can’t decide what to do either!

    • Bought two small ones, which are safely nestled in the drawer. I looked at them again and thought they weren’t so bad, she just looks a bit demonic on them. They’re not for display or distribution though!

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