I attended a school that did not take individual student photos, and so the whole "school picture day" phenomenon is lost on me. I wasn't going to buy my kindergartener's photos because I believe that school pictures are archaic remnants of a time when people didn't have cameras, let alone cameras in their computers and phones. At one point in time that school photo was probably the only photograph parents had of their child each year-- now it is one of hundreds, if not thousands.
Still, I decided to spring for the basic package, having been convinced by friends that school pictures are a rite of passage and a fun way to measure growth over the years. Additionaly, my son was very excited about the photos and pored over the offered backgrounds and "pose styles". I appreciate ironic kitsch as much as the next person, but I finally convinced him to choose the blue background instead of the psychedelic rainbow backdrop (killjoy, I know).
On picture day, he put on his specially chosen shirt, yet for all my efforts, we could not get his hair to stay flat. He was unphased, saying "Mommy, that's just how it is." Oh well I thought, sent him into school and dismissed the whole event until yesterday when the photos came home in his backpack.
It took only one glance at his photo to convince me of the value of school pictures. Never in a million years could I have captured the awesomeness that is my son's Kindergarten photo and I have no idea how we will top this in years to come. The best part about the whole thing is that my son thinks the photo is hilarious. Instead of being mortified and embarrased, he is totally in on the joke. I think this speaks volumes about his self confidence and willingness to be different. And that makes me very, very happy.