Sunday, July 1, 2007

Do-it-yourself high school senior portraits


By Allie McComas

Recently I was having lunch with a friend whose son is going to be a high school senior this year. We were having a lovely discussion when she said something that made my jaw drop! Now, my jaw only does that on a few occasions. Most of those occasions have to do with price.

Whether it's a "too good to be true" cost of an item or a "you have got to be kidding me" price of an item, my jaw drops the same way: straight down. What did she tell me that was so shocking? The cost of senior pictures!

"Am I the only one who thinks the cost of these pictures is ridiculous?"

My friend told me that she was going to spend $500, yes, $500 on her son's senior portraits! I began adding up her costs for these over the years since this is her third child (out of 4). She spent "a little more" on her two daughters' senior portraits. Okay, am I the only one who thinks the cost of these pictures is ridiculous?

The funny thing is that she said that he doesn't even want to get his picture taken! She's "making" him do it.

I had to investigate this a little further. So, after a few phone calls, I located the portrait studio that has the contract with the high school. I found out a few interesting things after speaking to them. If you only wanted to get a senior portrait taken for the yearbook, it is free of charge, up to a certain date. That's the good news.

The bad news is that if you want a copy of that same picture, their cheapest package costs $230. That package is for two 5x7s, eight 4x5s, and 32 wallet size images. Of course, you can bring different outfits for different poses and get the "model" treatment for much, much more!

For all of you parents out there considering paying hundreds of dollars on senior pictures this year, consider this question. What do you do with the senior pictures that arrive in the mail from, say, your cousin, your neighbor, your business partner's daughter?

I will tell you what I personally do with them. I put them up on the refrigerator for roughly one week, and then pitch them. Yes, right in the garbage can.

"I'm surprised she doesn't have a scrapbook for her junk mail."

Most people do the same. I have enough junk on my refrigerator from my own kids! I will mention however that my crazy scrapbooking friend never throws them away. She actually has a scrapbook just for friends' kids' pictures. But, she's a scrapbooking fool! I'm surprised she doesn't have a scrapbook for her junk mail. But I digress.