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I'm a single mom with two great kids living near Dallas, Texas. This is my life; day to day things that are probably only important to me. This is my record of my ups, my downs and the road that I've taken along the way. For whatever reason YOU'RE here, I hope you find something you can enjoy and/or relate to. God bless.

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Location: Dallas, Texas, United States

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Last Of The School Pictures

Since kindergarten, there is one day each school year that the kids get to show their individualism and parents pay for it...whether they like it or not. Picture day. Now, I'll give you that there are those rare kids who never take a bad picture. I didn't have those kids. And until the kids are old enough, or secure enough, to realize that their picture just flat out sucked, we ooohhhh and awwwww every year when they bring home the picture package and write out a check to show our kids how adorable we think they are. Doesn't matter if one eye was partially shut, or if they were caught in the middle of a smile and it came out looking like they were snarling at the photographer. We buy them and display them until we take our own better picture and can replace that years school picture with out hurting our child's feelings.

Yesterday, all of that changed for me. Yesterday was Casey's senior picture day. The last time he'll ever have his school pictures taken. If you've not had a kid graduate high school yet, let me warn you, plan the day around it. We were there for 3 hours and 20 minutes, and we got out much quicker than most. Seriously.
Now, my friend, Katy, went through this this past year with her son, Andrew. She sent me three pictures of three of the poses (in different outfits) they'd purchased as part of his senior picture package. I've known this snot nosed kid since grade school, and can not believe what a wonderful, yet still snot nosed, young man he's grown into. She went through her experience with me and gave me some insight as to the cost of this momentous occasion, the last of her son's school pictures.
Apparently, they do it differently in Ohio (that God forsaken state that Katy's husband moved her away from me to), as she told me they would show her pictures on the screen at the studio and let her choose, there, her favorites. Not so here.
There were kids who showed up, mostly with a parent in tow, with up to a dozen different outfits, and after a few pictures were taken in one, they'd change and have more taken, change again...and so on. Kids who were in sports would have their game clothes on, kids in band came with their instruments...so on and so on.
Casey wore street clothes in and took his best suit. This was his first tailor made suit, and we bought it for a special occasion, that holds great memories for both him and us. He's worn it a few times, and it does look great on him. Anyway, I digress. We get the football team and individual photo's each year, so we didn't choose to have him change into his football uniform. Besides, he won't have his football uniform with his number (which has been #54 for the past 5 years) on it till football season, and to have his picture taken with his workout pads didn't mean much to us. So, we went with the suit. The studio has tux's and 'shawls' provided that the school requires for the yearbook, so that all guys and gals are wearing the same thing in the senior year book photos. They take pictures in several settings, with different lights, backgrounds, etc, etc.... In all, geeze, at least a 100 pictures.

Casey has been growing out a goatee for the summer, and it looked GOOD. But they told us that the school requires that all guys be clean shaven for the year book photo. So, while he changed into his suit, I went out to buy a razor and shaving cream. We told them we wanted all his pictures taken with his facial hair and then he'd shave for his year book photo as his last picture and they agreed. Many of the young men and parents heard us, so they requested the same. A lot of senior boys are going through this 'rite of passage' into manhood over summer break, it would appear.
One thing that bothered me, to no end, was when the kids would smile and the photographer would tell them to close their mouths and smile...no teeth. Why?? I'd talk to the parents, and they didn't like it, but they were keeping quiet. One girl, who didn't come with a parent, but by herself, had on pink braces (like Charlie) and she was so adorable. She'd laugh and have the best smile, yet each time the photographer would tell her to close her mouth and smile.
Katy had told me that her pictures had cost them upward over a thousand bucks. For that sort of money, I don't want pictures that look like a stranger I've never known. When it was Casey's turn, and he smiled that great big ole' grin, and the photographer told him to close his mouth, I, not too loudly, told the photographer to, please, not tell him to close his mouth. I told him that I didn't recognize the kid that he was trying to take pictures of...that I wanted pictures of my child like I knew him. Smiling, laughing, happy. This is when Casey and I began to have fun. Many of Casey's friends were there, and we were all laughing, Casey began posing, did a few Zoolander imitations, and the shoot took on a whole life of it's own. Other parents started telling their kids to smile, and those pictures of kids with their hands folded and their heads tilted to an unnatural angle, flew right out the window.
When all the fun shots were done, Casey went to shave and put his tux on. When he came out to have his year book shot taken, well...it took my breath away. I'll never forget it. He was so handsome, so confident, so grown up.
His very last school picture was taken and, regardless of what it will cost us, it is something that will not only be worth keeping for the rest of our lives, but something worth remembering for Casey and I.


Blogger Michelle said...

Good for you for saying something to the photographer. That is unreal that they were telling the kids not to smile...I've never heard of such a thing. Good Luck with his senior year, as fast as time flies by I know it will be hear for me before I know it!!! :(

7:25 AM  
Blogger sassinak said...

oh kathy

*wipes eyes a little*

oh your children are so lucky.

7:34 AM  
Blogger samuru999 said...

Thanks for sharing that.
So touching.
My son will be in his senior
year also... will be doing
the pictures next week.
When I think of this being
the last year we will have
him with us before he heads
of to college... I get so teary
eyed. I have the most wonderful
son on earth.

7:58 AM  
Blogger ~ Amanda X&O said...

Awww... what a cool story.

I still remember having my senior pictures taken. I had the entire studio to myself, and probably 8 different outfits.

I went back a week later, and had a slide show of all the pictures. I was able to pick out all of my favorites, and then the package to fit them. It was pretty expensive, but they are something I will cherish forever.

8:27 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

michelle ~ yeah, this probably isn't something that y'all can tell about me much, but I find it hard to keep my mouth shut when I disagree with something, lol. And, yes, time does fly by so very fast.

sass ~ depending on the day, sass...depends on the day.

samuru999 ~ I'll be interested in what your take of the photo shoot is. Good times! :) Good luck!

amanda ~ that would be pretty cool. They just send all the photos to us in the mail, and we can place the order by phone, email, mail or going in. I'm excited to see the pictures.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Shawn said...

I love it. You get the job done. Kathi speaks and everyone listens.

I look forward to seeing the pics.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Bill Jones, Jr said...

I love the Leo in you. :) We don't take charge, we were born there.

The problem with school photographers is that most are (1) untrained newbies, or (2) bitter no-talent wannabes.

Sorry, don't know where that came from.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Johnnie Avocado said...

I hated school pictures........mine never turned out well, probably because I'm ugly!

10:15 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

Way to go Kathi.. you tell that photographer where to stick it!

11:40 AM  
Anonymous Katy said...

I am so glad you got in there and said what you want. We didn't get to see anyone else getting their pictures shot It was all done privately no observers.
Just to blow off a little steam here about yearbook pictures. I think that the school should be allowed to set some guidelines but Andrew's school required that the picture be taken at the studio that (big surprise) would be publishing the yearbook. That would be great but they took crap for pictures. So not only do you have to do a seperate sitting at two different studios but they look just like the pictures you so perfectly described when they were younger. The background is identical in every picture in the Senior section of the yearbook. At a cost of 100.00 dollars for a yearbook and like most kids who are not too involved with school activities, their Senior picture is the only picture of them in the yearbook. Just seems like such a rip off especially since you have spent so much money on some really good photos of your child. I guess since they weren't charging Seniors for their yearbook pictures it is supposed to make you feel better.
My high school just required that you bring in a copy of the picture that you wanted to appear in the yearbook it had to be a certain size and I'm sure they would have refused any picture that was inappropriate. But they can't do that anymore. It's better to make them all look the same, by prviding what they will wear or contract with the people that they know will provide them with a safe generic photo.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Katy said...

By the way forgot to say can't wait to see them! The pictures sound like they are going to be great.

11:49 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

shawn ~ I wish it were that way, lol...but sometimes I get lucky.

Sable ~ yup, gentle and playful as a kitten till we're riled or protective. Lol, then claws out.

johnnie ~ you are NOT! Goofball, seen your pics AND I've seen Frodo's, he's got to look a bit like you and he's NOT ugly but adorable.

anne ~ down, tiger!! You're so cute. I honestly did it in the sweetest way possible. I always say 'please' and 'thank you'. :)

katy ~ EXACTLY. They did look good in the tux's and the girls in the velvet like shawl thing off the shoulders. Very pretty. They did all have the same backdrop for the that pic too. I'll have to wait and see, all I could do was look at Casey and wonder how we'd gotten to this point. Where did all the time go?
Actually, what I was thinking, too, was how much Casey looked (even including his hair and it's long cut) like my boyfriend all through high school. But, I've not seen him in years, so I'm pretty sure he's Marks. LOL, EVERYBODY, I'M KIDDING!!!! KATY KNOWS THAT!

12:39 PM  
Blogger Kellie said...

I love this entry. I am so glad his picture will be HIM! :)

12:51 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

kellie ~ thank you. Yeah, me too. He's just too cute to disguise it in some stepford pod form!

1:44 PM  
Blogger SmileDragon said...

Kathi, I remember, like a hundred years ago when I did my senior pictures. We had to go to private photographers. The school provided us with a list of some in the area.

We were allowed to bring our animals, trophies, whatever we wanted, as well as wear whatever we wanted. But, the price was UP THERE!

I brought my goat Oreo. LOL.

We took something like 25-30 shots, and picked the ones we liked. My mom still has the porfolio of all the pictures that were taken.

So weird that they didn't want them smiling.

2:24 PM  
Blogger SmileDragon said...

Kathi, I remember, like a hundred years ago when I did my senior pictures. We had to go to private photographers. The school provided us with a list of some in the area.

We were allowed to bring our animals, trophies, whatever we wanted, as well as wear whatever we wanted. But, the price was UP THERE!

I brought my goat Oreo. LOL.

We took something like 25-30 shots, and picked the ones we liked. My mom still has the porfolio of all the pictures that were taken.

So weird that they didn't want them smiling.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is so wrong to tell them to not show their teeth, people have put lots of money to show off the great smile they have. We never had to do that thank goodness, I would of slapped the photographer. I better get a pic of him. He is all grown up, and soon moved out, married, and kids....jk love ya Kathi


3:26 PM  
Blogger Madelene Rose said...

That's such a sweet post!!!

5:41 PM  
Blogger Madelene Rose said...

That's such a sweet post!!!

5:41 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

abi ~ what do you mean, you never had to do that? Where did they take your senior pics at? Yeah, he's got a few years before marriage and kids...no pushing!!

6:34 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

madelene rose ~ thank you!

6:34 PM  
Blogger HuneeB said...

gotta love school pics! Mine were always horrid! I hated the closed mouth smile and incomp. photographer soooo I took the stupid mandatory school yearbook one and then paid a friend who is a professional photographer to take "my senior pics" those are the ones that I had reproduced and sent out to people, they turned out really nice. :) The others don't look much like me and are just ugly :)

Congrats on bossing the silly man around! I am sure Casey will appreciate having good pics! :)

10:21 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

huneeb ~ I really didn't boss the man around... I couldn't ever boss anyone, just not in me. I am politely firm. :)

10:32 PM  
Blogger Don't Oppress Me said...

Awww. Good mothers are hard to come by, at least in my family.
Adopt me...please!

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like that pic should be in a MasterCard commercial. So awesome.

Man do I have some pic memories... one bad, the rest good.... heh heh....

10:54 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

don't oppress ~ yeah, I do know first hand that they hard to come by. And honestly, babe, I'm not that good of a mother. My kids have turned out pretty decent IN SPITE of me. :) But thanks for the compliment.

11:14 PM  
Blogger DZER said...

are all professional photographers fascists assholes or what? good for you for standing up to them ... jerkwads.

11:15 PM  
Blogger sassinak said...

i suspect you have more good days than bad babe...

but i hear that. same thing with my friends and my clients. some days i feel like i should pay them!

11:40 PM  
Blogger kathi said...

wes ~ yeah, that figures...you would be one of those rare people that takes all good ones. Snot. :)

12:08 AM  
Blogger kathi said...

dzer ~ awwww, you're taking my side and holding up for me...thank you. :)

sass ~ I like the way you see me hon, thanks. And, yeah...we all have our bad days. Well, except for Wes, maybe. LOL, (love ya, Wes).

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

he never told us to not show our teeth. I'm not really sure I remember were we went, Prestige something I think, and we did take alot of shots, w/ differnt clothes and backgrounds. It was fun!


8:21 AM  
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7:03 AM  
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7:11 AM  
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11:00 PM  

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