Posted on: Oct 02 2017

23 Photographers Share the Most Cringeworthy School Portraits They’ve Taken



I asked a 7th grader to sit up straight, spinal problems. His doctor bought a copy of the photo as a before shot for a textbook he was writing. Whatever the doctor did, it worked like a charm.


My mom was a school photographer, mostly for elementary schools, when I was younger. The day after Halloween [maybe a few days after?], she went to a school in a nearby city that was known for having a haunted Halloween mine shaft tour. Something went wrong on the tour that Halloween, and one of the tour guides was killed in the middle of the tour, in front of the whole group. I think she was pulled out of the cart and run over, or partially decapitated – I forget exactly. But she died, pretty gruesomely. It was a f*cked up situation. Her kids went to that school. And they were there for picture day. My mom said it was so tragic because they looked completely devastated and had clearly been crying like crazy [of course] and nobody could really understand why they were back at school so soon.


When I was a school photographer, to amuse myself I tried to give each kid in class a unique word to say. “Fuzzy puppies!” “”Funky monkeys!” Etc. So I get this little girl at my chair. She’s got the thickest glasses I’ve seen, an overbite, and is pale as a vampire. But whatever. A kid is a kid. So I say, “Okay, say Fuzzy Kitties!” And she gives me the most irritated look I’ve ever seen. “Uh, I’m allergic to kitties.” Like it was the dumbest thing anyone had ever said to her, and she felt sorry for how dumb I was.


Another senior did couples photos with her boyfriend. They specifically earnestly requested a pose where the girl posed all cute on one side of the couch, while the boy sat on the other side of the couch, staring at her while stroking his beard. That one didn’t turn out well either.