Earlier this week, my nine year old had her school picture taken. When I sat down to fill out the form – which color background, which pose, retouching or no retouching (I know – can you believe that’s an option?), I was reminded, like I am every year, of how school photography companies are completely stuck in the past. Who wants a weird purple background to their photos? Or fake trees? Not me.
Rather than think creatively about how to update school photos for this century, they’ve decided that offering a mind-numbing array of package choices is the answer. I counted on my form: I had 72 different packages to choose from. Gray background or color background? Do I want 50 wallet size or 10 wallet size? And on and on. I don’t like paying for these photos, so I always get the bare bones package – enough to send the pictures to grandparents and to have one for us, which we don’t even display in a frame.
But there is an alternative. I saw it a couple of years ago – I don’t remember where – but I’ve remembered their name ever since. They’re called Stomping Ground.
What parent wouldn’t be completely captivated by photos like these?
Stomping Ground’s philosophy is to make a connection with the kids first, and then offer them a very kid-friendly, relaxed environment in which to have their picture taken. They let the kids be kids, and then capture the joyful moments.
So simple, so lovely.
You can see why they’ve stuck in my head ever since, and why it’s so disappointing to be subjected to the same ugly photos year after year (especially knowing that smart, talented companies like Stomping Ground do exist).
I hope they are making money hand over fist – I know I would order a zillion copies of school photos like these.
Thanks to everyone who commented on the new blog design this week and sent me nice tweets too. I so appreciate your kind words. It’s really fun for me to have this change of scenery!
Hope you have a great weekend!
All images: Stomping Ground