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Thread: End of year school photos

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Oslo
    Posts
    524

    End of year school photos

    OK, this is the end of the school year, and photographers are visiting schools. The policy in Norway is the following: the photographer comes, takes one class photo and a portrait of each child. Once the pictures are ready, the child comes home with a paper about loggin details to a website. You loggin, enter your postal address and can preview the photos, thumbnail size. Thats it. Next thing, you receive a letter with:
    - 1 class photo
    - portraits of your child (one big, one small, and 4 in ID format)
    - 1 portrait of your child pasted onto a calendar
    - a bill for NOK790 (US$130)
    They have to pay bills too, but:
    - the photos are printed on thinner paper than their pamphlets (??). By thin I mean normal A4 paper without substance.
    - because of the quality of paper, I presume the ink will turn green in a couple of years
    - posted in an enveloped with no cardboard to prevent crimpling.
    - this ridiculous price for that? no thank you
    In my days, the photographer came with his medium format camera, took 2-3 shots of the class. When the photos are ready, a copy of each is sent to the teacher and each school child choose the photo where they look the best. You order, pay, and the photos still have their colors 30 years after the facts.
    So now, what is it with this quick buck mentality? There is no more heart put into the craft? Or maybe is it just what the majority wants? I am just wondering if this is common practice everywhere and if the standards have dropped so low...

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Washington, D.C.
    Posts
    1,401

    Re: End of year school photos

    Wow, $130? Really? That would never fly in most US schools. I just paid for a laminated panoramic group shot of my older daughter's class for $27. Unfortunately, it's just a crop of dSLR pic and not as sharp as the medium format crops they used to do until a just a few years ago. It's unfortunate the quality has gone down, but it goes with the mentality that anyone with a DSLR can be a professional photographer. I'd send a note to the photographer explaining what you think about the value.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    880

    Re: End of year school photos

    Seems not that long ago, a REAL studio had their own darkroom & lab on the premises....
    Now they just have a computer.

    The real question is...
    Does can public see the difference? Or do they even care? Or is that what they want?
    Real cameras are measured in inches...
    Not pixels.

    www.davidsilvaphoto.com

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    2,482

    Re: End of year school photos

    Step in, come with your old fashioned view camera, have fun with the kids (and the teachers too, probably...) take a few LF pics and sell them for a half of the price. Who knows, you may have more success than the dSLR guy...? ;-)
    GPS

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Oslo
    Posts
    524

    Re: End of year school photos

    Yea, I should take over, but I am afraid it will kill my passion... I'd rather keep this as a hobby, that is for as long as I have my good stable job.
    I did send a note along with the photos, but I did not bother to put stamps on the envelope. Will see what happens...

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    880

    Re: End of year school photos

    For wide groups I use a Noblex, I think it's the next best thing to a Cirkut.
    I print B/W ones up to 48 inches wide. Color up to 24" wide.
    Real cameras are measured in inches...
    Not pixels.

    www.davidsilvaphoto.com

  7. #7
    Alex Thomas
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    28

    Re: End of year school photos

    Stephane, I agree. I'm in high school (USA), and our track pictures this year were taken by some lady with her Canon Rebel and a $15 Best Buy tripod.

    I distinctly remember the guy with the RZ67 that did them last year. Times change I guess...

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Geelong Victoria Australia
    Posts
    299

    Re: End of year school photos

    Stephane,
    I did school photography for a company here in Australia for a year and a half. We used Mamiya 645's for the group shots and Pentax KR5's for the individual shots. If I remember correctly the company charged about $50-60 AUD for one 8x10 group/class shot, 1 5x7 single child shot and 4 passport size single child shots. I think the owner of the company, who did take photos himself but who I wouldn't really class as a photographer, would've joined the digital revolution very quickly to save money on doing prints. I don't think he would've gone as far as the one in Norway though because if you offer an inferior product in Australia, customers just walk away from you. And they tell their friends who tell their friends etc. Australians don't complain to your face, they tell their friends and go somewhere else.
    cheers
    Mike

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Barcelona/Spain
    Posts
    1,041

    Re: End of year school photos

    I shoot digital for work and film for art/personal, it is a good way to separate fun from duty. Coming from an art oriented education I found it difficult to deal with certain demands of commercial photography.

    I don't do school photography but I can see an obvious point for shooting digital. If you're going to photograph 500-1000 kids in one day you need to know they all came out good (eyes open, etc...) Your workflow will need to be digital if you want them to access their photos on the net.
    As far as I know, printer inks are a lot better these days and they're supposed to last for years, I've seen expensive printers tests on expensive paper and they looked quite amazing and of course, you always got Lambdas.
    This photographer you mention could probably use better equipment/paper/etc...
    Price seems pretty darn expensive though. I thought it was cheaper to have your picture taken at school

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    1,329

    Re: End of year school photos

    Quote Originally Posted by GPS View Post
    Step in, come with your old fashioned view camera, have fun with the kids (and the teachers too, probably...) take a few LF pics and sell them for a half of the price. Who knows, you may have more success than the dSLR guy...? ;-)
    Hereabouts that would probably cause your answering machine to be filled with death threats. The school photo business hereabouts has been declared illegal by the local school board after bribes to teachers and schoolmasters have become public, but it seems to be even harder to eradicate than school yard drug pushers.

    Sevo

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