Wednesday, April 13, 2011

School Portraits

When Gracie handed me her first school portrait envelope, my palms started to sweat. I kid you not. I'm pretty sure the trauma from a decade and a half of awkward school photos is everlasting. I can't even take my family to get posed portraits at the mall because the idea of forcing a smile while a camera person says, "Okay, everyone, say STINKY FEET!" or whatever, makes me want to binge eat at the food court.

But I was relieved when I opened the package. Her kindergarten photo is pretty adorable. One portrait down - no more until first grade! Woo hoo!

Or so I thought... A couple days ago, Gracie came home with ANOTHER ENVELOPE. Unbeknownst to me, her school takes three awkwardly posed portraits a year. THREE! And this little spring portrait is definitely awkward. I haven't purchased yet. I still have two more days to decide whether I want to torture my kiddo for life by framing school photos around the house or not. And if I do buy, here's the million dollar question....


Option A: Awkward pose just before getting mugged in creepy alleyway

Option B: Awkward pose in front of entrance to Mary Lennox's secret garden

Option C: Awkward pose along haunted railroad whilst waiting for zombie apocalypse

Option D: Awkward pose in front of generic faded grey background, reminiscent of my own 80's/90's era traumatically awkward portraits

Option E: Awkward pose in front of ... I have no idea. What in the world is Gracie awkwardly posed in front of?

I'll never forget the first day of 6th grade when, after my teacher took attendance, a boy who hadn't gone to my elementary school and therefore didn't know me or my awkward portraits said, "Wait, you're MARISA MYERS?"

To which I said, "Um. Yeah?"

And the next day he brought in a booklet that had THIS PICTURE:

Preschool Marisa.

At age 11, I took one look at his booklet and was completely mortified. Then I got my 6th grade portrait back and was mortified all over again.

I have triangle hair! I look like Zira from The Planet of the Apes!

But I guess it could have been worse. It could have been as bad as my second grade portrait:

Or the next year - seventh grade:

Luckily by sophomore year of high school, I had the school portrait thing figured out: Wear a dark shirt, give a bored smile while the photographer calls you Wonder Woman (why do they do that?), and when the yearbook comes out with pictures in black and white, NO ONE WILL NOTICE YOU.

Yup, I had it all figured out.

And then came senior portraits. Now I'm not going to say my senior portrait sucked because it didn't. But COME ON - why the weird velvet cape thingie? I didn't have a choice - I HAD to turn my body in angles that my body didn't turn, tilt my head, smile my rehearsed gazing-into-the-distance smile, desperately hope my velvet cape thingie won't fall off and humiliate me.

Ugh. Awkward.

And when this portrait is framed next to awkwardly posed sport photos... well. It doesn't matter how decent your hair and smile are when you're sitting uncomfortably.

At least the photographer didn't make me rest my hand under my chin. I'm so glad my school portrait days are over.

Lucky for me, none of my photos were bad enough to make it into this HILARIOUS list of 30 Awesomely Bad School Portraits.

(you have to click that link. I'm serious, folks. You. Have. To. Click. That. Link.)

And as for Gracie and her spring portrait - I'm really tempted to buy Option C. I mean, what five year old doesn't want a picture of herself standing in front of a haunted railroad track? I might purchase the largest size possible and theme my living room around it. Maybe stick a brain in an apothecary jar on top of the piano.

Happy Wednesday, folks. I dare you to blog about your worst school portrait. Yeah, that's right. You have been DARED.



mshatch said...

yeah, let Gracie choose which one she likes. I do love the first one with the little pink flower in her hair; she looks lovely. And of course yours are...well, probably as bad as mine which I wouldn't dare share. Actually, the cheerleading one is good as is the 'bored smile' one. Excellent advice.

Kelly said...

Gracie looks adorable! But what is up with the railroad track background?
And your pics aren't bad, Marisa!!! I do have the same haircut in 1st grade as you did in 2nd grade!!!
In my daughter's 1st grade picture, one of her front teeth is dangling ready to fall out. Snaggletooth! (It fell out hours after the pic was taken)I love it!

Lulu Grey said...

Seriously? A train? What were they thinking. I vote for that one - just for the memories. AND so you can show her high school prom date.

A. McBay said...

Hahaha! Zombie Apocolyspe! Love it. They are all so cute but the backgrounds are strange lol. I'll have to show you some of my old School pics so you wont feel so bad... If I can find where I hid them... I too had the triagle hair! I'm amazed how much we look alike @.@

Kathy said...

I agree with letting Gracie choose.

She is darling, but WHAT were they thinking with those backgrounds?!?

I also don't think any of your pictures were bad...I mean, yeah, we always look back and cringe at our past styling choices...but then we can tell ourselves that we were actually fashionable back then...I'm sure triangle haircuts were quite in style when you took that picture.

Remember when Justin Timberlake had the huge fro? Yeah, in sixth grade, I had that exact 'do. You won't be seeing any of MY school pictures.

AlyGatr said...

Yeah, I guess if you want to be all diplomatic like you can ask her. Personally, I love the creepy railroad one myself. It would have been much more memorable if they actually tied her up in rope and made it look like she'd been stranded there. I think I would love that as a kindergarten memory. Note to your school district...maybe pick a new photographer next year?

Hey, I would have killed for the velvety drapy thing rather than the feathery thing that looked like a dead emu strapped across my shoulders for my Sr portrait.

Marie said...

Oh are so brave for posting all those pictures of yourself. I don't even know where my school pictures are. I say go with the scary railroad background. It looks haunted or something!

Of The Fountain said...

You MUST get the zombie apocalypse pose, at the very least. You know you will regret it for the rest of your life if you don't. :)

Leah said...

Oh, definitely get the haunted railroad one. I think the last one is a cemetary or something - who comes up with these ideas anyway?

Heather Kelly said...

Marisa--I think your preschool picture is super cute.

My son came home with a borderline bad picture this year, and I considered (for two seconds) having him retake it.

The long and short is that I don't post those suckers up around the house, and I take plenty of awesome pics of my kids as it is. And the yearbook in elementary school is...what it is.

I'm echoing Kelly's 'what is up with the railroad track background'? Oh my. I wonder if any moms send their kids to school dressed as conductors just to make that one make sense.

Denise Felton said...

C makes me so nervous. Like Gracie is going to be run down any second by the Frisco.

TMCPhoto said...

Zombie apocalypse! zombie apocalypse! zombie apocalypse! I vote zombie apocalypse!

Because when she's older she'll totally thank you. Think of the blog post fodder she'll have.

Anonymous said...

Marisa, you are SO cute! I only wish my pictures were that good! ;)

Anonymous said...

p.s. I think it's a great idea to let Gracie pick the picture of the year, 3 times, wow!!

Beka said...

your preschool pic is CUTE!

but really, who the HEY is in charge of portraits at gracie's school?! is it a goth kid? ohmyword. i've never seen a zombie movie, but LORD HELP ME those railroad tracks are freaking. me. out. and the rest of them, too.
my word!
anyhow, your child is cute. but they only know how to pose people awkwardly, yes? :\ definitely line your hallways with portraits like those. ahem. lol.

Laura Pauling said...

The picture in front of the zombie tracks cracked me up! :) She's a cutie.

Amie Kaufman said...

Zombie apocalypse railroad! Then you can photoshop in an actual zombie! (Well, okay, probably not an actual zombie, but a picture of what a zombie might look like, unless you have hitherto undisclosed access to actual zombies...)

Melissa said...

Oh, man! I laughed so hard during this post! The tween actually called from the other room, "What's so funny?!"

That railroad portrait - What the heck are they thinking?! But I'm jealous you all get THREE portraits a year. We only get one. Bah humbug.

I'll have to go dig out my senior photo and see just how bad it is. I remember it being VERY hot that day and my hair going all flat.

Oh Mandie said...

oh my goodness!! I certainly think getting the abandoned railroad pic is the absolute best. If you don't buy them at least save them somewhere on a disc or a flashdrive so you can show her these when shes old enough to appriciate how awesome truly bad school portraits are.

PS: You should totally send those in to Awkward Family Photos :)

Colleen said...

Hopped over hear from Alygatr's blog.

I totally vote for zombie apocalypse!! Where did they find these backdrops? Hysterical.

Love that you shared your pics too. I'm totally doing this one of these days when I get a chance to dig them out. I have some scary 80's sweaters, glasses and hair that we can all laugh at!

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