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The other day Jack, my first grader, came home from school, emptied his backpack out on the kitchen table.  I was in the other room, distracted with changing his little sister’s diaper.  So, I was only vaguely aware of the meaning of the words floating in from the kitchen.




Whatever.  He wasn’t talking to me, anyway.  I knew he was excited about something, but I had other things to take care of.

I should have listened!

By the time I made it into the kitchen, it was too late.  My overly eager, dimple faced boy had already spread all five sheets of his terrible, horrible, no good, VERY bad school pictures ALL over the table.  Had that been the extent of the damage, it wouldn’t have been a big deal.  I’d just gather them up and send them right back to the school.  I was NOT going to waste any money on terrible, horrible, no good, VERY bad school pictures when I could (and have) spend 15 minutes with my darling boy and make a beautiful portrait that truly shows the essence of who he is.

I mean, look at these!  These are what school pictures should look like!  They all show how much of a goober, playful, sweetheart he is.

The hardest part is narrowing it down to the one I want to mount on my wall (I chose this one).

But no.  The 5 loose sheets of wallets, 5x7’s and an 8x10 was NOT, the worst of it.  In horror, I looked at the scattered puzzle pieces he was carefully arranging on the table.  Tiny remnants of the “fun pack” that was included in the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad school picture package.

What were they thinking???

I gathered up the pictures and tried to figure out why the school would send these home with him.  I hadn’t ordered them.  I SPECIFICALLY remember signing the form that said, “NO!  I don’t want terrible, horrible, no good, very bad school pictures!”

Then I saw it… the order form.

In bold, blue letters it said, “how can you resist this face”.

Oh. My. Gosh.

The ironic thing is that I could TOTALLY resist that face!  That picture was AWFUL!  A tight lipped, stiff smile, and ZERO sparkle in his eyes.

You know what I couldn’t resist?

The delighted face of a six-year-old putting together a puzzle of his very first school picture. 

So, I very grudgingly, went online, and paid for the stupid “fun pack”, knowing full well that within hours, half of the flimsy pieces would be missing, and sent the rest back to the school.

Not happy, Bob.  Not happy.

I’m sure most people would chalk it up to experience, or say that terrible, horrible, no good, very bad school pictures are a rite of passage, but I am not most people.

I stewed.  I’m still stewing.


Please tell me I’m not the only one.

Did you get suckered in to buying pictures you hate, too?  Do you look forward to “picture day” every year, only to be disappointed when the final product comes out?

It's time to take control of your children's portraits!  

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Click to download your FREE guide that has 5 tips for wall worthy child portraits so you can finally have pictures of your kids that you are proud to display! In it, you'll learn:
  • Why school backdrops are a non-starter
  • Why you should never ask your kid to say "cheese"
  • How to elicit genuine expressions from your child
  • And more!

Want to see my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad school pictures?  I think that last one is the worst... by then my little kid cuteness had totally worn off.  Oh, and the wicker chair!  Not once, but TWICE!

What about you?  Post your terrible, horrible, no good, very bad school pictures with this hashtag (#terriblehorriblenogoodverybadschoolpictures) and tag me on Facebook or Instagram (or even comment below!)  I'd love to see them :)