In Praise of the School Photographer .
Lorentz Gullachsen -photographed at Great Barr High School 196? by an unknown photographer
I have great admiration for those intrepid photographers that produce 'school photos' , the quality has increased drastically over the years ,and each parent is happy to get the yearly portrait of their loved ones and send a copy to the grandparents , a good buisness model . Who is going to send a child back to school without ordering at least a couple of prints. In this day and age ,when almost every child has been photographed by doting parents,grand parents and any number of loving relatives. why would we need to pay for a school photograph ?
The formal ,technically well executed formal portrait is rare, we now love those 'captured' natural moments ,and a 'stiff' self-conscious smiling child ,in front of a plain background in smart uniform seems redundant ? I think not, I treasure the school pictures of my children and now my grandchildren, they are part of our history, they are physical prints and so kitch ,they are almost high art . The photographers who produce these Iconic images, should be proud that they are helping create a visual history,that as the children ,themselves have grown and have children,and even grandchildren of their own, the links to the past shall be there and hopefully,there shall still be school photographers ,recording the next generation.
So if someone says they are a school photographer,buy them a drink ,they are keeping a great tradition alive.