Back to School Picture Time!

Read to the end for an exciting giveaway!

Did you love picture day when you were small? I know I did! At least, I thought I did, for about 5 minutes. On my very first picture day ever, the photographer–I recall he was wearing a very nice cologne–handed me the most beautiful teddy bear I’d ever held, and then took one (one!) picture of my precious six year-old self, smiling and hugging my bear. Then, he destroyed my world; he took back the bear.

I, being a six year-old hillbilly with no experience in these matters, had thought I was going to be allowed to keep the pretty bear. If he’d taken another shot with his big black camera right then, he’d have immortalized my usual expression—one of dismay and confusion—rather than the happy smile he’d conjured with his empty promises of beary bliss. I was devastated.

After that, I don’t think I ever had a good school picture. This may be because I’m really not photogenic, but I prefer to think that it’s because of that mean, mean old photographer and his lies. He simply made it impossible for me to smile convincingly for the camera. In my mind, the person behind the camera will always be poised to take something away from me as soon as I stop smiling. Is it any wonder I look so bad in all my pictures?

What is it with the photographers that come to schools? You get one pose. One chance. One shot, and if your kid is picking his nose when the flash goes off, he will forever be ‘the nose-picker’ to teacher and classmates alike, because that’s his one shot, and that’s what’s going in the yearbook.

Thank goodness, we have more options today! I’m just crazy about the idea of school photos taken by someone who actually cares how the pictures turn out. Even homeschoolers need school pictures for the family yearbook, right?

Swanky5Studios will be holding back-to-school mini sessions in Roan Mountain, Tennessee on Thursday, September 8 and Saturday, September 10. Each mini-session will include a 20 minute styled shoot with nifty props like books and rulers and desks. (Desks seem a little schoolish to me, but they’re probably better props for photos than the standard homeschool kitchen table.) And the shoot is in an apple orchard, so there will be plenty of apples for teacher.

You don’t just get one pose, and the prices are pretty reasonable. Just make sure your child knows that she can’t keep the props. I wouldn’t want anyone’s life to be ruined the way mine was.


Win: One High Country Mom Squad reader will win a $100 gift certificate to Swanky5Studios, good any time (not just during the BTS mini sessions).

How to enter: Head over to the Swanky5Studios website and take a look at the marvelous photos they take! Then come back here and leave a comment letting us know you want to win! How would you use your gift certificate? Do you hate traditional school pictures as much as I do?

Extra entries: Leave a separate comment if you:

  • are a Mom Squad RSS Subscriber.  You can subscribe in a reader,  get free daily updates by email, or enter your email address at the top of the page for the weekly newsletter
  • follow HCmomsquad on Twitter. Leave your Twitter handle in the comments.
  • share about this giveaway by email, word of mouth, whatever. Let us know who you told about it in the comments!

Details: This giveaway will be open to High Country residents and visitors ages 18 and over through midnight September 9, 2011. One winner will be chosen randomly, and notified by email. The winner will be responsible for claiming the prize by email. The winner MUST respond within 24 hours. The sponsor (not HCMS) is responsible for providing the prize. Good luck!.


  1. I’d love to win this! I’d use it for newborn photos in the winter!

  2. I’m an RSS subscriber!

  3. I told two of my coworkers about the giveaway just now!

  4. I want to win!!!

  5. I want to win! I would use it for family photos.

  6. Subscriber

  7. I shared with 2 coworkers.

  8. I would love to do this and use it either as a fall family shoot or a fall shoot for the kids. I absloutly think that schhol pictures are horrible and do not show the kids personality.personality

  9. RSS subscriber

  10. Twitter mlssarsmom

  11. Shared with three other mommie friends.

  12. I would love to win!! We would use it for family photos.

  13. subscriber

  14. I love this! Need some pictures of all my kiddos together. 🙂

  15. Great post and giveaway – unfortunately it would be a long drive. I love your website.

  16. Cute pictures. Wow! I love the backgrounds in these pictures. I need a new updated “good” picture of my daughter.