From a case of the awkwards to a bad haircut that will live with you forever, school photo day is not exactly everyone's favorite. Photographer Walt Erickson with Instant Images should know; for the past five years he's been taking school photos, giving the same spiel to one kid after another.
"Head up, chin up, turn," Erickson told a student.
He moves swiftly along with his team like a well-oiled machine.
"I run out of things to say," Erickson said. "I get tired and say, oh, I'm spacing out a little bit."
But there are some tricks of the trade making the job easier, like instant feedback on the jumbo screen, where kids can see what their photo will look like.
"Do you want another one with a smile?" Erickson asked one student, who replied, "No, I like that one."
Even with the option to retake, anxiety still ensues beforehand between mirror checks and some last-minute touch ups to make sure everything is just right.
"I get to straighten my hair and wear a nice outfit!" one student noted.
Reporter Gina Bullard: Did you pick out your outfit or your parents?
Andrew Billings/Seventh Grade: I picked it out last night because I have six pairs of shoes that I like to match my shirt. These match the shirt underneath, I put this on for pictures, then I take it off.
"I don't really care for it, because last year I had my hair up and this year my hair's down, but I care less for it now," said Camryn Bergeron, a seventh-grader.
Some things about school photos will never change-- and some things already have; technology has made all the photos today print out instantly. Instant Images is the only company in the country printing school photos instantly. It took them three years to get the process picture perfect.
Some things never change, like the fact that seventh and eighth-grade boys refuse to smile, and teachers need just as much coaching as the kids.
Work to capture a moment in time that these kids probably don't realize will last a lifetime.
Only two schools in Vermont are using the instant printouts. The rest are still kicking it old school with a multi-week wait.
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