Did you think that school photographs are a MAJOR rip off? I most certainly do! In fact, I was torn between whether or not to get them for my little ones!

With four school-going children I couldn’t very well pick and choose who gets photos and who doesn’t- it’s not like I could simply get the most photogenic child’s pictures taken and forget about the rest… without being severely judged by society, and perhaps even God.

The School Photographs Con…It Never Ends!

You know what’s worse than the exorbitant price of school photos? Their even bigger cash grab at the end of it all!

First they take your money for these ridiculously priced photo packs- which you have to get so that your child isn’t the odd one out! Then MONTHS later when they FINALLY send home the photographs they attach perhaps the GREATEST GIMMICK their marketing team could have ever invented- ‘FUN PACKS’!

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Who Wants The ‘Fun’ Photos?

For as little as $20 per photo, you could be the proud owner of a ‘fun’ school photo of your child- they give you a username and password so that you can sample these photos prior to purchasing them!

The worst part about these photos is that they are glorious! They actually do capture the FUN side of your little one at school and there’s just something about the moment they’ve captured that is simply so much more relaxed, natural and really lovely.

They’re different to the classical face forward and smile that makes up the bulk of the standard school photos. There’s an element of mischief, a wilder happier smile and I can see why they market these photos as ‘fun’.

Don’t Do It!

Having said this though I do not want a bar of it! No way am I about to encourage this money heist! In fact, I strongly believe that if everyone just boycotted these additional ‘fun’ photos there’s a better chance of the photography company simply making them part of next year’s photoshoot- WITHOUT further jacking up the price… hopefully!

As it stands, I feel the very reason why they wait so long to mention these ‘fun’ photos is because they already realise that they can’t stretch parents any further financially at the time they launch these packs – that’s why they wait a few months! They hope that parents can recover a bit financially before hitting them with another massive expense.

Perhaps they hope that parents forget precisely how much their initial pack cost. Maybe they think we’re foolish enough not to add the price of the first package deal to the price of the new ‘fun’ pack and have a mini heart attack!

Don’t Hide It!

As wonderful as these photos truly are I’d much prefer them to be an option at the very start. They need to give me my choices all at once, ask me if I’d like a classical smile or a happy one from the very beginning rather than trying to hoodwink me.

If I fell for this trap where would it end exactly?! What if I received my ‘fun’ photos just in time for Christmas and they include a sample of a ‘Christmas pack’ that they sneakily took with the first photoshoot!?

Don’t Fall For It!

Nope, I’m not interested… well I am… but I’m not falling for it! Not for $20 per image per child, especially when they have already made an absolute KILLING!

Thank you, school photographers, but no thank you!

Take Our Own School Photographs

In fact, if I had my way I’d opt for a school ‘Photo Day’ event where all parents could come and capture their own child’s photos… for FREE! For heaven’s sake the time is going to be utilised anyway taking these photos, why not trial letting parents do it themselves… or even a school staff member- the school could even raise funds for the school or a charity by doing it that way!

Quick somebody, give me a seat at the P&C Committee, let’s make these photos happen!

Do you think school photographs are an overpriced con? What is the alternative? Do you usually get them? Tell us in the comments below.

  • While they are a major rip off price wise it is important to remember that class photos help them remember their class mates and memories are everything nowadays. It’s not like you can hire a photographer yourself to get a photo of your children and their peers.


  • Yes I avoid these as they are a massive rip off


  • Yes fallen for this but got smart towards the middle years and started to take my own photos of my kids in uniform. It is the biggest ripoff ever! I was horrified to learn that one of these School Photography businesses bullied my daughter into taking off her school jacket so much so she cried and felt bullied by this old man. I talked to her teacher and asked why she needed the jacket off in winter? It was stated that most kids took theirs off so he told all the kids to do that. My daughter would have been the only one with a jacket on. So what! I had a few more issues to take up with the teacher and school like the Photographer calling kids names they said being funny .. calling kids Miss Piggy and Imran Kahn to get their attention very rude and inappropriate. I took my kids out of school on photo day and we had a day out at a Museum or a science centre instead. My kids love their photos in their uniforms and they know I took them some in the school grounds some outside before school in the park and some on school excursion’s. These school photo companies are way too expensive.


  • Yeah they are expensive. Not sure why? We only did sibling ones this year, no singles, only one print. I just take a pic of the pic on my phone and send it to grandparents. Nobody prints and frames them anymore!


  • School photos are stupidly priced. I was always the kid that missed out on getting the class photo and I wish now as an adult We were able to afford it because the few I do have I love, especially high school photos


  • Yes it’s a rip off. I’d just buy one and take my own photos too


  • I agree also they only take one photo and print multiple times So really it should be the cost of getting a photo printed and photographers time divided by school which would be a couple of dollars each. If they come for the day to do the photos and the school has say 400 students and the photographer gets $100 an hour that’s $600 (9am-3pm) for the day divided by 400 students = $1.50. And then the actual printing 10c for normal size it would be $1.60 per print or If you wanted 8”x10” that $2.90 so the picture would cost $3.00. Even if photographer charged $500 an hour which would be $3000 per day then divide that by 450 students= $6.60 each. I am not sure why they are so much and why the school thinks it’s ok to do this to the parents.


  • School photos are definitely a con. The prices are ridiculous!! I’ve noticed now that daycares are doing it too. And these are somehow MORE expensive than school photos!!
    I buy one each year, but definitely not the whole package they try to sell. Or the ‘fun’ photos.
    I always take photos of my kids at the start of the year and at the end of the year and these are a great keepsake – and show how much they’ve grown and changed too.
    I’ve stopped buying the class photos too as even tho my kids loved them in the early years of primary school – they’re too expensive and end up not looking at them.
    Much prefer taking our own photos- or even if school photographers actually allowed the children to look and act natural as well – these are the photos that show who are kids actually are.


  • I completely agree. Each year I struggle to commit to constantly paying for the “worst photo’s of my children ever taken” and of course I always give in so they are not the odd ones out. One year I remember being pleasantly surprised by how good the photos were and now I am convinced that the photographer was sacked fir trying to ruin their reputation! I feel terrible that I am being so harsh on people who are just doing their jobs but please – the years and years of rubbish photos that have cost me by a fortune and leave me bitterly disappointed once again are becoming too much for this mum to take anymore. Thanks for allowing me to vent on this subject- I really needed that.


  • Absolutely overpriced! Take your own, they often turn out better and much more natural!


  • Yes, I agree they’re a con, a total rort and no we never bought the package. I already had plenty of pics I’d taken myself of our daughter in her school uniform as we do at the start of every school year so why be extorted over the school photo rort. The alternative? Take your own.


  • Our school just does a normal photo so no extras to buy afterwards.


  • I think they were a lot more affordable when I was at school. My grandson had childcare photos done last year and it cost $110 just for a disc of them to print out ourselves


  • I’ll just be buying for the big years j think


  • I only bought the one’s with both of my boys together and one of their whole classroom which they love to look at


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