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Ovation: Before There Was Photoshop We Had Smiley Face Stickers.


Once upon a time, a beloved family member underwent a painful divorce.  Married at a young age, the spouse had truly become a part of our family and, consequently, appeared in many family photos.  After the dust had settled and the divorce was in the past, we still had beautiful family portraits that we enjoyed.  There were other people in the pictures, including at least one loved one that had passed, and it was difficult for some of us to take down these photos.  I refused and, in a fit of giggles, placed a smiley face sticker on the largest portrait in the exact location of the ex-spouse’s head.  Suddenly, my photo was even more enjoyable because I was able to find a compromise between the awkward situation and my favorite family photo.

A similar situation recently caused quite a controversy at a Florida elementary school.  After taking a second grade class picture, a photographer was notified that two of the students in the photo had not submitted necessary consent forms and needed to be removed.  They crafty photographer used photo editing software to digitally remove one of the children but was unable to do so with the second.  Apparently, the second child was right in the center of the photograph and the software couldn’t remove the image.  Eventually, local news reported that, rather than have the photo retaken, the PTA asked the photographer to replace the second student with a smiley face.

Parents at the school have had mixed responses to the altered photo ranging from humiliation to viewing the situation as a simple oversight that required correcting.  As a parent, I can understand as a parent that it would be upsetting to purchase photos of/for your child to preserve elementary school memories only to receive an arguable undignified representation.  Ultimately, the PTA disagreed with how the photography company handled the situation and arrangements were made for a new photograph to be taken.  Families who ordered the class photo can expect to get a free copy of the new print.

I think the photographer was spunky.  He, actually, performed the task that was asked of him and provided the product that he was asked to provide.  I’d also wager that the kids would rather have the photo with the smiley face as a keepsake.  Particularly now that it’s made national news headlines.

Copyright © 2012

From → Ovations

  1. I think the smiley face is funny.. people need to loosen up.

    When I was little, I never remember my parents having to sign a consent form for me to be in a class photo.

    What the heck is this world coming to?


  2. Just waking up here, and just starting the coffee, but Darlene has said almost word for word exactly what I would say, if my brain was fully functional. Yes, people really do need to loosen and lighten up.


  3. That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
    Photoshopping a child from a picture because there was no paperwork on file?
    The Baby Jeebus is not happy about this.


  4. Anonymous permalink

    Think about it. Maybe the child is “protected” from an abusive spouse, & the child’s info is not public knowledge. Also, a parent may be “restricted” from “visiting the child, or the other parent. The location, & other info, should not be “broadcast”.. That’s the only reason I can think of, to require “consent” forms..


    • When I was in elementary school, we didn’t live in a “global environment”. We knew our neighbors and we were confident that photographs would be shared only within the family and the community. Unfortunatly, in a world where frivolous lawsuits have become a way of life, consent forms are tool to avoid possible litigation.


  5. It’s interesting. 😀


  6. I wonder if I can go back and add a smiley over my face in my HS yearbook? hmmm


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