Monday, September 16, 2013

LifeTouch is EVIL

This year my three kids are attending three different schools: an elementary school, a junior high, and a high school. These schools have one horrible thing in common. They all employ LifeTouch for their school photos. And every September, I put a second mortgage on my minivan and pay LifeTouch my LifeMoney for crappy photos. 

Here are the three options for "poses." 

I may not be the squeakiest toy in the kiddie photographer's basket, but these are not poses. These are different crop sizes. 

In elementary school, it is no big deal, because I buy the minimum amount and then scan them so that they will survive in case my house burns down. We take our own nice pictures of my children. In multiple poses. Without a cheesy backdrop. But in junior high and high school, there is the issue of yearbooks. I still have all of my yearbooks. You might have a lot of yours. There is a sort of traumatic permanence to those crappy school photos. Proof: my 7th grade yearbook page.

I am the only one in the entire yearbook who was honored to have my photo taken with POSE #4. 

When I was growing up, all of the school photos were taken by LifeTouch or Olan Mills, who naturally, has been acquired by LifeTouch. Hmmmm.... there's a word I'm thinking of....hmmmm.... start's with the letter "m," rhymes with schonopoly.

Perhaps the thing that pisses me off the most about LifeTouch is that at least a few times a year they send my children home with a packet of photos that were taken without my knowledge. These photos are generally cuter than the ones taken in the fall. They look like the photographer actually paid attention before snapping the photo, correcting the child's posture or making sure that the kid's chin isn't spaghetti-sauced. What could be wrong with a packet full of nice photos of your beloved child?!  Here’s the catch. You have to pay X amount of money to keep the photos, but if you don’t want them, you have to send them back to school with your child. Basically, LifeTouch has you by the LifeBalls. If you keep the photos, you can no longer afford to pay your electricity bill, but if you send the photos back you feel like a bad mom. FUN CHOICES.

Today I called my son's high school and asked if I could submit my own photo of him to the yearbook to replace the LifeTouch one. The very nice lady was confused. I think that I am the first person in the history of the world to ask if there is an alternative. She promised to get back to me. 

We should start a revolution! First order of business: let our schools know of our dissatisfaction with LifeSuck. Second order of business: ask our schools to pretty please stop serving spaghetti for lunch on picture day. Although I give props to the evil masterminds behind this.

Down with LifeTouch! can I get an AMEN!


  1. Our pictures are not with LifeTouch but are by an equally crappy company. And they do the same damn thing.

    AND last year my youngest was in pre-K and they used an entirely different company called Teddy Bear Photos or some such crap. They took pictures of all the kids, then printed out packages for each kid. Here's the catch . . . a rep from the company would bring that package to the school on ONE day and the parents would have to be there to view them on property and buy or not buy them. Hello?? I work. I can't take a day off just to go look at some pictures. So, obviously I wasn't there, and obviously the pictures were adorable and obviously I do not own one. Grrrrrr. All of the picture companies are evil. Case closed.

    1. What in the what what? You had a one day window to pick up your kid's photos or they dropped them into a shark tank? Evvvillll.

    2. Teddy Bear Photo is owned by LifeTouch ... MONOPOLY!

  2. Our senior photos were submit your own, but they did offer a photo for the kids that did not get them done. You got to sit in the art room in front of a sheet and smile for the yearbook staff. Last year, they botched my kids photos. Hair was EVERYWHERE, looked like she went through a hurricane in the hallway. Background wasnt what I chose, "pose" wasn't right, and it was all awkward. Called, complained, very nice woman helped me out. But still, overpriced evil.

    1. Seriously? The hair? The weird food blobs? Why isn't the photographer a mother, armed with that amazing fix-all -- MOM SPIT.

  3. wet myself. (which didn't phase me much since i get wet upon fairly often.)
    i looooove you floozy!

    1. This is what happens when you give birth to too many freakishly beautiful babies, liz.

  4. You are so. funny. My abused bladder cannot handle your posts, but my abused brain insists on the laughter-induced stress relief. I still love you my dear! And you were waaaaay cuter in 7th grade than Super Special Pose #4 made you out to be.

  5. My son just showed me his brand new, first ever student I.D. His eyes are closed. The irony is I paid for the "touch-ups."
    But it sure beats my traumatic 7th grade photo. It wasn't the actual photo that Cory Adams took. It was on the very first page of the yearbook. I'm picking my nose in the cafeteria--clear as a bright, sunny day. Damn 9th grade editor!!!!! I ripped the page out, threw it away and didn't go back for the last day of school. I'm just barely getting over it and wish I hadn't thrown it away and could show my 7th grader that it could be MUCH worse.

    1. I laughed so hard when I saw your son's picture. But we really need to find someone with your nose-picking yearbook photo! THAT WINS THE INTERNET. Also, I love you so much for telling that story.

  6. A half-size page, mind you.
    Front page.

  7. No matter what the photographer or the ed techs do some kids just won’t smile like they would for someone else, say, their mother. Most kids refuse to take their sweatshirts off, and if we try to talk them into taking it off, we could get fired (seriously). Sometimes the solution is for the parent to be there. Most of the time it makes it worse. Most kids seem to either be embarrassed by their parents, feel too pressured, or just want to rebel when their parents are there. Even with background checks and everything else that comes with the job, we are not to touch kids at all, even to fix their shirt, clean their face, or fix their hair or necklace. When kids are poked and prodded by volunteers or teachers to correct them for the picture it makes them uncomfortable and not want to smile for the picture. Many teachers are not happy or comfortable with their own bodies and hate getting their pictures taken. 99 percent of their attitudes rub off on most students which makes them see picture day in a bad light and act difficult. There is no authority anymore, you aren’t allowed to tell anyone (kid or not) what to do, and that includes posing for a picture. Now, sometimes the photographer gets lucky, and doesn’t get a spoiled rotten kid who wants to pose themselves. These unspoiled, nice kids are the best they will shine through their photo. Every parent thinks their kid is the nicest, well behaved kid in the world. You obviously haven’t seen them when they think you aren’t looking. So please, understand the pressure photographers have.

    1. Most teachers don’t like getting pictures, attitude rubs off on kid, makes picture taking difficult from start
    2. Most kids want to model themselves
    3. No touch policy (too many sue-happy people out there)
    4. Parents can make it worse trying to make their kid smile
    5. Some kids just won’t smile no matter what
    6. Kids ARE different when you’re not there.
    7. We CANNOT force a kid to do anything they don’t want to do
    8. You can take a picture of a brat, they look like a brat, take a picture of a good kid, their personality shows. It’s all about attitude before the picture and during the picture.

    One other point to remember.
    Most schools treat us like parasites. They want us in and out as quickly as possible. Most schools make us take pictures of 500 students in 5 hours with no breaks at all. If you at all try to take your time to make everything perfect they are literally over your shoulder telling you to go faster or they will go with another company. Please realize how insanely fast we must go at many schools. It is depressing when you just want to take great photos and the school won’t let you