FEATURE — September 25, 2019 at 2:51 pm

Student yearbook photos can cause stress

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Math teacher Kathryn Gilliam has a wall of senior portraits displayed in her classroom. Once she retires, her plan is to put them all in a scrapbook. Photo by Augustus Griffith

Year after year, individual yearbook photos can be stress for high school students. For seniors, the stress can be especially high, as they worry about makeup, props, outfits and the overall cost of the final product.

Serving as a permanent testament to many students’ time in high school, it’s easy to see why they might feel an obtrusive sense of anxiety about how they look in the moments before the shutter clicks.

“I cared a lot about my senior pictures,” senior Lauren Garnecki said. “For one, it’s my last high school yearbook picture I’ll ever take, and my past year’s pictures have always been bad, so I actually wanted to look good this year.”

For other students, this year’s yearbook photo is just another picture.

“I just get a shirt that I think will look good for the photo and make sure my hair looks nice,” junior Nick Hernandez said.

The photography company Fox-Mar is contracted with Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School for senior portraits and club photos. Seniors have to schedule appointments with Fox-Mar to sit for their formal senior photo. Their local studio is located 4855 W. Hillsborough Blvd, Suite B4 in Coconut Creek. Seniors can make appointments by calling 954-653-2301 or by booking on Fox-Mar’s website. The deadline is Oct. 

Senior Picture package prices range from $70-250. Fox-Mar offers a wide range of options, such as parent sessions, platinum sessions, double sessions, and more, along with a number of props and picture themes. While the cost of buying senior pictures may seem pricey to some students, many feel they are necessary to take despite the cost.

“It was interesting,” senior Josh Riemer said. “I didn’t really want to [take my senior pictures] because it’s some overpriced photography, but it’s important to have for years and years to come. It’s worth the price.”

Seniors that decide not to buy a picture package still pay a $10 fee for yearbook-only photoshoots. The fees collected are returned to the school’s yearbook staff and serve as a fundraiser. Yearbook fundraisers allow the Aerie yearbook staff to sell the yearbook to students at a discount. The full cost of producing the yearbook varies every year, but is approximately $150 per yearbook. 

Between parking decals, Homecoming, Grad Bash, Prom, and graduation caps and gowns,  senior year can come with a hefty price tag. Some seniors choose to prioritize certain expenses over others, preferring to purchase a yearbook full of their peers, rather than a photoshoot of themselves alone. The yearbook pre-order price is $70, which is the same as the lowest package option for senior photos. 

Underclassmen take their photos for free, but have the option to buy packages. MSD is contracted with Strawbridge Studios for underclassmen photos. The packages range in price from $14 to $28. A percentage of those sales are also received by the yearbook staff as a fundraiser. Underclass pictures took place on Aug. 27 and Aug. 28 through personalization classe. The makeup picture day is Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019. The schedule is as follows: freshmen – 1st period, sophomores – 2nd period, juniors – 3rd period. 

Students who wish to purchase a package can do so on the Strawbridge Studios website, using the access code: FM323513 

Though club photos occur later than individual pictures, many students look forward to them as well. It gives students the opportunity to remember the things they accomplished and the services they contributed to the school. Club photos will take place in the gym all day on both Oct. 14 and Dec. 3. Students should see their club sponsors for the schedule and for passes. 

The epitome of the high school experience rests on the very idea that students, as a body, are never alone. And now they have the pictures to prove it.

Augustus Griffith

Augustus Griffith Jr. is a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and he enjoys partaking all kinds of writing, especially fiction.

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