What IS it about school photos? Since the advent of digital photography, the quality of school photos has plummeted! It used to be the case that in a few seconds, the photographer would arrange you, and produce a decent pose. Now, you are plonked in front of the camera; no notice is taken of whether you have sorted out your hair, or if your clothes are straight; and as like as not the photo will be taken before you have had time to sort out your smile.
Outcome? Generally, school photos are more and more rubbish, and we are increasingly reluctant to shell out the pounds to buy even one copy, let alone copies for the sundry relatives who we might previously have bought them for.
Actually, I think I know what the issue is. The people taking the photos today are fundamentally technicians, rather than photographers. They have no interest in their subject. And they know how much parents want the formal photos, so they think they can get away with anything.
The silly thing is that with the abundance of cheap and effective camera equipment, it is incredibly easy to get hold of photos of people - a hundred million people probably have an average of a hundred photos each of them on Facebook! What is really needed to set school photos apart from this glut of imagery is somebody who actually does have an eye for a person, who can capture a character in a few seconds. It's easier now to look at the image and decide if it's any good straight away, and throw away a poor shot. SO WHY DON'T THEY??