School Portrait Photography Company Removes Its Retouching Services After Mother Complains

The camera never lies, right? Apparently the touch up service can make you think that it does lie! In this article you can read about a mom who disagreed with the retouching service which was used for school photographs.

A West Sussex mom Alexandra Norman complained after the company touched up the school photos. The service claimed it ‘softened blemishes and facial lines, acne and even marks on jumpers’. In an interview with BBC South Norman voiced her views that photographs are not meant to be perfect. The company then apologised to Norman and withdrew the service.

Other parents, however, disagreed with Norman and said that the service should be an optional choice for parents. Most of the other parents agreed that the company should not have apologised. The option is clearly stated on the order form and if you do not require touch up, then do not check the box.

Single mother Alexandria Norman with her eight-year-old daughter Blake. Ms Norman was horrified to discover she was given the chance to retouch her daughter's pictures 
Single mother Alexandria Norman with her eight-year-old daughter Blake. Ms Norman was horrified to discover she was given the chance to retouch her daughter’s pictures

“The photo’s not supposed to be about perfection,” says Norman. “It’s just to capture them at that moment in time.”

“This service will send our children the wrong message.”

“It will make them feel that we don’t accept them as they are and that we aren’t as happy with the photos unless we cover up their ‘blemishes’.”

Ms Norman received this order form with proofs of her daughter's school photograph and noticed the service 
Ms Norman received this order form with proofs of her daughter’s school photograph and noticed the service
Ms Norman, who works as a travel agent, contacted Yellow but says the company told her it was a popular and long-standing service available to customers
Ms Norman, who works as a travel agent, contacted Yellow but says the company told her it was a popular and long-standing service available to customers

Ms Norman added:

“These ‘blemishes’ are what make our children individual. A couple of years ago, Blake knocked her front tooth and it turned grey.

“The retouching service wasn’t available then but if it had been I would never have taken them up on the offer.

“That was just part of who she was then and will be something that we will look back on and remember.

“Children are already growing up in a world where they are surrounded by air brushed and unattainable body images.

“I feel that re touching school photos is causing them to be aware of a subject which they shouldn’t even be thinking of at primary school age.”

Ms Norman has accused the company of 'stealing the innocence' of school pictures and threatening a positive body image
Ms Norman has accused the company of ‘stealing the innocence’ of school pictures and threatening a positive body image

Yellow Photography declined to give any comment and the school said they would review the wording of the form prior to the next set of school pictures.

“The photography company has an excellent reputation and is widely used by many schools.

“We will review the wording prior to the next photograph date in the summer term.”

Ms Norman said: “I expressed my views on Facebook and all the other parents feel the same as me. They’ve said it’s disgusting.

“I was worried I was over-reacting but they’ve agreed.”

Many parents, however, disagreed with Norman and spoke out in defense of Yellow School Photos.

“I really think that this woman should apologize to the school photographers rather than the other way round,” writes Carole McMillan. “The photographers have ended up issuing a public apology for nothing. They weren’t doing anything wrong. […] This has left a business probably losing business when they have done no wrong, parents being denied a choice for their children, and an 8 year old who probably wasn’t bothered in the first place bemused about all the fuss.”

“Yellow has been offering this OPTIONAL service for a couple of years at least, it features red-eye removal, tidying up a cardigan (removing spilt lunch-time bean juice etc), it can also cover up grazes, cuts, that annoying spot that appears on Photo Day,” says Nick Grace. “If you don’t require the service, don’t tick the box. If you do, do. Simple enough.”

Source: PetaPixel