Last year I calculated that over my career as a student and a high school teacher, I’ve taken 32 school portraits.
About 10 years ago, a student posed for her school picture displaying a whole pineapple from a fruit display that was in the room at the time of the photo shoot. It kind of blew my mind. I considered it and then decided; no more serious portraits.
The next four or five years after that I… took serious portraits. Just out of habit; after the shoot, I’d remember that I had wanted to do something else, something more interesting.
Then I quit my job and moved to China.
I got my job back after three years away, and so I’m back to taking school portraits… only this time, I remember that I want to do something interesting moments before they actually snap the picture. So this year and last year, I made my picture with the only prop I had within reach; my cell phone. Oh well, make it work, right?
It’s kind of a shame: just before this photo shoot, I walked all the way back to my office to put away my ukulele. I bet that would have been a fun portrait.
Maybe for number 34 I will bring my ukulele. Or maybe I can just snag something from the buffet table….