Unclassy Class Photo

Dear Fauxtog, way to make everyone feel included… you’re fired!

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  1. Autumn

    AGREED!!!!!!!!! I found this picture utterly disgusting!

  2. I read an article about this one … apparently after complaints from parents the photography company re-shot the class picture, and had the boy lifted to a seated position on the benches (no wheelchair) so he could sit with his friends. Lots of lame excuses about why they excluded him like this in first place, both from the original photographer and from the school. Sigh.

    • I’m glad to hear he got a proper picture but how heartbreaking that in this day and age it happened in the first place!

      • Thanks for the explanation of the photo. I’m surprised the teacher allowed it to happen. The little boy is over there smiling his heart out, and no one there was looking out for him. So sad.

    • We’ve done that for years, regardless of what the photographer wanted or not, I always lifted my student onto the bench and sat beside her!

    • dorkee

      Just for the record – the original photographer (to my knowledge) hasn’t commented. The company (LIFETOUCH OF CANADA) did comment, saying that “they are sensitive to the issues displayed in this photo” and train photographers to handle this situation, including moving the child in the chair to the front/middle, taking the child out of the chair, etc… and that their photographer did not follow procedures. Finally they stated that a retake was done, plus they where going to use this as a training aid for both photographers and customer service reps.

  3. nesgran

    wow, that was awful

  4. Looks as if the picture taker was very aware of symmetry, intentionally placed everyone, then the boy in his wheelchair was an add on that he included when making his final composition.
    My hope here is that he or she was just inexperienced and panicked because the next grade had walked into the gym waiting on their turn.
    I guess it’s possible that this was done with an insensitive heart, but I would rather believe it was unintentional.

  5. Danielle

    People make such a big deal because they have nothing else better to do. They pretend like they are fighting for equality when all they do is bitch about things that seem unfair. You weren’t there and you don’t know the circumstances involved. We have bigger fish to fry people. Let’s try to fight for things that matter! Oh yeah and get a life!

    • I hope you never have a special needs child. You clearly have no idea what it’s like to be that child or be the caregiver (parent, educational assistant or other) that sees how differently they’re treated every day. Ridiculous comment

      • Well I have had a special needs child who would have turned 28 on May 4, but he died on Feb 15, and I agree Danielle

      • Maybe your mom should have had an abortion.

    • And other people having nothing better to do but complain about other people complaining, apparently. I am actually aware of the circumstances, while you, I would imagine, are not. Perhaps you should tell this young boy that in your opinion he does matter? Would you do it to his face? No … I didn’t think so.

    • And other people having nothing better to do but complain about other people complaining, apparently. I am actually aware of the circumstances, while you, I would imagine, are not. Perhaps you should tell this young boy that in your opinion he does not matter? That he isn’t a big enough fish to fry? Would you do it to his face? No … I didn’t think so.

    • But this does matter, Danielle. How would you feel if it had been your child? I did further reading on this, and the parents felt they couldn’t even show the boy the photo. By bringing this to light it might help other photographers think first before a situation like this happens again. That’s a good thing.

      Telling people to get a life just because they care what happens to children is rather crude and completely uncalled for. How about a little compassion instead?

    • The exclusion of a special-needs child is something that “doesn’t matter” to you? Wow, I’d hate to live in your warped world.

  6. heather

    not only are your not a photographer, you are a person without common sense or empathy. 🙁 so sad

  7. And other people having nothing better to do but complain about other people complaining, apparently. I am actually aware of the circumstances, while you, I would imagine, are not. Perhaps you should tell this young boy that in your opinion he does not matter? That he isn’t a big enough fish to fry? Would you do it to his face? No … I didn’t think so.

  8. Eosman

    I would have put him in the middle in his chair and got all the kids around him, yeah it wouldn’t have been a chezzy 1980’s looking school shot, It would have worked bloody well,
    Thats the difference between a photog and an idiot.

  9. Just awful! Even the teacher doesn’t look like she wants to be there, it’s as if she is separated from the group to give some balance.
    I feel sorry for the poor boy and his family.

    • The teacher said she couldn’t see him from where she was and didn’t realize he was so far out. I don’t think it’s fair to blame her; she was probably just standing where she was told.

  10. It probably wasn’t intentional, but at the same time, people need to be aware of these kind of situations. Even if they kept the boy in his wheelchair (it looks as though he needs the support and maybe can’t sit up on his own) they could have placed him in a manner where he was more surrounded by other students. That whole back row of kids look a little taller, and maybe they could have been standing on either side of him.

  11. Schoolphotossuc

    Having worked for over 5 years for the biggest and WORST school photography company on the planet I can lend some educated information. First let me say I have been faced with this problem before. I did what any good intentioned PERSON would do. Address it with the teacher first. Try to get the student out of the chair and onto the front bench. If that doesn’t work, say he can’t be moved or people, yes folks some school teachers won’t help, most will, but some won’t. If that is too difficult then move the shot from the bench and use library or cafeteria chairs to align the students in a similar way to get the shot. I know that he is special needs but the other kids deserve an equally good photo, you do what you can. Always try to make them see that you are doing what is best for all of them.
    What you don’t know is: Is the School demanding all classes be shot on the risers, regardless of what class it is.
    Is the teacher cooperative? Believe it or not not all of them are!
    Is the School rushing the Photos through? Most do. Picture day often is a big pain in the a$$ to schools and they make the photographer very aware they are disrupting their day. Not always but most do.
    Is the Photography company making the photo composition required?
    Is the Photographer new? Experienced? Compassionate? Often school photographers are the least experienced as I was until other photographers set me straight.
    I know I will get blasted for this but unless you have been a school photographer before you have know idea. Thats what school photography is like, Minimum wage or slightly above doesn’t get you the best photographer, he probably quit McDonalds to get this job.

    • As a fellow school photographer for a certain horrible company, I completely agree!

      • I also worked for a school photography company. You would think the schools and teachers would try to help out more in situations like this but they don’t. Often for the photographers on site we have to break rules to get a good shot and are at risk of loosing our jobs if we do. We aren’t allowed to physically move the child ourselves the teachers or caretaker has too. If they refuse to or don’t want to or give that great excuse of “Oh it will be fine like this.” then guess what we, the photographer, aren’t able to do anything about it but take the picture and move on. 98% of the time, the school wanted us in and out ASAP.

  12. It really would not have been hard to shift the kids so that they are on the edge of the bench nearest him.

  13. Did anybody notice how all of the children’s faces are blurred out EXCEPT for the special needs child’s? Why was that done?

    • The parents initially posted the photo with the faces unblurred on the photographer’s facebook page, and they were called out for violating the children’s privacy. When the newspaper picked up the story, the photo used had the faces blurred.

  14. Alise: Because he and his parents were identified in the news story YANAP probably got this from.

  15. Some people can’t easily sit on other surfaces, especially a bench with no back to it. With a lot of conditions, the person has very little support at all. But there’s no reason not to put the chair as near to the bleachers as possible (and shift the kids to that side). How lame.

  16. The photography company has now taken a new class photo with the boy sitting on the bench with his aide’s support.

  17. Seems like no one who has commented on this picture has done photography at schools before. The reason the kid is off the the side is because its impossible to get his wheelchair closer to the other children and some kids who was wheelchair ridden cannot sit on their own, therefore must stay on the chair. I personally had the kids all crouch down by the kid in the wheel chair because people tend to blow things completely out of the water.

  18. Personally I’m trying to decide if I blame the photographer (who if they work for a mega size school photo company) is told get in, get the photos, get out…. stand here – on these foot prints, tilt your head this way, okay smile, click – done or the school / teachers…

    It’s obvious that the school wanted all their class photos done the same – line the kids up, sit on bleachers, snap, done. The photographer could / should have moved all the kids to their left, had the teacher stand behind him – problem solved – kids are on bleachers, kid in chair is in photo and doesn’t look left out.

    As for teachers – I’ve observed many special needs aids and teachers – some are there only to collect a pay check. Others really care. So at best it may have been 50/50 if the teacher would have helped if the photographer asked. (And yes – my daughter is special needs – and we’ve had both kinds of teachers with her.)

    This one is just as bad – if not worse….http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/upshot/class-photo-called-offensive-degrading-023307967.html

  19. why not move the top row of students to fill out the bottom and second row so that the children take up the entire bench thus not leaving over a foot gap between them and the wheelchair bound student?
    or even just get the children on the bottom to leave a bigger gap between each of them so they aren’t a foot away?

  20. I specialize in photography of families with special needs and spend a great deal of time in and around the disabled community. To say the least, I had tears in my eyes when I first saw this image. I actually wrote a pretty lengthy piece about it on a private site.
    I think what a lot of people are really missing here is who really is to blame, who is the one person should should have been on top of this so this did not happen? The teacher! She should be his voice, his advocate to be sure that things like this do not happen on school time. You see how he is leaning in, trying so hard to be part of the group? This is something he has to fight with on a daily basis, and I fear that this image is indicative of his entire school year.
    As for doing a reshoot and taking him from his chair to sit him with the class, that was the wrong approach, now your saying that his chair doesn’t fit in. All they had to do was slide everyone maybe 2 feet to the right and put the teach at the other end, then it would have worked perfectly!

  21. shigurl

    Before you die, you see the ring

  22. Why are all their faces blurred? Did Sadako get them?

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