Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Free School Pictures

(You are alone in a room. Dani enters the room on tiptoe quickly glancing over her shoulder to make sure there's no one else within earshot.)
Dani: "shhh, quick come here!"
You an excited and curious expression on your face as you lean in close: "What's up?"
Dani whispers, glancing over her other shoulder: "Wanna save some money, lots of money, on your kids school pictures?"
You standing up straight, eyes wide: "Heck Yeah!"
Dani reprimands: "Shhh, keep it down!"
You apologetic but still excited whisper: "oops, sorry. heck yeah!"
Dani lowers her voice and swoops her head back to check again that there is no one else listening: "This is what you've gotta do! Call the school and volunteer to help the photographer on picture day!"
You confused:"Volunteer? I've just got to volunteer to help and I'll get free pictures? Are you sure?"
Dani voice a bit louder with hands in the air and then alternating between folded across her chest and wagging a finger in the air: "Am I sure?! Have you forgotten who you're talking to?! Of course I'm sure. And it's not just volunteering to help, you have to actually show up and be there on time and make sure that you are working the whole time. It's usually just a few hours. You retrieve kids from classes, you make sure their hair isn't sticking up, you make sure their order forms are filled out properly and that they have the correct amount of money and VOILA! You've just earned yourself free pictures of all your students at that school. In fact, one year, the year before Cora started school, she tagged along for the day to help me help at picture day and they took her pictures for free too! Three sets of pictures FREE for 4 hours of easy but busy work."
(Dani puts her hands in her pockets and looks very satisfied with herself. You mimic the hands in the pockets but look unconvinced)
You question: "Really? That's it, and they'll just give you free picture packets for all your kids?"
Dani a bit annoyed by your disbelief but still patient: "You can call your school and find out for sure if you're wary. Different picture companies might have different guidelines like up to 2 or 3 students or up to a certain dollar amount. And some schools may take all day not just a few hours but even 6 hours of work in exchange for 2 $35 picture packets is worth it. That works out to being paid over $10 bucks an hour for your time with no income taxes or other deductions to pay!!!"
You: "That's Awesome!"
Dani: "Yep! And spring pictures start soon so you better call the school now before all the volunteer slots fill up."


  1. I have never had to pay for school pictures, except for Dan's first year of middle school, because they took them at registration and I wasn't expecting it. Our school only gives you 1 free picture package (and they pick the package), but its better than nothing!

  2. I did this for many years, twice a year, with my kids. I even had MY picture taken a couple of times. Quite a deal!


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