Every middle-school student knows how important picture day is. Who doesn’t remember practicing their smile in the mirror until the bus showed up or laying out the perfect outfit the night before?
After all, it’s the photo that your crush will hopefully draw a heart around in the yearbook — you want to look good.
To add to that stress, the students at one St. Louis middle school take their school photos on the first day.
Laurel Boone Hutsell and her son, Carter, thought they were ready. Together they went through Carter’s wardrobe to ensure that he’d wear the right shirt for his first day and his school photo. Laurel wrote on LoveWhatMatters.com that she recommended wearing a green shirt, so that it would really pop against any gray or taupe background the school would be using.
She even gave him some pointers on how to nail the perfect smile: “Don’t squint your eyes so much. Look more natural. Smile like someone just said something funny. Not like you’re scared that someone is sneaking up behind you.”
And it worked: Carter looked fantastic. His hair and his smile were both on point. Except the photographers opted to use a green screen, which meant that his green shirt would also be keyed out and replaced with a background of the parent and student’s choosing.
Put simply, Carter essentially is a floating head and arms in his school photo.
“The first thing Carter says to me is, ‘Mom, I shouldn’t have worn the green shirt for pictures. It will blend in with the green screen they used,’” Laurel wrote.
“I was just thinking he’ll have to do a retake photo,” Laurel tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “When I saw the pictures, I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh! He was right!’”
Laurel shares with Yahoo Lifestyle that the school picture company has reached out to her (after an employee was tagged in the comments of her now-viral Facebook post) and that Carter will not have to have his picture retaken. Instead, the company will key out a different color, and Carter’s bright green shirt will return to its natural state.
Personally, I’m partial to this patriotic look.
According to Laurel, Carter isn’t upset by the green screen mishap at all. Once he saw the photos, he laughed and said, “I told you! I told you this was going to happen.” The middle-schooler also enjoys seeing how many people are cracking up at his hilarious photos. “He checks how much [the post] has been shared,” Laurel says.
“As moms, we do the best we can. We love our kids. We support. We encourage. And we try to prepare,” Laurel wrote on LoveWhatMatters. “But in the end, there’s a chance our kids will still have a floating head in a flag, autumn scene or brick wall. And that, my friends, is a hilarious thing to be okay with.”
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