School Photo Fails That Left Parents Wishing They Hadn’t Preordered

Picture day is exciting for parents and students alike. For kids, it’s an excuse to spend time out of the classroom. For adults, it’s a chance to see how much their child has grown over the years. No matter how much preparation goes into dressing your kids up for their school photo, it ultimately comes down to them. From strange smiles to wide eyes, these disastrous pictures explain why some schools push parents to preorder.

Show Me Pouty

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@chadgreenfield/Instagram
@chadgreenfield/Instagram

This little boy looks like he was not excited about having his picture taken. At the same time, it’s his pouty expression that makes him seem like a model in the making.

We could just imagine this kid being used on the cover of an album or an artistic poster. He looks like a misunderstood rebel with a soft heart and a flair for writing sad songs. In actuality, he’s probably just a toddler who doesn’t like sitting still for long periods.

The Roaring Pose

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Stronajai Miles/Facebook
Stronajai Miles/Facebook

This kid looks like he was following the photographer’s directions to act like a lion or tiger. His wide mouth is in the shape of a roar while his eyebrows are furrowed in angst.

Some mothers would describe their child’s photo as “sweet” or “precious.” We would call this one something more like “adventurous” or “daring.” Then again, maybe that’s exactly what this student was going for. You can’t blame someone for wanting to break the mold.

The Pain Of Being Photographed

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Susie Savage/Facebook
Susie Savage/Facebook

This poor boy looks like he’s in actual pain as he’s getting his photo taken. There’s something about his squinting eyes and tight smile that leads us to believe he isn’t comfortable in front of the camera.

We can’t blame him for not wanting to get all dressed up just to wait in line to have a stranger take a posed photo of him. For some it’s exciting, but for others, it’s an awkward moment they’d rather avoid.

Say Cheese

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@mrssteff/Instagram
@mrssteff/Instagram

Have you ever looked into a mirror while saying the actual word “cheese”? If so, then you know that you don’t end up with a giant smile on your face. Instead, you end up looking like this kid.

The poor boy was just following directions. He didn’t know he’d end up with a sagging smile that does little more than bare his bottom teeth. If you had any doubts about the authenticity of his smile, just look up at his eyes, which read “I’m bored out of my mind right now.”

The Overzealous Smile

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Stacy Schoppenhorst Bauer/Facebook
Stacy Schoppenhorst Bauer/Facebook

This poor boy looks like someone just threatened to take all of his toys away if he didn’t give them the most enthusiastic smile he could possibly muster. While his mouth is spread and his eyes are wide, it’s not exactly joy that comes through.

This uncomfortable facial expression certainly deserves an A for effort, but that is precisely what’s wrong with it. When it comes to a great photograph, the more effortless, the better.

Do You Smell That?

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@some_youngsters/Instagram
@some_youngsters/Instagram

You’ve got to love this kid’s adorable, mousy face. Still, we’re not sure that scrunching up your nose is the best way to prepare for a photo. It’s as though he smelled something odd the second before the photographer snapped his lens.

Kids are still getting used to smiling on demand, so they sometimes don’t do it right. We would guess that this boy was trying to tighten his cheek muscles to form a smile, and ended up doing it with his nose muscles instead.

The Half Smile

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Ben Muma/Pinterest
Ben Muma/Pinterest

This little girl is a master of the half-smile, which can come in handy in some circumstances. For instance, if someone asks if you’re alright and you flash them this smile, then they know there is definitely something wrong.

It seems like this girl is trying to muster a smile, but she just did not have the strength to get there fully. In all fairness, posing for a photo is just “eh” for some people.

Turn That Frown Upside Down

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Erica Ireland/Facebook
Erica Ireland/Facebook

This kid seems to be confused about the difference between a frown and a smile. The poor guy is using his face muscles to stretch his mouth downward rather than upward.

It’s like he’s not quite sure how to activate his cheeks, resulting in an upside-down smile. At least he has the baring-your-teeth part down, but he doesn’t exactly look comfortable while doing it. This is why child photographers need to be trained in the art of making a kid laugh.

The Curled Lips

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Reddit
Reddit

This girl has lovely green eyes that are lit up in this photograph. The problem is that her smile gives away her discomfort. Though she is smiling, her lips are curled in such a way that it looks like she’s about to bite the bottom one off!

With all that tension in her mouth, she probably needed a face massage afterward. Additionally, those lopsided pigtails aren’t doing much to help the awkward photo. It may have been adorable when she was two, but now she’s practically in middle school!

I Said Do. Not. Mess. With. Me.

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Rebecca Ann/Facebook
Rebecca Ann/Facebook

When you look into the eyes of most kids, you usually see a face full of innocence. In this case, this boy looks like he’s not afraid to mess with you. Something about his wide eyes and tense smile screams, “you don’t want to get on my nerves.”

With an effortlessly intimidating expression like that, we could see this kid growing up to star as the villain in Hollywood films. He’d be that pretty boy who later reveals his dangerous side.

Not Impressed

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Reddit
Reddit

The Redditor who posted this hilarious school photo mentioned that this kid’s mom mixed up picture day and pajama day. In all fairness, the two names do sound similar and could be easy to mistake.

Still, this kid looks very unimpressed by the fact he’s stuck posing for a photo in his Spongebob PJs. At least his mom can’t blame him for looking like he hasn’t been having the best day. It’s like he’s wearing that passive-aggressive facial expression on purpose.

The Horned Hairstyle

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Reddit
Reddit

If you cut out the top part of this school picture, it would be a fantastic photo. Unlike some of the others we’ve seen, this child has a spot-on facial expression that makes it looks as though he’s genuinely smiling.

Additionally, he’s dressed like a businessman! His professional attire and photogenic face make this a winning image, if not for those horns. The kid’s parents must be pretty cool to let him gel his hair into two pointed spikes.

The Girl Who Got Hypnotized On Picture Day

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Pinterest
Pinterest

Judging by this girl’s wide eyes and open mouth, we would have guessed that she was hypnotized at the time this photo was taken. It’s as though there was some magical flash that went off and placed her into a state of hypnosis.

If we were her parents, we’d be questioning who the school hired to take this photo. The person behind the camera is supposed to guide the model to look pleasant, not out of their mind.

The Wiggly Smile

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Heather Millerleile-Solt/Facebook
Heather Millerleile-Solt/Facebook

Depending on what year this photo was taken in, we would bet that this boy either inspired the wiggly smile emoji or was inspired by it. It’s as though this boy wanted to have half of his mouth bare his teeth, and the other half remain closed.

The result is a curved smile that seems like it would take practice to accomplish. The photographer even had the poor kid tilt his head in such a way that it embellishes the odd smile.

The Disgusted Look

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@elizcatherine/Instagram
@elizcatherine/Instagram

This poor kid looks like he’s looking at something gross standing directly behind the photographer. His weak smile and tense eyes suggest that he is strongly bothered by whatever it is he’s looking at.

It’s the kind of look you’d give someone when they make a crude joke. If we had to guess what this boy said the moment after this photo was snapped, it would be “ew.” On second thought, maybe he was saying that as this picture was taken.

Eeeeek!

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Maggie O’Mara/Facebook
Maggie O’Mara/Facebook

This kid looks like he just saw someone run into a glass door. His smile is tightly stretched wide and down as though in an upside-down smile. His teeth are tight as though they’re nearly grinding and his head is shifted back so he has a double chin.

Add on his wide-eyes and you have a boy who looks thoroughly freaked out. We can’t imagine what would cause this reaction while at school and thus have to conclude that the boy made a funny face on purpose.

His Lips Are Sealed

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@trainerm4/Instagram
@trainerm4/Instagram

This boy doesn’t look like he’s being photographed at school for picture day at all. Between his serious expression and the vegetation in the background, we would have guessed he’s an undercover agent trying to track someone down in a park.

The kid is even biting his lips together as though he’s keeping a secret or deep in thought. His eyes are set on something as though they’re fixed on something important and ready to pounce.

The Excitement Is Real

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Imgur
Imgur

This kid looks like he just got a car for his birthday. His wide-eyes and raised eyebrows seem like there’s something significant standing in front of him. In actuality, the only thing in front of him is a camera lens.

Perhaps he was thinking about a surprise he had waiting at home or maybe he saw a crush walk by the moment before the picture was taken. Another option is that he was just trying to shake up the generic school photo pose.

Trying To Smile

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Britanee Ogden/Facebook
Britanee Ogden/Facebook

This little girl is only in preschool, so she has every excuse to still be new to the smiling game. At that age, many kids sport the fallen smile that this girl wears on her face.

Perhaps it’s that their cheek muscles have yet to grow enough strength to hold a static smile for an extended period of time. Or maybe it’s just that the girl has yet to master the art of pretending to look excited when she really just wants to go play.

The Invisible Boy

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@laurenjuliaanderson/Instagram
@laurenjuliaanderson/Instagram

Though many of us are illiterate when it comes to technology, it’s relatively common knowledge that you need to avoid wearing green clothes when a backdrop is involved. This photograph is a perfect example of what happens when you key in a background and it covers up the model.

To be fair, it’s the photographer and editor who should have warned parents and students about this happening. On the bright side, the kid probably thought it was cool that he turned partially invisible.