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Monday, September 17, 2012

Senior photos for yearbook

Question: I would like to ask why our seniors are obligated to have their pictures done at only one place. Last year it was not that bad, as the seniors could pay $120 and get not only three changes but also an on-location shoot AND purchase a CD with more than 175 pictures and have them printed out somewhere else for less than $75. This year, you pay the $120 for two changes, and a picture outside at his studio. An on-location shoot is more than $300 and that does not even include the pictures--if you want them on a CD, you can only get 10 pictures for $175. His prices are now over the top and unaffordable. Next year, it is high time we start to act like ALL other local high schools and allow our students to do their OWN senior pictures. The way I see this is you are making money for one man and robbing the parents of seniors who are already paying a lot of money for everything seniors do to graduate including, for most students, a very expensive party at the end of the year.  This really needs to be addressed before next year.

Answer: Thank you for your question. First, to clarify, seniors are NOT obligated to get their senior portraits taken with John Viscosi, Broadalbin-Perth's official yearbook photographer. However, senior portraits for the yearbook must be taken by Mr. Viscosi, who offers a free sitting with two or three poses to all seniors at the high school each year. This year, Mr. Viscosi will be at the high school on Thursday, Sept. 20. Seniors should see me to set up an appointment.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept senior portraits from other studios for a few reasons. In the past, when we let seniors bring their own portraits to school to submit to the yearbook, portraits sometimes never made their way to us from home, and seniors were left out of the yearbook. Also, using Mr. Viscosi as our official photographer allows us to have the composites of each class hung in the hallway behind the cafeteria.

To summarize, seniors are not obligated to pay anything for a senior portrait to appear in the yearbook. Families can choose what studio to use for their child's senior portraits. I apologize for the confusion and we'll try to be more clear about senior photos next year.
- answered by Wendy Carroll, yearbook adviser


  1. Your response is appreciated. To be clear, seniors ARE obligated to have their senior portraits taken by Mr. Viscosi because even if you offer them for free, which most parents do not want the plain photos for their child, they are still taken by Mr. Viscosi. It is wonderful that he provides a free portrait for the school but he is not the only that can do this and even if another studio does senior portraits for one child does not mean that seniors that chose another photographer can not have their photo done on the free day for that portrait. With that said, if Mr. Viscosi is going to consider it ok to raise his prices so drastically and offer less for these photos than it is no longer about one free photo but fairness to your students. I think this may need to be looked into further by an outside agency. This is very unfair to your students and their families.

  2. I think if you look over your response you will see that your second and third paragraph, contradict one another. Either students do have to use Mr. Viscosi for the year book picture, or they do not... on one hand you say you can not accept portraits from other studios because they do not make it to school and seniors miss out and then in the end you say families can choose what studio to use for their senior portraits...which is it?

  3. Ok, sorry but I had a few people want to response from our home, I will say this: IF Gloversville, Amsterdam, and Saratoga School District can get their pictures done where ever they choose and even do them themselves, then I think a school as small as ours can easily do the same. THis feels like a permission slip for Mr. Viscosi to charge whatever he wants to our seniors and their families or they have to take a very basic picture for their senior picture. Bottom line here is this: you are giving a huge contract to Mr. Viscosi at the cost of our seniors and it is not right. If Mr. Viscosi had not chosen to even give the series of pictures he had taken on the disc for the same $170 this year as he did last year or maybe raised it like $25 for inflation I would not be complaining but he has went absolutely over board for something that cost him NOTHING but a few seconds longer to transfer those pictures to disc. Therefore, you need to review your policy and fast. I am finding out who we need to contact to formally complain about this. THIS is an unfair policy that gives one company all the money and jips students of an individual senior picture.

  4. Senior portraits for the yearbook and composite photo must be taken by the school photographer, who is Mr. Viscosi. Both the yearbook and the composite photo are important historical documents for the school district -- just ask anyone who's come back to look at them for their 50th high school reunion. Because of this, the school district insists on a certain amount of quality control. If we allowed students to submit their own portraits for the yearbook and composite, we would have to inspect each one to ensure it was large enough and had sufficient resolution to be printed (for instance, photos taken with a cell phone camera would not be acceptable) and consider the photos for content (for instance, in the past, we've had students request alternate photos be in the yearbook and have received pictures of student hunters with their kills, photos in which other individuals have been cropped out but random body parts remain, etc).

    We do whatever we can to include all students in both the yearbook and composite photo, which is why we offer multiple FREE sittings with Mr. Viscosi at the school -- in fact, we have one coming up on Oct. 18.

    If families want portraits of their senior for their personal use -- graduation announcements, gifts, etc. -- families are free to get those portraits taken anywhere. But for the school publications -- the yearbook and composite photo -- we must insist that students be photographed by our school photographer. There is no cost for the yearbook/composite portrait to the families or the school.

    If you have any additional questions about this practice, please contact Mrs. Blowers or Ms. Carroll by calling the high school main office at 954-2600.