Photo by Augustine Ng.

Graduation. A jolly good time for your family to cry a little and take all the credit for raising such a brilliant child, a child who is now roughly 40 thousand dollars in debt.

As convocation day creeps up, e-mails will start coming in reminding you to book your graduation photos. Remember in high school, when you wore your favourite outfit to picture day? If the pictures didn’t turn out nice, you would just tell yourself that you’d take a better one next year. This doesn’t apply for grad photos.

One time shot, unless you’re willing to pay the $25 sitting fee again. The photos are awkward and way too posed for anyone’s liking. You couldn’t care less about taking them but you know that if you fail to, your parents might not show up to your grad all together.

Ryerson uses Lassman Studios Photography, a company that requires students to pay a $25 sitting fee, prior to receiving any photos. The result is an array of typical graduation photos: cap and gown, roses, diploma, fun prop and silly face.

I went through this last week and arrived to put on the blue gown that many before me wore on that day. The photographer adjusted my hair a few times and had me place my arms in awkward positions. He assured me that I had a great smile and that the pictures look great so far. I believed him.

Fourty-eight hours later, I checked the website to see the results and I was pleased. I mean, they’re not amazing, but they’re grad photos. My parents squealed and picked out their favourite photos and told me to make sure I get them ordered soon.

I hesitantly pressed the order button and needless to say, I didn’t like what I was seeing. One photo costs $35.95 and the only option available to receive digital copies is a package priced at $369.96. You’re entitled to think that is fair pricing, but personally, I think it’s just a scam. I e-mailed the company myself asking for a price for just the digital copies and I was told that it would cost $95 plus tax per photo or $275 (plus tax) for all the images.

These people know how emotional and significant graduation is and are simply taking advantage of us broke students. Even if your parents are willing to pitch in to cover the cost, the price itself is still outrageous.It makes me wonder why we don’t have students taking these photos. I mean, we do have a great photography program, so wouldn’t students be willing to do this for money, or maybe even credit? The logistics might be too difficult to figure out, I understand.

So, my advice to you is this. Buy yourself a nice blue gown from Amazon and have a talented friend take your photos for you. Roll up a piece of paper and grab yourself a nice bouquet from Walmart. When all is done, print the photos at Walmart/Costco or wherever you usually go and done. All under $100.

Happy Graduation.

You’re welcome!

2 Comments to: OPINION: Ridiculous prices, awkward photos.

  1. Pauline

    February 28th, 2018

    Prices are ridiculous for something so easy to do ourselves these days. Even public/high school photos appear to be mostly just a business opportunity, and yet they are a fraction of the cost of these grad photos.

  2. Sue

    December 6th, 2018

    You’re absolutely right! What a scam. I’m about to order my daughter’s grad pics and just now looked at the prices. Outrageous!


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