Yearbook Photos: Fake Sweat

Newsweek had a short blurb about the enormous money people are paying for high school yearbook photos nowadays. I know something about this because my cousin Kelsey just spent A LOT of money on shots for her yearbook. But one line in the Newsweek article (the part about the fake sweat) caught my attention:

Cindy Glover, 41, remembers her high-school yearbook photos: "All the girls wore wool blazers." But for her son, Austin, 17, a senior from Spencer, Iowa—and many of his peers nationwide—it's another story. Photographer Rick Krebsbach spent four hours shooting Austin indoors, outdoors, in his wrestling gear and shirtless while holding his football helmet. For the athletic shots, Krebsbach even "put water on him to make him look like he was dripping [sweat]," says Glover. She expects to spend about $700 on the photos and "image collection" book.

I also couldn't help but notice how odd it is that Austin's photo shoot looks more like a soft-porn spread for some beefcake magazine than what you would put in a high school yearbook. I think I preferred the days of grainy black-and-white head shots.


Posted on Tue Sep 13, 2005


I've watched your site a whole lot Alex, it's excellent reading.

Anyway, as a high school student who just got his senior photos, I feel obliged to comment. I'm sure that some photographers offer this sort of thing, but I just wore button down/plain colored shirts and khakis for my senior photos.

Then again, I'm not a sports fanatic either, so I wouldn't dream of taking pics in my basketball jersey. Nonetheless, this is still over the top. Or it would be, in my school.
Posted by Zup  on  Tue Sep 13, 2005  at  10:06 PM
Nothing like going over the top. We didn't have much choice with our yearbook pics. We all were in school uniform since it's compulsory here in Australia. All other pics in our yearbook were taken by various students which were then donated to the book.
Posted by Smerk  in  to mischief  on  Tue Sep 13, 2005  at  11:06 PM
I think you meant GAY soft porn.
Posted by Jorge  on  Wed Sep 14, 2005  at  06:03 AM
I know that for the photo for SENIORS that goes into the yearbook for schools in my area, are basic. Girls have this black cape thing wrapped around them to simulate a dress...and guys have a tux shirt, and black jacket. I think the jackets are provided, and the tux shirt is again, just a cloth placed under, that has pleats and buttons in th front. A few years ago, a girl made a big stink b/c she wanted to wear the tux b/c she was a officials decided that regardless of sexual orientation, girls wore the fake dress, boys wore the fake tux.

SENIOR PICTURES I think are a total waste. I know some people that went all out and had pics taken of them from this angle, that angle, etc...with different clothes on in each shot, different hairstyles and makeup....

And other people that just sat down in their hat and gown and smiled nicely.

My mom is upset that I never did senior photos...but I don't see the big deal.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Wed Sep 14, 2005  at  06:14 AM
$700?! For those pictures? Mom is none too bright. I've seen white trash on MySpace who know how to capture and photoshop pictures better than that.
Posted by Ally Byrd  in  NYC  on  Wed Sep 14, 2005  at  12:16 PM
No matter how much you spend on your yearbook pics, you're still going to look like a total dork in them ten or fifteen years from now (If you'll pay me $700, I'll show you my senior yearbook). Just accept it, get on with your life, and save yourself a lot of money.
Posted by Big Gary, looking blurry  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Wed Sep 14, 2005  at  04:25 PM
When I got my senoir pictures done, they charged quite a bit just to have them taken and then several hundred dollars for the cheapest package of prints. The photographer (who was a man) did take some rather provocative shots of the girls who came in. I heard he's gone out of business now...
Posted by Hannah  on  Wed Sep 14, 2005  at  04:27 PM
paying for yearbook photo's???

jeeze, all I remember from High School yearbook photo's is being herded into the gym, waiting in line and then having a black and white head shot snapped.

BTW, Austin, athlete or not, would have been beaten senseless (or at the very least publicly ridiculed) in my school for doing something so unexcusedly lame.
Posted by Chuck  in  Rhode Island  on  Thu Sep 15, 2005  at  02:06 PM
Dude, theres a difference between those boring school yearbook senior photos and personal senior photos that people go out and get done. People have been getting BOTH done for years.
I personally think that much $ is ridiculous to spend on photos of yourself. I think my senior portraits cost about $150 5 years ago. But that "image college" of that dude is not going in his yearbook. Its going to sit around in his parents house and he may show it off until a few years go by and he grows up and realizes how dumb it is. Then he will only be faced with it for the rest of his life when he comes home to his parents!
Posted by chyca  on  Tue Sep 20, 2005  at  08:28 AM
Maybe it is a geographic thing but $700 for senior pictures isn't bad in CA. I think the layout was fine- it show who he is and what he is into at this point in his life. The fact that he is in great shape will be nice to revisit when he is 40 years old and looking back at "what used to be" sort of thing. I'm not sure about it being the yearbook, but completely acceptable for his family home and friends. I wouldn't call it porn and those that do perhaps have some personal issues to address. There is nothing in his expression that says anything pornographic, he only has his shirt off in one shot and he isn't doing anything provocative. Heck the jeans and jacket shot with no shirt he is smiling like the boy next door. I tend to be a strict parent, but I would be fine with this. I guess it comes down to if you like the drape of yesteryear and everyone looking exactly alike, or if you want something more personal that reflects the child you have.
Posted by claire  in  CA  on  Thu Sep 22, 2005  at  09:49 AM
Well said, Claire- spoken like a total fruitcake from the Left Coast. This young man should run away from this gay porn biz as fast as he can and join the Marines if he's going to have any chance at all. Keep him out of Cali-pornia, where his gayness will be accepted and held up as the boy next door from weirdos like you.
Posted by booch  on  Mon Oct 03, 2005  at  02:23 PM
I dont think 700 is bad for senior pics, i think it's great that we have the chance to take them. Were going to look back at those pics and remember good times!! I also think he looks super hott lol!
Posted by britt  in  Oklahoma  on  Tue Nov 29, 2005  at  11:27 PM
Damn that austin guy is hot as shit im tryin to holla at that... The senior portraits at my skool are like $500 and i guess thats a good price and i disagree almost everybobys senior portartis look good and for all the money they are the better not look dorky in 15 years... class of 08 baby cool hmm
Posted by Heather  in  B-more  on  Fri Jan 13, 2006  at  05:53 AM
Heather, you're an idiot.
Posted by Ashleigh  on  Wed Jun 07, 2006  at  08:43 AM
okay. so first off. its hs. we want to be remembered for who we are and that is not a black and white head shot. its sports its fun and its in color. times have changed and so have the attitudes of young people. shirtless with fake sweat is a little over the top, but pictures are expensive if you want the best, and you want them to reflect who you are. i hate to be negative over here... but i feel obliged to give my input.
Posted by Sarah  in  Somewhere  on  Sun Sep 07, 2008  at  11:53 AM
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