A Missouri mom found out the hard way that you shouldn’t send your kid to school on Picture Day wearing a green shirt. That is, if the photographer uses green screen technology to create artificial backgrounds.
“Mom, I shouldn’t have worn the green shirt for pictures. It will blend in with the green screen they used.”
St. Louis mom Laurel Hutsell says on Facebook that she picked out a bright green shirt for her son to wear for School Picture Day. As she explains on parenting blog Love What Matters, she wanted her seventh-grader, Carter, to wear something that pops, figuring the green would stand out against the dull gray backgrounds that she expected the photographer to use.
When Carter came home later that day, he broke the news to his mom: The photographer used green screen, the same technology that allows the weatherman on TV to explain the ins and outs of highs and lows and pressure systems while standing in front of a digitized map.
“They used a green screen? What?! I probably should have read some fine print. Maybe they will be ok.”
Unfortunately for Carter and Laurel, the technology that inserts backgrounds on the green screen behind Carter also inserted the same backgrounds onto Carter’s green shirt.
A few days later, when she got the order form, she found out to her horror just how big of a mistake she had made.
Picture after picture showed Carter’s disembodied head inserted seamlessly into a background.
One picture made it look like he’s running for office – and a snarky Facebook commenter said she’d be glad to vote for Carter when he does.
Needless to say, Laurel is regretful that she didn’t take the time to read the fine print.
“I have to admit I don’t always pay close attention like I should. So I might have missed the memo on that.”
Laurel says that she showed the picture to her husband, and they had a good laugh about it. Most disappointing to Laurel, she says, is that the pictures were taken on one of the rare days when both Carter’s smile and his hair were on-point. Too bad his wardrobe choice wasn’t.
The St. Louis mom shared the pictures with her friends and family on Facebook, and some were laughing so hard that they suggested that she make the posts public. Within hours, it had gone viral: As of this writing, her original post has over 46,000 reactions and over 30,000 shares.
“This is a memory and a story we’ll have to tell for a lifetime.”
Meanwhile, Laurel says that, in the grand scheme of things, a minor hiccup on seventh-grade Picture Day is hardly life-shattering.
As moms, we do the best we can. We love our kids. We support. We encourage. And we try to prepare. 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.”