School picture day - what color background...

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Posted 10/4/2010 by scrapbean in NSBR Board


PeaNut 136,376
March 2004
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Posted: 10/4/2010 12:57:02 PM
I searched and found a few posts about solids vs. prints and people mentioned the background colors. I looked on the website for Lifetouch and 99% of kids in their gallery have dark hair - not one redhead. There might be a blond but they put her on a white background and that isn't an option for us...

Here are the options: Gray, Blue, Purple, Green and Amber

I want kids to have same background color so I can hang side by side if they are good pics (it's almost not possible but one can dream!).

My kids are strawberry blond boy and curly dirty blond girl. I'll pick outfits tonight, not worried about that part.

Thanks Peas!

DesPEArate Housewife

PeaNut 99,184
August 2003
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Posted: 10/4/2010 1:00:00 PM
I just volunteered for our school's picture day and we had those same choices. I would do gray, unless you plan to dress your kids in grey clothing. The blue at our school was BLUE! like shockingly blue. The rose is a very dark red-pink and may not look good with red hair (and most boys did not choose this). Amber is pretty, but not with red hair. Green would be my second choice for you, but again, it's a pretty dramatic green.

The grey was pretty. Not too dark and a good choice for any hair/clothing color (except grey clothing).


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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 210,654
June 2005
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Loc: Connecticut

Posted: 10/4/2010 1:00:07 PM
We always go with blue or grey. Not too distactig.


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PeaNut 147,319
May 2004
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Loc: Chicago, IL

Posted: 10/4/2010 1:00:09 PM
I would do anything but amber b/c of their hair color. I personally wouldn't choose purple though - I think that's an odd background color.

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PeaNut 308,186
April 2007
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Loc: California Coast

Posted: 10/4/2010 1:01:39 PM
I always go with gray or brown. To me, they look the most classic and are least likely to look funky and dated in a few years. But I tend to be on the boring side, LOL!

I also have a photo gallery of sorts going down our hallway and too many colors would clash.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 450,470
January 2010
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Posted: 10/4/2010 1:03:15 PM
I always chose gray because I think the photos are expensive enough without having to pay more for a stupid background color. I also want all my background colors the same so if i start with a color one year I would have to do it every year.

But of the colors I've seen, I think blue is the best. The green and red are a little shockingly bright to me.

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PeaNut 159,334
July 2004
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Loc: Left Coast

Posted: 10/4/2010 1:14:09 PM
The Lifetouch background colors are INTENSE.

I did green one year for my redhead, and it looked good since bright green is a very good color for him (his hair is more of a copper color), but it is quite intense. Usually I dress him in green for his photo, and stick to the gray background. That one year I did green, he wore a blue shirt.

My dd can't pull off green at all. The year I did green for my son I did blue for my dd -- it's OK, again, very intense. Distracting. So, now I stick to the gray for both of them.

ETA: My kids are in 5th and 8th grade, had school pictures taken each year, and I've only gotten ONE Lifetouch photo that was suitable for hanging on the wall. And I didn't even know about it beforehand -- the school decided to take Spring pictures one year, no advance notice that I saw, no pre-order -- they sent the pics home with the kids, and you were supposed to pay for what you wanted to keep and send the rest back. There is this funky, dark, rocky cliff like background. And my son was wearing a very blah brown shirt. But it was such a good picture of his face that I bought it and hung it up anyway.



PeaNut 355,647
January 2008
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Posted: 10/4/2010 1:19:39 PM
I vote grey!


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PeaNut 61,691
January 2003
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Posted: 10/4/2010 1:20:34 PM
My 3 blue-eyed blondes always get either the grey or blue background, and it always looks good.

Never mind, I forgot what I was going to say.

PeaNut 40,938
June 2002
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Loc: Middle of the Monterey Bay - Ca.

Posted: 10/4/2010 1:24:03 PM
When I was picking, it was grey for both girls. I was framing them together and needed them the same. When they hit Jr. High, I was over-run with framed pics all over the house, I let them pick their own backgrounds. They went for the grey or purple. They were both fine.

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PeaNut 132,554
February 2004
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Posted: 10/4/2010 1:31:37 PM
Always gray. Every year. I have two blond-headed children; one in MS one in HS. Boy/girl. I also wanted consistency. Gray goes well with just about any color they happen to wear.

Oops. This...

I always chose gray because I think the photos are expensive enough without having to pay more for a stupid background color. what I meant to say.



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PeaNut 361,843
February 2008
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Posted: 10/4/2010 1:32:51 PM
I let DD pick too. Last year she picked purple. At first I didn't think that was going to look good...but I ended up having her wear a white shirt and it actually turned out really good. (She has dark brown hair). This year she chose the gray...and she wore a pinkish/purple sweater.



PeaNut 98,081
July 2003
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Loc: Ohio

Posted: 10/4/2010 1:46:28 PM
I always get the gray, but last year's pics with gray were so washed out. I hope that's not the case this year. I think blue or gray would look nice with the hair clors you described.

I always get a small package, but it just chaps my hide how much they charge for crappy pictures. I sure hope the school gets a part of the sales. I could get better pictures at Target, but there is just something about getting the "official" school picture complete with bad hair day and deer caught in the headlights smile.

When does football season start?

PeaNut 182,623
December 2004
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Loc: USA

Posted: 10/4/2010 1:49:35 PM
I'm getting the grey background. Personally, I think the amber background should be free also. The only thing I'm paying extra for is his name and grade on the corner of the picture.

Kerri W
Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 7,171
October 2000
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Loc: Kentucky

Posted: 10/4/2010 1:51:17 PM
Embarassingly it has never occured to me to think about my kids hair/eye color when I chose the background color.

I always choose the most neutral so that the picture will look good with all the different types of decor in my family's homes. I know everybody will hang the pictures up and want it to somewhat blend. Green would match my MIL but definitely not my mom or sister, KWIM?


PeaNut 460,723
March 2010
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Loc: Alberta Prairie

Posted: 10/4/2010 1:53:01 PM
If it's lifetouch then go with the grey! I'm a school secretary and so I get to see ALL the students' picture packages when they come in and over the years I have found that the grey background to be very flattering. JMHO

Useless Information

PeaNut 249,087
February 2006
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Posted: 10/4/2010 2:25:21 PM
My standard backdrop for school pictures is a green and brown one, very muted and looks great when it's out of focus. If the green is very green, I'd opt for gray. If the blue is muted blue, that might work but gray might be your best bet.

Catty smart aleck

PeaNut 89,450
June 2003
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Posted: 10/4/2010 2:40:20 PM
I've always chosen gray as well because frankly I think the emerald green and sapphire blue are downright tacky. Who decided those saturated colors would be attractive complements to anyone's complexion?

Last year Lifetouch messed up and I got one child with a blue background and one with a gray background. So much for my collage of school portraits. I do "first day of school" and birthday pictures instead.


"It's not how you look but how you see."


PeaNut 74,514
March 2003
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Loc: California

Posted: 10/4/2010 3:03:20 PM
We went with Amber this year, but I haven't seen them yet so I don't know if it was a good choice. My kids all wanted blue, but that looked WAY too bright. I'm not buying them anyway, so I should have just let my kids pick what they wanted (I hadn't seen the price list yet when we were picking our colors - they ran out of the forms).


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PeaNut 267,324
July 2006
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Loc: Iowa

Posted: 10/4/2010 3:10:01 PM
Having put the yearbook together for many years, the ONLY color I would choose is the gray. When they are printed with the different colors for background, they are just not nice. The other colors are so intense that they are not nornal, nor flattering to the child.

Good luck with your decision.


PeaNut 216,153
July 2005
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Loc: Texas

Posted: 10/4/2010 4:50:58 PM
I haven't seen them yet, but my blue/grey-eyed blonde is getting the grey background. She wears a blue plaid uniform, so I figured the grey would be enough contrast, would be neutral, and it always looks good with her eyes. Guess we'll see!

I wish they used the place her preschool used. Every single time (3 years), I loved the pics. Even the group shots were pretty good, considering that they were essentially "herding cats."


Je suis desole

PeaNut 38,879
May 2002
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Loc: Phoenix area

Posted: 10/4/2010 4:57:38 PM
We picked the green for all her HS years, but I agree that it is very intense and not for everyone.

This year, she was wearing a very bright pink ruffled top, and the intensity of her pink looked spectacular with the emerald green.

But my pics were much better. Those are the ones that go to the relatives. Her pic is just for yearbook. And I do like it to pop!



PeaNut 136,376
March 2004
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Posted: 10/4/2010 9:31:38 PM
Thanks! Gray it is!


PeaNut 183,117
January 2005
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Loc: Middle of the USA

Posted: 10/4/2010 10:00:25 PM
Lifetouch does our school's photos ... Normally, I pick blue ... Well, this year, the blue is really, really bright! Not at all like last year's darker blue. The photos of the kids are very, very good, but that bright blue is almost too much! I would be mad if I had boys and picked that crazy blue. With my girls I wanted to do color and not gray, but that blue is electric!

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