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Xeni Jardin at 6:33 pm Mon, Jul 13, 2009
This makes me as happy as DorkYearBook. I love doofy looking retrokids, especially when some of them are me.
I will scan my junior year picture and send it to this blog… it not only had the laser background, but the dyed-black long mohawk over one eye thing. And, no, I was not smiling.
Also, if you go back a few pages (4 or 5 I believe), you will find one of a Mr. Jason Mraz, their first celebrity portrait. He looks just as goofy as all of the other kids there.
I feel cheated – never had Lasers, and late 80′s-early 90′s were the peak of my school and extra curricula crappy portraits.
Grey-mauve gradients and autumnal scenes. Utterly ripped off!
Can someone explain how this worked to someone who was growing up in Rome during the 80s? Why are there all these posts about people having to pay extra for the lasers? Were there actual lasers involved?
@ #12 thanks for saying that for me lol
funny to see these though, i had no idea this was going on. i was in college at the time. We didn’t have a goofy equivalent of this in the 70s & 80s did we? I think our whacky 70s clothes was enough…
Jeph Jacques of webcomic Questionable Content draws laser portraits of some of his characters here and here.
That picture should be next to the dictionary definition of “to be geeked (about something)”
@2 – Different backdrops were priced differently. If your parents didn’t pay for school pics or didn’t want a ludicrous background (or if you forgot to bring in the order forms with their check) then you got a stock plain background (white? blue?).
If your parents really loved you they would shell out for the extra couple bucks so that the photographers would pull down the laser background, hence making you awesome.
Of course, which roll-up background they used didn’t impact their costs, it was just a way to make some kids feel shitty, poor, unloved, or forgetful.
I wonder what the modern equivalent is? Perhaps they now do have real lasers!
If I remember right, they were a LOT more expensive.
Because my mom would get tons of portraits done, but never would go with the lasers
Thanks for linking us! Keep on sending in those LASERS, guys!!!!!!!!
As I recall, it was only about $5 more for the background (and yes, I got lasers, although it was a blue “warp speed” one not found on the site). At least at my school, they didn’t actually pull down the various background. Instead, you sat in front of a retroreflective screen, and the background was actually projected on by a slide projector fitted with a strobe lamp slaved to the camera. That way they were able to offer a choice of about 50 backgrounds.
^Actually, I take back what I said about the backdrop I had not being on their site. It was this one: http://www.laserportraits.net/post/63114753/thanks-to-brad-for-sending-in-his-laser-pic-i
Is that Robert J. Sawyer???
Isn’t there a pretty awesome portrait photo of Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Uhura (TOS) against a laser background? I’ve searched for it, but can’t find it, despite the “awesome” powers of Bing.
Maaaann!! I wasn’t even an 80s kid, but I remember these (maybe the WalMart studio in our neck of the woods was particularly behind the times?). Always stuck with the boring stone-wash blue background, maybe a forest once or twice, but I always wanted the lasers…
Li’l Steven Merchant.
Dude. Greatest. Website. EVAR.
Thanks again, BB. Wonderful, indeed.
@7 – I don’t think they were “a LOT” more expensive, I just think that parents didn’t what their kids in cheesy dated Star Wars photos.
I love the glasses all those kids are wearing.
To this day I question why anyone thought our cheeks needed corrected vision.
I totally had a laser portrait! I wish I knew where it was. If I find it I’ll post an update. The year was 1988, I was in the fourth grade, completely flat-chested, wearing a (The) Simpson’s t-shirt. We didn’t have to pay extra for the background.
We never had the laser option for school portraits. However, for senior pictures (circa 1984-85) most of us went to one of about three local studios, and some came out with the lasers. My friend Joan had them in the wallet photo she handed out to friends, which we all dubbed “Interstellar Joooooaaaaan.”
The studio I went to took some of my photos outdoors, with actual trees. However, up until about the 9th grade I had yearly portraits done at Olan Mills; my favourite background was the one that appeared to feature a dead cow.
Not only did I have a laser portrait, I had unfortunate poodle puff hair and a bright pink knit turtle neck dress/tunic (which matched the pink in the lasers almost perfectly). My brother and I were so proud of our laser portraits that we turned them into a charming homemade Christmas ornament, which I was quite startled to see on my parents’ tree this year.
I really need to dig up and scan those pics when I visit my parents this summer.
For kids who wanted to grow up to be Max Headroom.