Each fall, a line of Lick-Wilmerding students stretches outside the gym and across the courtyard. Students eagerly fix their hair and anxiously check their reflections, all waiting in anticipation for their school identification photos. On this highly anticipated photo day, students wake up early to choose an outfit or style their hair so that when the camera snaps, the result will be a beautiful image of the student, eyes shining and smile gleaming. These pictures are the ones that represent each student in their school ID. Parents also make copies of school photos to put in their wallets, hang in their house, add to a photo album, and distribute excessively to any relatives and friends.
Dean of Students Kate Wiley explains that the one guiding principle for all school photos is that the face has to be visible. She elaborates, “This means nothing that hides or overly covers facial characteristics, including adding facial hair, excessive wigs, glasses, etc.” She also notes, “[The photo] also needs to of course be appropriate [to the] given values of Lick.”
There is a lot of room to be creative within these guidelines, yet freshman, sophomore, and most junior students settle for the same seemingly simple, yet truly complex smile. Smile with an open mouth or closed mouth? Pose or act natural?
Seniors, however, take school pictures to the next level, imagining clever ways within the guidelines to express their personalities and humor others.
Take John Kevane ‘15 for instance, who wore a top hat and held up monopoly money in each of his hands. When asked why he decided to pose as such, he simply answered, “Because my friends were doing stuff and it would be funny.”
Outspoken Giants fan Alfredo Lopez ‘15 came ready for his photo decked in Giants gear, explained his decision to do so, saying, “It represents me.”
Groups of friends got together to pose in similar fashions. Yanni Velasquez ’15, Katie Vestal ’15, and Gordy Webb ’15, whose photos are alphabetically consecutive in the yearbook because of their last names, got together to dress according to a certain theme.
Katie explained, “We were in a row and we all had something water themed.” Yanni wore goggles, Katie wore a lobster hat, and Gordy wore a swim cap and wetsuit. This collaboration was definitely a splash of creativity.
Another group of friends dressed up as Disney princesses and characters, with Gabby Sanchez-Corea ’15 as Snow White, Jane Schoeneweis ’15 as Belle, Stefania Ruibal ’15 as Sleeping Beauty, Sarah O’Connell ’15 as Ariel the Little Mermaid, Joelle Park ’15 as Jasmine, and Michele Gee ’15 as Lilo. Michele admitted that they had been planning their senior picture since sophomore year.
Some students came up with an idea for their photo much more recently. For instance, Sophie Schneider ’15, who dressed as Johannes Vermeer’s painting “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” shared, “I came up with mine the night before. I stopped work for an hour and made myself some pearl earrings and I was done.”
Without using props or costumes, Chloe Yeh ’15 and Sabrina Larsen ’15 expressed themselves by showing serious faces to the camera.
Sabrina explained her thought process, “I was mugging it. No, I was actually trying to smize.” When asked what “smizing” was, she jokingly scurried off to look up a Tyra Banks quote, yet never returned with an explanation.
Year after year, the senior class continues to amaze the community with its boundless imagination. With or without costumes, this senior class imagined endless ways to creatively express themselves. Next year, we will see how the current junior class steps up to inspire with humor and intrigue through one click of the camera.