20 Awkward School Photos That We All Remember Taking
When I was younger, I kind of hated taking school photos. There were weeks of pressure leading up to it, from making sure that you had a nice haircut to picking out the right outfit to fighting with mama about whether or not she would finally let you wear makeup. Worse yet, there were also weeks afterward as you waited for your photos to return… only to find that half of them are completely unusable because you didn’t realize you had a zit that morning and the other half are, well, kind of awkward.
If you’re having a hankering for remembering the good old days of school photos before selfies became the norm and taking a photo of yourself with a funny background or a weird face was as easy as grabbing your phone, then take a look. We all remember taking awkward school photos where you could see our first try at bangs or that weird lipstick mama finally gave us. Here are 20 awkward school photos that we can’t help but laugh and cringe at… Yes, all at the same time.
1. The one where you’re surrounded by your teachers.mareepahos/Instagram
I used to get along with my teachers, but I feel like it was always awkward when you would see them on picture day. It’s no surprise that some of us got talked into taking a picture with them, and then that picture ended up on the internet years later for us to cringe over…
2. The one where you want to murder the photographer.katelynburkhart/Instagram
Photo sessions can be fun, but they can also take WAY too much time. It’s just difficult to sit still and smile for that long, and sometimes they capture our face which says oh so much about the reality of what we’re feeling right now.
3. The one where you’re stylin’ some daring hair.lottie.lillian/Instagram
I mean, can you really blame us for loving this style? Everyone experimented with something new for picture day that ONE year. Likely, we didn’t do it again because it didn’t quite go over well with everyone else later.
4. The one where you’re rockin’ a trendy haircut.fusionardmore/Instagram
Who’d didn’t rock “The Rachel” at some point? Well, just like this lady, some of us made sure to rock it at the peak of photo season so that we could really capture our new hair on camera. Oh, we were so proud and yet so foolish at the same time.
5. The one with the side ponytail, obviously.cassielynnjohnson83/Instagram
If you grew up in the 80s or early 90s, then you probably remember all of the weird ponytail styles that rocked this time. The side ponytail was definitely a classic that will go down on history as one of the best bad hairstyles ever.
6. The one where you let your mami cut your hair.sarahtroyster/Instagram
I mean, what is this? Some sort of mullet? I think I can safely say that mami is great at a lot of things but maybe cutting hair is not the best. Still, I let her do mine for way too many years, I admit.
7. The one with the big smile and 80s hair.big_slim86/Instagram
We had to include a second photo of a weird ponytail style, because this one is somehow even more amazing than the last thanks to the high AND side ponytails. Two in one glamour, amirite?
8. The one where you still can’t live down that you were in your school choir.musicnwords/Instagram
Somebody found this old photo and couldn’t believe that they were in school choir and that there is evidence. Kind of embarrassing, sure, but also full of pretty interesting memories right about now.
9. The one where you’re rocking the Future Boss look.qqlaroux/Instagram
Who doesn’t love to be a BOSS? This look was definitely one the I rocked at least once: tie and jacket included. It’s hard to resist, especially as you get a little older and want to assert your independence. I mean, no better time to act like a mini-adult.
10. The one with your happy smile.phenex1047/Instagram
Sometimes, our awkward school photo is actually awkward only because it’s so seriously perfect. Seriously, how cute is this pic? Hopefully, you have at least ONE photo in your 18 year school career that can live up to this one.
11. The one outdoors with you pretending you like sports.cyclebarmequon/Instagram
If you were involved in sports, even a little bit, then you probably had to take a team photo at some point. Or you might have even had to take a photo holding a soccer ball and pretending like you were going to continue playing. Whoops!
12. The one where you’re feeling hella good about your lewk.cyclebarmequon/Instagram
Sometimes, just sometimes, you get to take an actual GOOD photo for your school. This is one example, where your skin is glowing, your smile is spot-on, and you’re even living your hair. #WINNING
13. The one where mom finally let you wear some makeup.cb_flowermound/Instagram
It wasn’t easy to convince mami to let me wear makeup in my school photos. I begged and begged when I was little, but she finally gave in as I started to get older. Sure, it was weird at first, but SO worth it.
14. The one where you got to pick out your own outfit.ericabreuerful/Instagram
I loved wearing pink things and basically anything with polka dots. Well, at least until I got older… and took a pink break for several years while I rocked the goth look. Still, I’ll always remember those brightly colored times when picking your own outfit for photos was DA BOMB.
15. The one where you first got bangs.pepandpearls/Instagram
How old were you when you first got bangs? I was 6 years old and SO. VERY. EXCITED. No matter what age, you probably have a photo that commemorates your bangs when you were little… and that’s kind of a good thing, right?
16. The one where you’re starting to grow up.loveniare/Instagram
Eventually, your awkward school photos take on a bit of sophistication. You start to look like your grown-up self, but still with a little bit of weirdness. It’s all good, though, because you can have some nice memories regardless.
17. The middle school one you’d rather forget.joyuhh/Instagram
Between the glasses and the braces, let’s call the whole thing off. We all have that really awful photo that makes us cringe so hard that we THOUGHT we had actually burned the lot of them when were younger.
18. The one where you’re just trying to get through this photo session ASAP.ohmy_gatos/Instagram
When school photos happen, the day is long. Sure, it’s fun sometimes, but other times it’s so tedious that there’s just not much you can get through the day. Here, you can see what our faces basically look like when all we can think of is, “come on, is it over already?”
19. The one where you get into the whole “posing” thing.vespa_jade/Instagram
Then there’s that one school photo where you are SERIOUSLY into it and letting the photographer take a million photos of you posing. Should I put my hand on my right hip? On my left hip? In my hair? Just tell me, and I’ll be your model.
20. The one where you don’t know what you’re doing but it’s all good.sanaroke/Instagram
When we’re particularly little, our photos can come off looking a bit… odd. We might just not know how to smile correctly or why we tilt our heads to one side. Still comes out pretty cute, though, right?
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