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School picture win

Ashland children already are fortunate to attend one of the best school districts in the state, thanks to an affluent community that goes out of its way to support its schools with tax dollars. But they also get the benefit of school pictures taken by a local photographer who takes the time to capture the essence of each student as an individual.

Everyone can remember school picture day: Mom wrestled you into clothes you ordinarily wouldn’t be caught dead wearing to school, you and your classmates were herded into the gym at the appointed time and a faceless photographer from a national company stuck you in front of a backdrop, snapped a few frames and it was over — until the packet of proofs arrived and you were appalled at the result.

Ashland parents had a better idea. When the Helman PTA looked into getting better photos than the national chain was providing, they approached Bryon DeVore, who started photographing students 15 years ago when his own kids attended Siskiyou School. This will be his fourth year photographing Helman students. He later added John Muir and Walker, and this year, he’ll take on Bellview as well.

DeVore spends a few minutes with each student individually, trying out different poses and taking up to 30 shots, which he posts online for parents to choose from. Parents can download a group photo of their’s child’s class for free, and prints start at $10.

Better school pictures, and the business goes to a local photographer? That sounds like a win-win to us.