Dozens of parents are expressing their confusion over the expensive graduation photos. Here’s what the district says

JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Dozens of parents have expressed disappointment and confusion after a local mother reported a price difference of several hundred dollars for photos of her four children.

The mother of four noticed the price difference because her children attended different schools.

The school district said no matter what fees a photography company charges, parents can choose a different option, such as taking the photo themselves. But the parents said it was not so easy.

This story began with Norma Martinez, mother of four children.

She noticed that the price of senior photos of her third child from Prestige Photography of LifeTouch, owned by Shutterfly, was around $900.

Then she noticed it was a lot more when she paid for her first, second and fourth child with Cady Photography, around $2,000-3,000 for each child.

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Within 48 hours of the story being published, News4JAX insiders and other parents started talking about the price of senior photos.

“$2,500 + studio fees at Cady Studios. So much so that even my teenage daughter was surprised at the cost! said one commenter.

“$2,000 to Cady Studios for my daughter’s pics last year,” said another.

“I took photos and edited them myself. Then graduation announcements were printed through a well-known photography company. Spent about $60 or even even,” another parent said.

News4JAX called Cady and Prestige and left several messages for Cady, but we are awaiting a response.

Prestige of Lifetouch/Shutterfly responded by saying in part:

“We believe in fairness so that as many customers as possible can experience the joy of capturing and preserving memories with school portraits. Lifetouch has a fair and competitive pricing structure with options and plans for a variety of customer needs.

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Martinez said she was not allowed to use Prestige, at the lower price, for her other children and she wants to know why.

The school district told News4JAX, “The school administration is working with local studios to find the best solution for their school. There is no sitting fee for yearbook photos for all grade levels. And to reiterate, purchasing a photo package is completely optional.

Martinez will no longer need senior photos, but hopes other parents now know they have options.

The school district sent out a statement, which reads in part: “Because parents have the flexibility to choose from any provider, we encourage them to research the market for options that best meet their needs. We also encourage them to bring their concerns or suggestions to their school’s advisory board.

If the parents have an elder, they can take the photo with the designated yearbook photography company. However, they can also take senior photos with the provider of their choice, be it Prestige, Cady or another photography company.

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