Parents Confused By Senior Portrait Letter; Students Can Choose Photographer

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Contrary to what some Payson High School seniors and their parents believe, yearbook portraits do not have to be taking by any specific or designated studio.

"We will use any digital portrait as long as it is to us before the deadline," PHS yearbook sponsor Richard Meyer said. The deadline for proofs to be approved for use in the yearbook is Sept. 22.

The confusion has its roots in a letter sent this summer to members of the school's class of 2007. A sentence in the letter read, "All students must have their portraits taken at that time in order to appear in the yearbook," apparently referring to Scottsdale-based Prestige Portraits appearance on campus Aug. 21 to photograph seniors.

The letter also said, "We have chosen Prestige Portraits as our official senior photographer, but you are under no obligation to purchase from Prestige Portraits."

Meyer said students also have the option of having their portraits taken locally by Mulkern Photography or any other firm.

Frank Mulkern, of Mulkern Photography, believes the letter sent home misleads parents into thinking Prestige is the lone studio that will take senior portraits.

"It always has been (misleading) but we've been doing them for about 10 years now," he said.

For the portraits to be used in the yearbook, Mulkern does studio photography in order to have the correct colors and contrasts the yearbook staff requires.

Some seniors also choose to have personal portraits done outdoors.

"We've have had some want their dog, truck or horse in with them," he said.

In a flyer written by the yearbook staff but not sent home to parents, contact information and phone numbers were provided for both Prestige Portraits and Mulkern Photography.

The flyer did not, however, provide information for Arizona Photo Solutions, which is owned by PHS alumnus Jon Gunzel.

"We took some (senior portraits) last year and we are doing them again this year," Gunzel said.

Whichever firm is used, appointments must be made in advance.

Mulkern can be reached at (928) 474-1488, Prestige at 1-800-450-3866 and Arizona Photo Solutions at (928) 468-0732.

Meyer cautions that when having yearbook portraits done, there is a picture dress code, which is the same as the school's, and all students must abide by it.

For those wishing to purchase yearbooks, the cost is $45 if reserved before Aug. 31. After that date, they are $50. Order forms are available in the school bookstore.

Parents and friends wishing to purchase personalized advertisements in the yearbook that honor graduating seniors may do so by submitting digital ready proofs to the yearbook staff in room C8. Prices range from $80 to $225.

For more information, call the high school at (928) 474-2233.

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