Laura Pyle hoped to foster independence in her two eldest children, so she let them each choose what they wore for their school picture day. When she got the proofs back, though, she realized that her daughter Addison’s dress had been the wrong choice – and it made for a hilarious set of images.
The Pennsylvania-based Pyle family includes matriarch Laura, her husband and their three children – two boys and one girl. When it comes to parenting, Laura wrote on Love What Matters that she had a simple philosophy.
Laura “tries to instill independence,” she wrote, and that led her to give her kids a hand in choosing their looks for school picture day. Still, she admitted that the whole day was “stressful for any mom,” herself included.
“How should you do their hair? Will they smile? Which background will compliment your child best? Can they stay clean until that shutter snaps? Our family is no exception to the chaos that is picture day,” Laura wrote.
But she and her kids did their best to prepare for the big day by choosing backdrops and outfits with time to spare. For Laura’s daughter, Addison, the clothing choice was clear – she’d wear “her current favorite dress, a beautiful shade of green with sequins that highlights the green of her eyes,” her mom wrote.
On the morning of picture day, Laura and Addison woke up slightly earlier than normal so the mom-of-three could style her little one’s hair. Loose mermaid waves went perfectly with the dress, but there was a final, sentimental accessory needed to complete her look.
“Together we decided that she could wear the special necklace that her grandmother had custom ordered for her as a Christmas gift when she was just one year old. My mother passed away from cancer before she was able to give Addy this gift, so it only is worn on special occasions,” Laura revealed.
All this culminated in a sweet school picture day look that Laura had to share with her husband. But “[he] work[ed] long hours and wasn’t able to see her that day, so we snapped a quick photo in the drop-off line at school,” Laura said.
That would be the only one that truly captured first-grader Addison’s look that day. Meanwhile, Laura had no idea that her daughter had had a school-picture snafu until she received a preview of the photos in her email. She excitedly clicked to see them.
“I opened it up, hoping to see Addy’s smiling face, excited about how beautiful my little girl would look with her sparkly green dress and the purple background she [had] helped choose,” Laura wrote. Instead, she saw the photos and “immediately dropped [her] phone.”
The mom-of-three was laughing so hysterically that tears were rolling down her cheeks. None of the pictures of Addison showed her gorgeous green dress because Laura failed to consider that the elementary school photographer snaps his subjects in front of a green screen.
Laura admitted, “I didn’t give the color of her dress a second thought as I waved goodbye to my children. This is the part of the story where all I can do is claim mom brain [or] pregnancy brain [or] lack of coffee. Had I been thinking about it, I should have realized what was about to happen.”
Her daughter’s green dress essentially became an extension of the backdrop. So in all 87 proofs sent to Laura’s email, her daughter’s dress matched perfectly with the superimposed background behind her.
Young Addison’s sparkling gown transformed into everything from an American flag to a bridge to a wheat field in the proofs Laura perused. “The sequins on her dress made it even better,” she wrote, adding, “The wheat field really shimmers!”
The hilarious error was one that Laura couldn’t keep to herself. Instead, she screenshotted her favorite images and passed them along to her husband. Then she shared them to her Facebook page, where they quickly racked up 16,000 likes and more than 2,000 comments.
Those who saw the posting found it just as delightful and laugh-worthy as Laura did. One Facebook user wrote, “I love that it looks like she had a wardrobe change for each picture. Fancy! She is super cute and what a great mistake.”
Many others felt inspired by Addison’s pictures – and they hoped to replicate them on their own school picture days. “Better warn Target and Wallyworld to stock up on green dresses, methinks there’s gonna be a run for them,” one Facebook user predicted as the images went viral.
As for Laura, she admitted via Love What Matters, “I have never messed up anything so brilliantly in my entire life.” But there was a silver lining. “Addy’s photos perfectly fit her Addy-tude, and our entire family cannot help but laugh over how amazing and hilarious they are,” she wrote.
To that end, Laura said that the photos had taught her a lesson about picture day and how much she had stressed out about it beforehand. “School photos don’t have to be such a serious thing. As a mother, I am so proud that my daughter was able to see these photos and find joy and humor in them,” she wrote.
But there was an even bigger moral to the story than laughing at Addison’s silly photos. Laura wrote, “My husband and I hope to continue teaching our children that, while life can be stressful, you can always find happiness in little things, even unintentional mishaps involving a green dress.”