Metro firm apologizes for yearbook photos

  • Article by: JANET MOORE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 17, 2008 - 5:51 PM

Lifetouch Inc. of Eden Prairie said it will assume the cost of reproducing a Texas high school's yearbook where hundreds of student pictures were altered.

A spokeswoman for an Eden Prairie firm that produced a yearbook for a Texas high school with bizarre altered photos of students has apologized.

Photos of about 580 McKinney High School students were altered by the company that produced the yearbooks, Lifetouch Inc. of Eden Prairie.

Some girls' heads were plunked on boys' bodies, and vice versa. Necks were stretched in some photos and clothing altered. Several students are wearing the same outfits. One student's arm is missing, and another girl appears to lack clothing altogether.

Officials at the school, in an upscale suburb north of Dallas, were reportedly appalled by the changes. All told, 39 percent of the 1,486 photos were changed, according to news reports.

Sara Thurin Rollin, corporate director of public relations and events for Lifetouch, said Saturday that the mistake was unprecedented in the company's 70-year history. Each year, Lifetouch produces 28,000 yearbooks.

"We take full responsibility; this is certainly not standard practice,'' she said.

Rollin chalked the situation up to a misunderstanding between Lifetouch and school officials. "Our people misinterpreted guidelines for the yearbook,'' she said.

Rollin declined to say whether the company fired or reprimanded the employee who altered the images.

Lifetouch, one of the largest private companies in the country, said it will provide a corrected version of the yearbook to McKinney students by the time the school year ends -- at a cost of $79,500 to the company.

The Texas high school has previously won local and national awards for its yearbook design.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Janet Moore • 612-673-7752

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