The Sears Class Portraits is a ongoing photographic series I started in 1999 and continues every semester I am teaching at the University. Together with my students I go to the local Sears and sit for a group portrait arranged by the in-house photographer.
I ask them to wear their Sunday’s best, however if this is too difficult for them to manage, they are welcome to wear their normal everyday attire. The project is a not only a chronicling of my aging as I get older and the students stay the same age, it’s also a good way to fill up a class period. All the students seem to look forward to their field trip to Sears. All I ask of them is to sit and smile for the portrait and then they are free to work with the photographer art directing their own pictures. In exchange for participating in the photo sessions each student receives a wallet size class portrait and a cd of the entire session.
— Michael Smith