Grand Junction kids’ school pics cost more for unmasked photos?

As far as COVID-19 oddities, a new one made the rounds in Colorado School District 51, Grand Junction. MJ Thomas Photography, contracted by the district for 2021 school pictures, according to local parents, charges half as much for masked class pictures as it does for unmasked pictures.

MJ Thomas’s flyer

MJ Thomas Photography did not provide an explanation for the “no mask surcharge,” so we reached out to both MJ Thomas as well as School District 51 to obtain answers

Colorado District 51 did not wish to release a statement regarding MJ Thomas Photography’s mask versus no mask prices, but MJ did explain the policy…

The family-owned photography business, which services five states, has been owned by John Mueller and family for over thirty years.

The masked class picture, according to Mueller, was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek nod to 2021; he and his staff wanted to offer the extra picture as a funny souvenir add-on rather than charging extra for unmasked photos, so the flyer was misunderstood by parents.

Mueller and his staff realize that the flyer was not explained thoroughly, and he hopes the public knows that he would never charge extra for non-masked photos. The company has seen at least a 50% drop in sales since COVID-19 restrictions were enacted, and it has laid off over forty employees, so Mueller is anxious to get back to being fully open.