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16th Aug 2018

Five exam results photographs you’re going to see today

Brace yourselves, they're coming

Ciara Knight

Happy A-level results day!

Today, we get to celebrate The Youth and their futures thanks to some meaningless exam results that they have received. Tomorrow, we revolt at dawn.

As with any newsworthy event, it’s an absolute certainty that photographers around the country will be scrambling to get the best shots for various websites and local papers. They usually follow a pretty standard format, one that exudes excitement and anticipation coming from the students. If someone is sobbing uncontrollably in the background, that’s an added bonus.

You can play bingo with the following list. Simply take a drink of your choice every time you see one of these images.

Behold, five exam results photographs you’re going to see today and the dialogue that went into taking them.


Quick! I need four pretty girls out in this comically narrow corridor immediately. No, the ones in tracksuits can stay. We need jeans, cardigans and boots for this to work. Excellent. Right this way. Now, as we can see, it’s going to be a tight fit, but that shouldn’t limit our options here. On three, I need you all to jump with your hands in the air looking excited. So that’s ON three, not before or after. As soon as I hit three, you jump. Got it? Great. One, two, th- Sorry, girl on the right. Well, my right, your left, what’s your name? Lydia, great. Lydia you jumped far too early there. So it’s ON three, yeah? Excellent. One, two, three. Smashing. I’ll just take a look at this to make sure it’s all- Lydia? Lydia you’ve only raised one arm and it looks a bit like a Nazi salute. Are you worried about hitting your elbow on the wall? I can see you’ve tucked it in quite tightly, but I’m pretty sure it’s unnecessary. You’re not going to hit the wall if you jump straight up and down.

Look at your friend on the left, sorry, your right. She’s basically in a doorway but she’s still making it work. We can even see her belt, that’s the level of commitment she’s providing here. Right, we’ll try once more. One, two, three. Now, let’s see how this one has turned out. Jesus Lydia are you trying to annoy me? I said ON three. Also, you’ve just gotten your A-level results and you look like you’re desperately trying to get a loaf of bread from a supply truck during the famine. Look, it’s fine. No, don’t worry about it. That’ll do. You’ll see this in the Romford Gazette tomorrow morning. Congratulations girls. Tears of joy I hope, Lyds? Thanks again, enjoy your special day!



Right, two of each out on the lawn please. Again, no tracksuits or hoodies. A cap? Does it have a logo on it? Well can you cover it? Fine, let’s go. Now, we’re going to go girl, boy, girl, boy. Got it? Here, stick on these visually inoffensive t-shirts I’ve brought in a range of pastel colours. Quick as you can, I’ve a lot of photographs to take today. Have you all got your exam results papers? Oh for fuck sake that’s literally the only thing you’re supposed to have. How many of you have them? Only one? Right, I’ll just stick another one in in post. Shouldn’t be tricky. So, on three, you’re going to jump into the air and look excited about the future. Over here so the sun is giving us good light, nice and quick. Rather than clenching your fists in triumph, just leave your arms limp but in an upward position. Got it? Good.

One, two, three. Brilliant. Once more if you don’t mind. One, two and THREE. Lovely. I’ll just check these. Guy on the right, can’t quite tell if you’re blinking or squinting from the sun, pal? I notice that two of you have bent your knees but the other two didn’t? Actually, I like it. Shows diversity. You’ve just gotten your results and now you’re likely to take different paths in life. It’s edgy, kind of Annie Leibovitz-esque. Might send her a copy. This is art. I think that’s a wrap here folks. We’ve got everything we need. Can the girl with the black jeans hang back for a second, just want to grab your details so that I can send you a print for your parents. The rest of you can go.



Seven excitable students that look to be an average age of twelve, can you make your way out into the corridor for a second? Yeah, bring your bags and ideally two valid forms of ID as well. Great. Now, I need you to form a semicircle around me. Have you all got your results sheet? For fuck sake can nobody hang onto those things? Right, not to worry. I saw some poetry printouts in one of the classrooms, we’ll just use those. Guy on the right, can you give a sheet to everyone, but then also hold a pile in the middle as if they’ll come back for a second one. I know it doesn’t make sense, but it’ll photograph well. Orange jumper, I need you to look shocked, but at the pile of papers being handed out rather than the sheet in front of you. Trust me.

Orange girl, can you hold the paper at a really awkward angle, kind of like you’re trying to shake some crumbs off it? Also an over the top expression would work really well here. Excellent. Blue shirt girl, can you look at this poetry printout as if it’s just told you that Freddos are back down to costing 10p, where they belong? Wonderful. Everyone else just do a very poor impression of people looking excited. Do you best to make it seem as though you’re looking at results and giving real time reactions. Yes, I know they’re poetry printouts but nobody else will know that. Alright. On three…



Right, I need two girls outside, one of you needs to look a bit like Emma Stone but with an edgy twist, perhaps a black nail polish and a side fringe. Oh, perfect. Now, I need you to embrace in a borderline Siamese twin manner. Girl that isn’t Emma Stone, can you put a death grip claw on your mate’s shoulder, really tight? Thanks. In terms of your other arm, just clench your fist and team it with a demonic expression. These aren’t even your results, you sat the A-levels four years ago. You just hang around the school because life didn’t quite work out for you, am I right in saying that? Of course I am. Anyway, keep your eyes fixated on the piece of paper.

Now, Emma. Hold the paper up towards the light so that we can see through it a bit. That’s it. Now laugh at the page. Pretend it’s Peter Kay making an observation about how some biscuits end up falling into your tea because they can’t withstand strenuous dunking of any kind. Perfect. Can the pair of you get closer? Touch cheeks, I promise it won’t look weird. This all adds to the excitement that you’re visibly experiencing. Tremendous. What do you mean it looks like you’re a mother and daughter? Also, who cares? This is going on the back page of the Bristol Daily News. I’m getting paid 25p per snap. Let’s go. Hold that pose.



Thanks for taking some time out of your scheduled appointments for this one, Greg. Obviously you’ve just achieved the highest exam results in the history of the world, so let’s try to get that message across in a photograph. Open the top button of your shirt, roll up those sleeves and let’s get started. Trust me, it’ll make you look like a cool and down to earth guy. Maybe put your backpack strap on one shoulder as opposed to the two. Perfect. Now, let’s see those exam results. Get the paper out of its plastic pocket, just for a moment. Clench it in your right hand and raise your left arm in triumph. Slightly more firm than that. Excellent. Your body language is perfect, don’t move a thing. I can tell you’re very smart as you’ve taken to this like a duck to pancakes.

Now. The face. Can you smile with your eyes? No? Maybe just open your mouth wide with a smile and that should soften them. Nice one. Yeah, show the crooked tooth, it’ll make you seem more approachable. Now stare right down the lens with your cold, dead eyes. Convince us of your worthiness for these incredible results. We know you’ve worked hard, sacrificed countless opportunities to party (lol), even gave up playing video games to study. But look at you now, it’s paid off. You’ve peaked. At Uni, you’re going to be the talk of the town. Everyone will crave your approval and friendship. Oh, you’re not going to Uni? These aren’t your exam results? Cool. Hold that pose. Three, two, one.