If there were a condition for people who loathe having their picture taken, I would suffer from it. A photobia of sorts.
It’s made worse by the fact that a lot of my friends adopt tourist-like behaviour when we’re together. If there’s a party, we need to bring a camera. If we’re going out for drinks, we need to bring a camera. If we’re going to sit around and stare at each other all day long, we need to bring a camera. A camera is not something you accessorize with. Big bangles, purses, scarves. These are accessories. A camera is a weapon of minor destruction.
Not that it matters much in today’s technological age. Phones, MP3 players, lipstick. It seems there’s a camera installed in anything you can fit into your pocket. And I’m as guilty as the rest. I take pictures with my BlackBerry all the time…of other people! Other people look good in pictures. Me? Not so much.
I have three looks, and none of them are what you would call model-esque.
The first is what I call the Hi-I-Just-Woke-Up-From-My-Nap look. It could also be called the Hi-I-Just-Rolled-and-Smoked-a-Big-Fatty look, but this here’s a family show. Credit is due to all the photographers out there for catching me mid-blink in almost every picture taken in the history of picture-taking. I’ve often wondered if this is offered as part of a photography class. Today’s lecture – ‘The Perpetual Blinker’ with Ansel Adams.
When I’m not caught with my eyelids down, there’s the Hi-I’m-the-Daughter-of-Satan look. Because for every camera that has red-eye reduction, there are just as many camera owners who don’t extend the courtesy of using it. Visualize, if you will, a picture of a big group of friends, all huddled together in cheerleader-pyramid fashion, and…oh wait, who’s that on the end? Is that Beelzebub? Believe me, if I had dark evil powers, the photographer would be suffering from hemorrhoids the size of ping-pong balls right about now.
The final look is simply called the Baby Bird. (Those dashes were getting really annoying). You’ve seen it on the Discovery Channel. The mother warbler lands on the edge of her nest; worm in hand/beak. (Pan to the nest). And there are the chicks. Greedy little bastards, aren’t they? Note the open beaks? I have this innate habit of synchronizing the opening of my mouth with the opening of the shutter. But it’s a still-life, so the fact that I’m talking doesn’t seem to translate. I am the warbler (chick), goo goo g’ joob. Note: I was tempted to use a swallow as the bird of choice here, but again, the family show thing.
On rare occasions, a person of either extreme talent or the luckiest person alive, will manage to capture the trifecta on film (or memory card). It’s close to impossible, as the blink must be caught with just enough of the pupil showing to admit enough light for the red-eye to take effect. And who am I kidding, me talking isn’t a rarity. But all three at once in the click of a camera is a feat not to be tempted by the faint-hearted. But the result is as rare as that of the sasquatch.