Pardon my French (cos I don’t know any apart from merde, everyone knows merde) but I fucking hate having my photo taken. Everything about it. The standing. The waiting. The fake smiling. The crowds of people looking at you, judging you for being so lame for trying to hold up the leaning tower or pinch the top of a pyramid. Posing for photographs just rubs me the wrong way.
And something that adds to my annoyance is the fact I’m not always so photogenic when the flash flashes. Often I’m blinking or parting a smile or mid chew or just plain disinterested in my surrounds. So, from an early age I learned to develop a strong skillset for dodging photos and slinking off into the background but lately, that all seems a little too hard.
I’m older than I was yesterday, the ol’ knees ain’t what they used to be and my idea muscle in generating plans to suddenly leave a space at a moment’s notice needs to be well rested for tax time. So when the man with the lens is stood before me, instead of giving in to this social badgering to conform and accept my exceptional face being photographed and potentially sold on to department stores to sell fantastic clothes with a chiseled and unique facial construction, I bide my time until the very last moment, and contort. My face, that is. Not fit myself into a tiny glass box like some kind of Russian circus performer.
In doing so, I achieve three things. Firstly, annoyance of all around me. That’s key. It’s basically the unleaded fuel my body needs to continue to function. But secondly, it acts as a way to stamp my own expression (or art, as I claim at the time of snappery) on all of my intellectual property. But thirdly, now here’s the kicker, it plants a seed of frustration so deep within the photographer that when the time comes to take more group shots, that any photos containing me will be more work than is needed and therefore, shall be avoided at all costs. Huzzah! Success! Take that Canon!
I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, this photo lark is everywhere. You don’t even need a camera to do it anymore. Your goddamn phone takes them. Your computer takes them. Those little cameras on top of traffic lights take them. Enough already!
The biggest and most infuriating vehicle for my photo fury over the last few years is Facebook. Yes, that’s right, I’m going there. Facebook most of the time is amazing. I don’t want to say all of the time cos everyone has FB friends who play some kind of wizard game or zombie game that pops up on your news feed every day. Don’t even get me started on those people! But photos and Facebook have become so ingrained with one another that we no longer need these photos printed. Just chuck it on Facebook, they’ll say. ‘Tag me in that, won’t you?’ ‘Ooh I look awful, I shall block it from my profile immediately.’
So take it from me, Mamas and Papas. Caring about all that business is just going to tire you out and use up precious sandwich eating time. We can’t all live the life of a supermodel, so we might as well pull some silly faces along the way.