Once when I went looking for a picture of me for something, I realized that apart from my wedding photos and my headshots, there was a stretch of a good 5 years when there were no good pictures of me. Why? Apart from the obvious things like I haven’t finished losing the baby weight and my right eyebrow is lower than my left, I came up with a pretty good list of reasons. I thought I’d remind myself of them since the holidays are already a-blooming.
1. When the cameras are out, I don’t look great.
Let’s be honest. Holidays and vacations are the times when you really want to let your hair down and your gut out so you can relax. Unfortunately, most of the pictures taken of you the entire year will be taken during these two times. Consequence: there are a lot of pictures of me in mismatched pajamas with stringy hair and mascara rings–taken at around 4pm–or in a sweaty t-shirt, a sloppy ponytail and a slathering of sunscreen. You look fabulous! If anything, vacations and the holidays ought to be the times that I put in more effort.
2. When I look great, I don’t get out the camera.
When my kids look awesome, I rush for the camera. So why do I let the approximately 2 professional blow-outs I get per year go unchronicled? With a little thought, I could coordinate my salon hair with both a datenight and the taking of a frigging picture.
3. When the camera is out, I’m behind it.
I love taking pictures, but if I don’t hand Kent the camera sometimes a) he won’t progress as a photographer, and b) he will get all the credit for parenting our children since I am constantly Not Pictured.
4. I put things off.
“Maybe I should pluck my eyebrows tonight. Nah, I’ll wait until tomorrow morning. They’ll be so much neater if I do it the day of.” HAHAHAHAHA! I’m not laughing at you. I’m laughing at my barbaric eyebrows in that Thanksgiving picture.
5. I smile weird.
Note to self: Open mouthed clown face does not make the baby in my arms smile for the camera someone else is holding. The baby cannot see me. Note to self: Think of something happy when smiling for pictures instead of yelling through clenched-teeth-smile for everyone else in the shot to look at the camera. Note to self: Lifting your eyebrows that high doesn’t make you look young; it makes you look astonished.
6. I don’t utilize mirror face.
Smiling isn’t necessarily the answer. Ever watch people look at themselves in the three panel mirror in a fitting room? They all do mirror face. They catch sight of themselves and suddenly everybody is Blue Steeling. We all know how we like to make ourselves look in the mirror. Why don’t I do that more in pictures?
7. I’m too serious.
Often my favorite photographs of myself and others are the goofy ones, the candids, and the “fierce” poses rather than the straight to camera fake smile shots. Lighten up!