As I have stated previously, I am a very serious person. And I seriously hate having my picture taken. All you other lens-haters out there know what I’m talking about.
You have also had to explain your adorable anti-social behavior with a variety of highly plausible excuses like:
- I had a past life as a tribesman who believed that cameras “steal your soul.” The strength of my aversion would indicate that, not only did the missionaries take countless daguerrotypes to take home and giggle at, but they must have also, literally, stolen my soul… by murdering me!
Even my very serious husband claims that, whenever a camera is pointed in my direction, I “disappear.” That is, after I have literally “disappeared” by sashaying into the next room before anyone has yet sought to wrangle me into a frame. Once I have been pulled back into the room (by annoyingly persistent friends) my attempts to smile and really “get into it” always seem to miss the mark. Hubby claims that the “real Erin” has gone somewhere else, (Gone Girl) and left behind a grinning mask. Tough crowd. Which leads us to excuse number 2.
- When you hate the camera, it has no choice but to hate you back. That’s just the way it works. Being photogenic is apparently a function of loving the lens. If you hate the lens, you create a rather unfortunate feedback loop. i.e. you hate having your photo taken, so you take a bad photo. Bad portraits tend to validate a hatred of cameras, which in turn leads to more bad pictures. You get the … picture. I will confess that I once went to the trouble of hiring a professional photographer (for another random project not related to this website) and the poor woman literally worked up a sweat trying to coax a photogenic moment from my visage. She took approximately five thousand pictures, yielding around ten “useable” images. I’ve used a couple of them on this website, and my serious friends claim that they “do not do you justice.” Perhaps a reference to the unsolved murder.
- I would like to propose another excuse! One that is somewhat based in science because, hey, why not…
When we humans decide to take pictures of each other, I believe we are enlisting ourselves into a mini-experiment along the lines of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Now bear with me here, I think you’ll like this. The gist of the H.U.P. is that one can never simultaneously measure the location, and the velocity of an object. Admittedly, the object being talked about by those crazy scientists trying to “measure” it is something that can exist as either a particle (a tangible thing like a teeny tiny billiard ball) or a wave (think sound, light – you can measure its speed, but waves don't exactly hang out in one specific spot. That would make surfing really dull.) HUP claims that you can try to pinpoint the wave, but as soon as you do, it no longer has momentum, it becomes a particle. Likewise, you can locate the position of a particle, but once you’ve done that, you can’t measure its velocity, or its momentum. My theory is that something similar happens when we decide to take photos to try to capture a moment.
Have you ever been in the middle of a rocking great night with a bunch of friends – laughing at jokes, (you don’t even know whey they’re funny), someone’s having a “deep & meaningful” conversation in the corner of the club, someone else is falling over drunk, and you’re all just having an awesome time. Then someone decides they want to “capture the moment” and pulls out a camera and tells everyone to look at the lens and smile. In order to do this, you must break away from the conversation or the joke, or the kiss, and shift yourself into “photo-mode.” In order to capture the “moment”-um that everybody has created, you have to lose it! “The moment” turns into something else, something frozen in time. Sure, you can record that frozen image forever, but it cost you the very moment you were trying to capture! I may be biased against cameras, but I still claim there’s something to be said for just living the moments when you’re in them and leaving the camera in your back pocket.