My philosophy of picture taking

taking-picture-photographerAs a scrapbooker I take a lot of photos. A lot. I’d wager about 10 times more photos than the average person (hipsters with Instagram accounts not included). Pretty much everything I do gets documented. I recently had to stop myself from taking as many pictures as I was because I realized that it was getting to the point where one week would take up an entire scrapbook.

Anyway, when I take photos I try to capture real life unfolding. As it happens, sometimes real life isn’t very photogenic. Sometimes someone is having a bad hair day or it’s laundry time and they’re wearing their last clean shirt that doesn’t quite fit. Normal people happen to look like normal people on photos and unfortunately, most people believe they should somehow always look like super models.

When I was on my college’s newspaper staff I did a few “woman on the street” articles, where I asked random students their thoughts on a topic and took their photo. 9 times out of 10 I had to convince people to let me take their photo. Someone always had a reason for not looking their best and not wanting their photo taken. I resorted to ridiculously flattery just to allow someone to let me take the shot. The photos were always in black and white and usually so small that you could barely identify the girl. It’s not like this was a full-color spread on the front page of the paper.

Going over some old photos today as I reloaded my Memory Manager 4.0 software on my new laptop, I came across some pictures of me when I was heavier. I look awful, to be honest, and you can almost see my arteries clogging, if you look close enough. But that’s what I looked like when the photo was taken. I can’t change that now.

The only people who look like super models are actual super models after they’ve been properly airbrushed. Normal people look like normal people and there’s nothing wrong with that. Pictures are about making memories and some memories are made when you aren’t wearing makeup. So next time someone wants to take your picture, just smile and get on with it. The only pictures you’ll regret are the ones you chose not to be in.

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