Of the importance of photographs:

I have a problem. More specifically, I have a problem with people. People who don't like their picture being taken. They make a funny face and purposefully ruin the picture, they duck their head, they put their hands in front of their face or they turn their back to me. People, please PLEASE stop doing this to yourself. Okay, so you don't like how you look... that's a self-esteem issue to be taken up with your shrink. But if someone is trying to take a picture of you, it's because they WANT a picture of you and so the polite thing to do would be to give your biggest, best smile and be done with it. Trust me, there is no pain involved in getting your picture taken. NO PAIN WHATSOEVER PEOPLE!

For those of you who think they "always take bad photos"... well, you probably do! But let me tell you why: it's because in your head, you just KNOW that the picture is going to be horrible so you automatically make a nasty face or smile halfheartedly or turn your head, so instead of getting a picture of you smiling and looking like your fabulous self, you end up with another BAD PHOTO. Trust me, I speak from experience. I used to hate getting my picture taken back in the day because of the braces, the bad skin, the permanent bad hair day, and the overall awkward teenager-ness. So I would always stick out my tongue and make silly faces because hey, if I made this face on purpose then people will think I meant to look horrible and it will be fine! Right? But I hate all those pictures!!!! Finally, I learned to simply give my biggest smile. Then, instead of the picture being about my braces, bad skin, or bad hair day, it was about how I was smiling and having fun and enjoying that moment I was in... and suddenly all my photos became awesome reminders of memories I could look back on fondly, instead of cringing every time I saw my awkwardness. So please, even if you don't like how you look, just smile and be confident in your smile and that will come across as being comfortable with yourself and your pictures will be SO. MUCH. BETTER!

Okay, so maybe you're a little overweight and hate pictures of your double chin. Or maybe you have a zit on your cheek. Or maybe you don't like how you look from your left side. That's fine. All of these problems have a solution. Tilt your chin up a little bit and stick it out just slightly = no double chin. Strike a pose to cover your zit! Lean forward and put your head in your hand, strategically covering the zit. Turn your "good side" toward the camera (I have a friend who does this every time she takes a picture, so she is facing the same way in literally every picture, but hey, she likes those photos!). It's okay to practice in front of the mirror and figure out what angles work best for you, models do it all the time... because it works! If you have a photo session coming up, or you're getting married or in the wedding party; do what it takes to make yourself more confident in front of the camera so that you're not the Awkward Andy bringing the photos down. (I'm thinking I will have a entire post on this subject, with pictures, just to make my point.)

I'm almost done with my rant/friendly advice. This last reason that I have for getting your picture taken is by far the most important.

Photographs are keepsakes. And long after you're gone, your children's children are going to want to see photos of you. You are a part of their history and they want evidence of your existence. They want to see that they got their height from you, that the curve of their smile is a family trait. They want to see you with your loved ones and learn that the love and happiness that surrounds them, surrounded you too. My grandfather doesn't like to have his photo taken but at our family camping trip, my uncle just threw his arm around Papa and said "Smile, Dad, SMILE." and I clicked as fast as I could. That photo is now a precious treasure. We lost Grammy in March and we have all become aware of how sacred photographs are. Grammy holding me as a newborn, family pictures over the years, Grammy and Papa's wedding picture, Grammy on my brothers motorbike back in 2000, etc. My cousin Chandler couldn't find a picture with her and Grammy and she was heartbroken. People, PLEASE take photos. Allow yourself to be in photos. You do NOT want to be that person whose children search through the shoe-boxes of photographs and can't find you. Maybe you don't like your photo being taken but your children, husband, sister, brother, husband, wife, parents, friends... they all love you and will hold tight to that photo and that memory so please don't take that away from them.

One of the last pictures I have of Grammy from last Christmas, now a precious keepsake to remind us of our beautiful Grammy.

I believe the below photo is the closet thing to the last family picture of my mom's family, before Grammy passed. Also from Christmas 2009. I wanted to get a family picture of the kids with Grammy and Papa because my mom and all 5 of her siblings were in one place at the same time! Unfortunately my Aunt Molly had already left right before I was able to gather everyone together. As you can tell, my Papa wasn't thrilled to be having his photo taken. :) Oh well. Maybe if he read my post 40 years ago, we would have better pictures of him!


  1. Great post Bethany!

    Very nice photos too! You make me proud.

    Love ya,

    PS ok... so you have a little attitude, that's kinda cute too!

  2. Great advice! That should be part of a photographer's info. when they set up an appointment with people! Thanks!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts