Friday, September 2, 2011

Candid Camera Ain't Got Nothing On Me

I remember my very first camera.  It was a turquoise-blue kodak pizzazz.  It was about the size of a very large remove control, or a sadly diminutive box of chocolates.  Despite the fact that there were only two functioning buttons, I still couldn’t operate it.  In a remarkable display of cutting-edge technology, it required a roll of film that I was never able to wind properly. 

Then the dinosaurs went extinct.

When I finally did load the film, I ventured forth and took twenty-four pictures; twenty-five if it was a really good roll of film.  My portfolio contained such gems as the sky, the inside of my purse, half a finger tip, and bits and pieces of the subjects I was trying to photograph in the first place.

Despite these earnest, early attempts, I’ve never taken good photographs. Nor am I particularly willing to be subjected to being photographed.

I’m notoriously unphotogenic.  It’s genetic, through my father’s side.  My father, his mother (my grandmother), myself, and possibly Preschooler, all experience the same bizarre anomaly in front of a camera.  Our eyelids all go sort of heavy, and we basically look like we just took some sort of really fun drugs, even when we’ve taken NO DRUGS AT ALL.
We look like this in every photo, ever.

Even more significant, I can’t smile on cue. Every time some one says “smile!” or “say cheese!” I go full-jungle-ape, baring as many teeth as humanly possible. I was probably sixteen before I learned to smile properly for a camera, and even now it’s a fine line between nothing and JAZZ HANDS!


With this history, it should come as no surprise that I’m rather bad about taking photographs of major life events.  I’m not artistic, I don’t like being in pictures, and my otherwise beautiful children are either smiling weird or either running towards or away from the camera.  Because of this, I usually just end up with some pictures of off-center birthday cakes and whirling dervishes in my photo albums

More importantly, I'd just rather live in the moment rather than try to get a good picture.  I just enjoy my time, and then mooch a few good pictures off of someone else who actually bothered to pick up a camera during the event. 

This didn't bother me until we celebrated Toddler's second birthday.  All of a sudden I realized I took no pictures - not one - of her birthday party.  And even though I’ve received a handful of beautiful photos from my mother and my mother-in-law, I still felt sad.

I'm sad to see my baby growing up. 

Can't she stay a baby just a little bit longer?  Because law degree aside, I have yet to perfect and patent my time machine, what with filling out those arduous forms at all. 

Just don’t let her turn 16 yet, ok?


Everyday Goddess said...

Great post!

I gave you one of my weekly Goddess awards if you would like it for your sidebar. Stop by anytime.

Janie Jones said...

What? I think that jazz hands photo of you is amazing. Definitely Vogue model material.

I have to say, however, that the advent of the digital camera has one hundred fold improved my photo taking outcomes. I take about 10,587 pictures of any given event and get about 5 that are worth having a print made. But at least then I'm not paying for 10,582 crappy snaps. Besides that other 10,582 are great for laughs, blog fodder and future embarrassment when Spud brings home a new boyfriend....

Eva Gallant said...

I loved this! Goddess sent my by, and I'm glad I took her advice! Hope you'll return the visit!

Nicole said...

That's my old camera! I took many, many pictures of squirrels. So fun, compared to, say, watching paint dry.

I'm the same with picture taking, and the guilt. Here's hoping you and I both get a few good shots before the kids head off to college.

Marianna Annadanna said...

I swear I had that same camera. Except mine was bright yellow I think.

I hvae an idea. Just give Toddler a little camera. Then she can photograph her own memories.

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@Everyday goddess - thanks, and thanks for the award :)

@Janie - I definitely enjoy to ability to only print the nice photos from my camera, and delete the rest.

@Eva - Thanks!

@Nicole - you have no idea how excited I was to find a picture of THAT CAMERA!! Apparently I wasn't the only one who had one :)

@Marianna - I considered giving my kids little toy cameras, but the tears that would ensue when their little toys don't take real pictures, make it too iffy. And if I were to get them cameras DESIGNED to take actual pictures, would make it that much more likely that I have to have MY picture taken. No dice.

mamamash said...

I've mercifully forgotten about film cameras. Ugh, so much work.

I'm not photogenic either, but I think it's the chins. ;)

Betty Fokker said...

My ONE artistic accomplishment is to take photographs. My girls have more snaps taken of them than Suri Cruise. I am a solo woman paparazzi crew. I have pictures of potty training, let alone birthdays.

They'll hate me when they're older.

BTW -- my word verification was "bachman". Seriously?

Angela@BeggingTheAnswer said...

@mamamash - I don't miss film cameras one bit.

@Betty - Bachman? Ok, that's some seriously messed up word verification.