How Do You Feel About Photos?
Thoughts on getting in (or the hell out of) the picture.
I shot new author photos this week. It was so very much time—the photo you see of me on the About page of this newsletter, for example, is now over four years old and when we consider that those four years included the pandemic, was actually shot a century ago. I’ve changed sizes, I’ve changed glasses (I do still love that black pair though), I’ve changed jobs (to some extent anyway), I’ve got more gray hair. I’ve also gotten a lot more comfortable having my photo taken. It helps that my photographer is also a friend and has shot our family photos for many years too. And I invested in some styling help this time, because I thought it would be cool to avoid my usual ritual of last-minute wardrobe panic.
But I still don’t love being photographed and maybe I never will? There’s that uncertainty of what to do with your hands. The stiffness that comes when you’ve been smiling too long, and so maybe you try not smiling, and maybe now you’re just being pretentious? And of course it brings up a lot of beauty standard/diet culture/body size noise. All of this applies to non-professional photo shoots too. Which, now that we live in the age of Instagram and iPhones can happen almost daily. Though I, like way too many moms, have to remind my partner to also take the photos so my children can have some future record that I existed at all.
So for today’s Friday Thread, I’d love to hear: How do you feel about having your photo taken? Have you worked through some big feelings about it, or do you just always hate it? Or maybe you love it and have figured out some great secret to help the rest of us love it? (I also know I used to love it VERY MUCH when I was a kid and at some point, I got self-conscious about that fact. Which now seems a little sad.)