A while back in my blog post, Lost In Pictures, I wrote about all the emotions that are felt when looking at old photographs. Today, however, I am going to talk about the sheer horror of having my picture taken.
I've talked on and on about "positional warfare" but nothing induces it more than having my photo taken. I mean, do I smile? How much of a smile is too much? Posture? Arms? Hands? I think about every inch of my body and how I should be standing. As this goes on my entire body feels like it wants to jump in 1,000 different directions because I quite simply don't know how I should be in the space that I am. On top of all that I stated the smile issue and it becomes an issue because why should I smile if I am not happy?
I have never been good at faking a smile and if I am smiling it is because I truly am happy. I can't fake happy and I can't fake a smile. See my photo with the blue backdrop on the right hand column of my blog? That's the photo that is on the back of my book and the only reason I am smiling there is because my now deceased cat, Siam, jumped up on my dad's desk and knocked some stuff over.
What brought this topic about was the following photo:
This photo was taken after the races on Sunday in Hagerstown and is a group photo of most of the USAC staff there that day. They put me in front, I think, because of the amount of dirt I had on me. This photo though came up fast and was unexpected. One second I am sitting down gathering my strength back and next moment there's a camera. I stood up and let the others direct me because I was becoming stiff in the positional warfare and just before the picture was taken I put my arms behind my back.
It was a natural reflex. The point of the photo, I guess, was to illustrate just how dirty I was, but within the positional warfare I felt 100% uncomfortable with my arms out. Amid much protest I put my arms out and then processed why it was important and that smile? I was smiling because I realized that this would make a good blog post.
Being on the other side of the lens has never been my strong suit. I am a decent photographer, but this doesn't translate to having my picture taken. When I was in school having my photo taken for the yearbook was always a lengthy ordeal. "Aaron, say cheese!" the photographer would say and I would say, "Why?" When I would say it I said it blandly and without any emotion.
This issue also goes back to the, Are You Okay? blogpost. In that post I stated how many times I get asked, "Are you okay?" because of the typically blandness on my face. Again, I can't fake happy and I can't fake a smile. To simply smile for a photo is something that is difficult. Sometimes in presentations, and in conversations regarding my book, I will say that the hardest part of my book was taking the photo on the back.
Am I the only one with this? I'm sure people not on the spectrum have the same issue, but perhaps not as extreme as this. Some people love their photos taken, others not so much, so what are you?