Despite my love of photography, I’m not very good at taking photos as mementos.
Whenever I travel, or enjoy a day out somewhere, I take my camera and will happily spend hours snapping photos of the landscape, or the city, or whatever catches my eye.
But I rarely appear in these pictures.
And there’s a reason for that: I look terrible in photographs.
Sure, I’m not the world’s most stunning person, but I guess in real-life I usually look okay. But in photographs, it’s another story.
Have you ever seen that episode of Friends where Chandler and Monica are getting their engagement pictures taken, and as soon as the camera is on him, Chandler’s smile turns into a raging grimace?
Well, that’s me.
Point a camera in my direction and I don’t know what to do with my face or how to stand in a way that won’t make me look three times the size I actually am. I get self-conscious and over compensate in all the wrong ways.
I’ve always been quite critical of my own appearance, but it’s true I’m not great in photos. Of course, I have the odd one that I like, usually those taken by a professional photographer, or where I’ve been caught off guard and am unaware of the camera.
Usually, I avoid the camera because I know I’m unlikely to end up with a good image. I mean, it’s one thing to look bad in a photo where you’re happily pulling a stupid face, but it’s another to look bad when you’re smiling and trying to look your best.
Mostly I’m used to avoiding the camera, as I’ve spent so long doing it.
But there are times where it makes me sad that I don’t have more pictures, not only of me but of my husband, or of us together, as he is also camera shy.
I know we should make more effort, but it never seems to be the right moment and I’m not comfortable trying again and again to get that perfect shot.
I envy my friends who take endless carefree snaps at parties and on holidays, where they’re grinning effortlessly at the camera looking stunning, regardless of the effort they put into their appearance that day.
My resistance to the camera means there are very few photos of me on this blog, and those that do appear were heavily edited first. You’ll never see an outfit photo on this website.
Maybe one day I’ll crack the natural smile thing, but until then, I’ll carry on hiding behind the camera and taking pictures of the view. Unless you’ve got any fool proof posing tips for me?
P.S. Yes, that is a whale penis in the photograph, taken at the Phallological Museum in Reykjavik.