So why did this article receive more than a fleeting glance? Because it addressed something I struggle with daily ... and I know it's something at least one of my grandmothers struggled with.
I have so few photos that include my maternal grandmother. She would hide whenever the camera came out and I could never understand that. I saw a beautiful woman, aging gracefully, and someone who loved me unconditionally. I loved her and couldn't understand why she was so ashamed to be captured on film (as it was in those days).
Fast forward thirty or so years and her granddaughter is exactly the same. I hate being photographed and can spend valuable time crying over photos. My grandmother didn't have to contend with digital cameras -which are both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because you're not wasting valuable money developing film for photos that are worthless (you know what I mean: heads chopped off, blurry, etc); a curse because everyone seems to have one and they click away quite happily without worrying about whether the capturee is pulling a strange face mid-conversation/eating/other action. Most of the time, the person being captured electronically doesn't even have a chance to compose themselves and think how to put their best side forward (or even take a deep breath and sit/stand up straight).
Perhaps, more than most, I have reason for complaint. My image is often captured at work in the most unflattering of poses. My sons seem to take delight in doing the same at home. Add to that, arm fat, tummy rolls, wrinkles, a face (and let's be honest and add body) that is heading south, grey hair, and a less than perfect figure (strange how those proportions that were so attractive when we were teens, seem to settle into less than pleasing proportions once we've got a few babies/years under our belts) and you begin to understand why I hate having my photo taken.
And yet if I'm to take to heart this article, by avoiding the camera, for whatever reason, I'm preventing the camera from capturing my life - our life - as it is now. I am living now - I belong in this family just as much as the next person - and, okay, I don't have the flawless skin and hair of my granddaughters (but I once did) or the gorgeous figures of my daughters-in-law (there was a time when I didn't even mind being photographed in a bathing suit), or even my sons' incredible good looks (where do they think they got them from) but when my family look at photos, do they see all my flaws, or do they see a woman who loves them, who delights in them, who thinks she is the most blessed woman on earth because she belongs to them (and them to her)?
And if that's what they see, is it fair to deprive them of the capture of those memories?
It's something I'm trying to work through now. As a step towards that acceptance I post the following less-than-perfect photos:
(Look and laugh ... I can't promise I will keep these pics up indefinitely.)