Why I’m not in pictures
I take over a thousand of photos when I travel. We’re talking about a two-week trip here, and I’m not even exaggerating. Why shouldn’t I enjoy the benefits of digital photography? It’s cost-effective and allows me to experiment. Eventually (sometimes months or years later), I filter through my photos and delete a couple dozen: the crooked, the blurry, the recurring. And at this point, I get pretty annoyed because I can hardly find five photos of myself. I also hear my mother’s voice asking, “but why aren’t you in ANY pictures?”
That’s an excellent question, mother dearest. I ask myself the same thing and after several trips I have discovered why. It’s because people suck (couldn’t even find a euphemism here). I know I’m slowly but surely turning into a misanthrope but people are unbelievably selfish when it comes to photos.
Ok, I admit that I get overprotective with my camera, like anyone who’s spent thousands on equipment that could break. But grubby fingers and careless hands aside, I do sometimes hand my camera over to people. “Can you take a photo of me now?” I’d ask, with a hopeful smile on my face. I refrain from adding, “because I’ve taken about two dozen of you so far, and you’ve been posing like Marilyn Monroe all day and you’ve told me seven times that I must send you those pictures. What if I just don’t want to, huh? And could you PLEASE frame it right? It would be nice if you got all of my head in the picture. Not from that angle, doofus.”
Usually people are obliging. They take my camera and hold it up in my direction before announcing, “how do I use this thing?” IT’S JUST A CAMERA – I want to scream. But I don’t. That would be rude. I un-pose and walk over to where they’re standing with my camera like it’s the heaviest thing they’ve ever held. I wish they’d try not to look so bored. Well, I’m sorry if taking a photo of me is wasting precious seconds of your time, but if you do it quickly we can go back to taking photos of you. Because the world and my camera revolve around you.
So after pointing out the view finder, I go back to my spot and try to recapture my pose when allofasudden CLICK CLICK — “Ok, I took it.” Oi! I was not ready! “Can you please take one more?” I ask sweetly. The typical response is, “oh? You want me to take another one? Oh. [Silence] Ok.”
At this point, I’m trying not to yell, “YES. TAKE ANOTHER ONE. TAKE TEN MORE. IT’S NOT COSTING YOU ANYTHING.” With a heavy sigh, they take a couple more photos of me and hand the camera right back. You know, so I can resume my job as their personal, unpaid photographer. Later, I go through my photos and delete most of them. All the photos were taken hurriedly. They’re all unflattering.
I pick up my voodoo doll
And that’s why ladies and gentlemen, I’m not in any pictures. Wow I’m out of breath. How are you doing?