Monday, October 19, 2009

Ansel Adams said


"There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer."

But for many years for me, personally, there was me, the photographer...I never wanted to be the one "viewed".

Oh, I had my reasons. Too fat. Too old. Too wrinkled. Bad hair day. Lots and lots of reasons and never too many smiles in front of the camera.

If a rare photo of me made it onto the camera I would quickly erase it off...I didn't want anyone to remember me that way.

Once I had lost 50 pounds, had a face lift, got a better hair-style, etc., etc. I would certainly step willingly in front of the camera.

But that never happened. For years.

I continued to hide.

The reason I stopped hiding was my sweet husband.

We have been married almost ten years....second time was definitely the charm for me.

But one day early in our marriage I was doing my usual "DON'T TAKE A PICTURE OF ME OR I'LL KILL YOU" thing...

And he said something like "wow, for such a giving woman I can't believe you are so selfish!"

Selfish! Me! I sputtered! I raged! I protested vehemently!

And then I listened to what he had to say.

And he said that the pictures weren't for me. They were for the people that love me. And the people that love me see me with their hearts. And they don't care if I need to loose weight, or have some wrinkles, or some gray in my hair.

And I thought and thought and thought about it.

And he was right.

When I scrapbook some of the old pictures (pre-husband-number-two) there are none of me. Or very, very few.

And when my granddaughters and I look through them they say "Grandma? Where are you?"

But when they look through the scrap-book pages now there I am on every page! Smiling! Loving large!
And though I will admit to still deleting off all the back views (hey, a woman's gotta have some remaining vanity, right?) I just look at whoever is taking my picture and say "Be merciful!" instead of "Cheese!"

And it's OK! The camera never breaks! No-one ever throws up after they see my picture (or at least that they admit!) and there my smiling, getting old, too fat face is for anyone who wants to remember it.

Smile everyone!

A photograph is memory in the raw. ~Carrie Latet

And that photograph isn't really, necessarily for you!

19 comments:

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Great post, Jenny! I am very much the same ..I don't like my photos taken and since I'm the one usually taking all the photos there aren't many of me. I'll have to try to rectify that.

RE; The Angels & Accordions -- yes, those are my photos so I was there ...lol! My husband and I were helping out by being guides in the catacombs...I might show those photos on Halloween. It took place last weekend and yes, the trees were still so green! That is what I've been complaining about....we haven't had much of any autumn color this year :-( We had a storm this weekend and so many leaves were blown away. I'm hoping that whatever is left will still give us a little show.

Jen said...

Oh, this is such a great post! I have a million picture of my husband with our girls, and very few of me. I have recently started having picutres taken of me and me and my kids. This is a great personal reflection, thanks for sharing it. I swear I have said most of those statments myself, adding, "take that picture only from the chest up." J/K...

Lemonade Makin' Mama said...

I love this! I'm not in nearly enough photographs. I need to change that!!

laterg8r said...

totally true - love this post! :D

Carol said...

Oh beautiful, wonderful Jenny! Steve is right! The pictures are for the ones who love you!! My Momma hated having her picture taken too. I have a total of about 15 photos of her and I would give anything to of had more...so let them photos fly...good ones and bad ones....

Diana said...

My mom was known to have torn up many a picture. She did not like herself in pictures.

Girl, I can tell you are beautiful inside and out, so glad to hear you have released this.

Jana said...

what a great guy and im super glad you listened to him because I think its wonderful to see you smiling! and the grand babies will appreciate it forever too!

Mardell said...

Uh huh...got me thinking for sure. Great topic Ms. Jenny! Thank you. (But my smile isn't nearly as gorgeous & pearly white as yours!)

Kim @ Starshine Chic said...

Fabulous post & so true. I think most of us hate having our photos taken. Luckily I have now gotten old enough to no longer care. Well, I care, but I've learned to not let it bug me as much. The photos are for my loved ones to remember me someday. And they know that I wasn't always skinny or young. Thanks for your post, it was wonderful. And thanks for visiting my blog & leaving me a comment.

Melinda Cornish said...

this is very true...I always think of the grandkids when I want to delete a that I think isnt flattering but they dont see my flaws the way I do....good for you..I love the smile

merrilymarylee said...

What a thoughtful post! You took dead-aim at me with this one, too.
Are you like me-- convinced there must be some say to try to stand, hold my head, lean.--that will take off 20 or 30 pounds?! LOL! If I could just wear a sandwich board. . . !

This is so thoughtful. I'll come back for a reminder--and to wander through your previous posts.

One more thing. . . what a lovely lady you are! Great smile!

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

BONNIE K said...

Thanks for sending me this! Yes, I suppose you are right. And you posted this on my husband's birthday.

Tortuga said...

Wow! I never thought about it like that. I'm like you were, I almost never show up in pictures because, honestly, I hate the idea of my picture being taken because of low self image. I never saw it as selfishness, but that's totally truth. Perfect example: this past Easter weekend. I have 56 pictures of the weekend and I only appear in 1, accidentally. Thank you so much for this post. I will definitely try to be in front of the camera once in a while now instead of behind it all the time.

Cheryl said...

Wow. That brought tears to my eyes. My mother has always been that way. As she ages I want more not less. On Easter I purposely didn't take a picture of her even though I wanted to in a desparate sort of way. Thanks for giving me the words to convey to her what it means to me to have her photos for always.

Karen said...

I was recently talking to a friend about this. Someone she knew had passed away, and the family wanted to put together a photo collage for the funeral. But she was in so few photos that there wasn't much for the collage.

Now, I try to forget about my chubby self and my crooked smile and jump into every photo I can.

Anita said...

Well said Jenny. I've been known to shy out of camera range too. As a child I was pushing my way into every shot.......my how times change!
Good things to remember.

Hill Country Hippie said...

I was that way too when I first started my blog. I thought my stories made me seem like one kind of person, and if people saw my actual 55 year old self, they might be disappointed. It took me a long time before I finally decided to come out of the closet, so to speak.

Amy said...

Rightfuly chastized. Thank you, Jenny. I needed to hear this. It took me forever to read as I was sewing last night! Yay! But I am glad I learned your perspective. What a wise husband you have. Though I will still probably feel the same way, at least I will now have a better perspective as to why I should let my photo be taken.

I still feel fat though. ;)