Sunday, September 24, 2017

The 'Camera-Hates-Me' Miracle

The miracle photo in which I look okay.
This is actually true. I don't look good in photos. It's a fact.

I am not lacking in self confidence in real life and I'm quite content with my facial features - good skin, cheek bones, etc... . Straight silky hair would have been nice but I'm happy enough with my thick 'Jewfro' curls.

But take a photo and I look.... well different.

It's not my imagination either. When I went for my graduation photos, I told the photographer, "you won't get a nice one, the camera hates me." He looked at me as if to say, "I'm a professional photographer. This isn't an instamatic camera I got for Christmas you know." I raised my eyebrows in reply.

After quite a few takes on his digital camera (so he could see the results instantly), quite a few more than he'd taken of any other graduate, he had to admit defeat. We got some passable photos but they didn't look the way I looked in real life.

At my nephew's Bar Mitzvah we posed for family photos. Then my sister said that the cousins could have family photos on their own and she'd send them the photos. I posed with DD who was a toddler at the time. We never got any photos. "They didn't come out well," was the reason given.

Two summers ago a friend invited her close friends to a picnic for her birthday and she hired a professional photographer to record the event and as gift to her friends. It was a lovely idea. My heart sank and I let the photographer position us and do what she wanted. I wasn't hopeful but she gave me a whole speech about it being her job to make me look the best I can look and how she'd trained for this. I'd heard it all before but you go along with it because it can't hurt.

Sure enough, a few days later we were presented with a CD of DD looking great and me looking awful. In all our group photos I look awful too. I found one photo of me at the ALEH dinner and I cringed with embarrassment. When DD and I try to take selfies she looks at each one and suggests, "you could crop yourself out if you want to." I regret that there are very few photos of DD and me together as she has grown up because I look so awful in them.

Also okay(ish) but miles better than usual.
It wasn't always like this. I blame Mr ~!@#$ our family dentist for taking out too many teeth when I was a child. Who knows I may have had a Hollywood smile but for that. And I agree that if I lost a ton of weight that would probably help too. I've thought of having cosmetic treatment done on my teeth but they're good teeth and basically straight - so I'm reluctant to play around with them when it's not essential. And a friend told me recently that her fabulous smile had cost her 36,000 shekels (about $10,000 - although if you say it in pounds it doesn't sound so much).

Then last week DD brought home a list of options for special lessons they will be having at school on Sunday afternoons. There are some really nice choices - History of Art (theory and practical), Capture The Moment (photography), A Trip Around The World (not literally), Gardening and Farming, Animal Care, DIY, and more.

DD was very taken with the idea of capturing the moment. I said she could take photos on my phone to see if she had a talent for it. She snapped away while I did some posing for fun. "Hmmm," she said, "it seems I do have some talent." I laughed and took a look at her efforts.

Reader, I was gobsmacked! She'd taken two of the best photos of me I've seen in about a decade. I used one of them for my facebook profile because the old one had DD aged four, and she's now far from four. So far about 30 people have 'liked,' including the friend who when I had to post a profile photo for the Times of Israel Blogs, messaged me with, "couldn't you find a better photo?" The answer was of course, no. If I'd been able to take a better photo I'd have posted it - obviously. (Its a bit embarrassing actually as I'm more of a "READ ME!" facebook person than a "LOOK AT ME!" facebook person. I put up the photo because I needed a new photo, not to get complimentary comments - are they just saying that to make me feel good?)

So I'm giving you my two new miracle photos. DD has asked to be in the 'Capture The Moment' lesson and I've said she can stop learning for tests or doing any homework as she's obviously going to be portrait photographer when she grows up.


  1. OMG, I thought I was the only one. I don't think I'm ugly by any means, but I always look bad in pictures! I look nothing like myself! Well, I guess the solution is to have your daughter take my picture LOL. The ones she took of you look great!

    1. Thank you and btw, there are a bunch of us. Others have already made contact. When DD has perfected her art I'm going to hire her out as a photographer for the photogenically challenged.

  2. My profile picture is never me for the very same reason! These are wonderful photos, well done DD. Sometimes for me I say something silly and laugh as a laugh is better than a posed smile. Of course we are our own worst critics.

    1. LOL, but believe me - me laughing like a maniac is just as bad.