Deb Linda Thinks Most Cameras Are a Little Too Candid

My reaction to this week’s topic: I laughed! I cried! I went “Ugh!”

Mixed emotions much? Um, yeeeah.

And who can blame me? I was traumatized by school pictures like this:

(I think I was in the fourth or fifth grade there. Honestly? I’ve blocked it out of my mind.)


I tend to prefer playing photographer to be photographed. Not that I’m any good it, mind you. It’s just that when I’m behind the camera, it means I’m not in front of it, wondering if I have spinach stuck between my teeth, or if my bra strap is hanging out, or if the lighting is going to enhance my crow’s-feet and make my butt look big.

But I knew I had to have some sort of pictorial author presence on the web, so gritted my teeth and found some photos of me I don’t hate. Much.


There’s this one—my “What a pleasant surprise–you caught me just as I was walking out this door” photo:



And this one—my “I’m pretending to be kickass enough to really smoke this cigar” photo:


Those are the two of me you see most places I visit on the web. I usually go for the first one if a little decorum seems to be in order (like here, for my Deb picture), and for the second one if I’m just being a smartass (like on my own blog, or commenting on other people’s blogs).


I even have a spare one of me in one of those cliched “author poses” in this piece that Deb Erika linked to in her post earlier this week:

My, don’t I look pensive? And, I dunnoh…pained, somehow, like I’m thinking, just take the damn picture already! (Which, if I recall correctly, is exactly what I was thinking.)


But it’s the picture my baby brother took of me last summer that truly expresses how I feel about being photographed:



Honestly, I’m hard-pressed not to do that every time I see a camera pointed in my direction. And obviously my brother liked it so much he had it framed for me. (Okay, apparently that’s an app on his iPhone. Whatever. It’s the thought that counts, right?)


How about you? Are you comfortable in front of the camera, or would you perhaps rather walk over shards of broken glass barefoot? Or maybe have a root canal without anesthesia?


P.S. Remember–if you hover the cursor over the pictures in my blog posts, you’ll usually find a little additional commentary.

34 Replies to “Deb Linda Thinks Most Cameras Are a Little Too Candid”

  1. Okay, that’s it–close the entries, we have a winner in the cutest school picture ever contest–YOU! (And I LOVE that you still have the sheet–but think of all the relatives denied those beyond-adorable wallet sized?)

    This has been such a fun week–and speaking as someone who has in fact had a root canal without anesthesia (I was three weeks pregnant, we didn’t dare–trust me, labor was nothin’ after that), I can safely say I would prefer to take a picture to that–but only slightly 😉

    1. Ack! Oh, my gosh, I can’t imagine how painful that must have been for you! I’m cringing just at the thought of it.

      Still, having my picture taken ranks close to it… 😉

  2. a wee baby linda is so adorable!!!

    in other news, i, like you, prefer not to have my picture taken. in fact, one of my worst fights (with my mom) from growing up was about having my picture taken. i refused. she didn’t like that. it seems like such a silly argument now because her taking the picture probably would have only take 30 seconds and instead that fight lasted for about 30 minutes. whoops.

  3. The camera loves you, Dahling! I love all these photos, but I so get where you’re coming from. We are our own worst critics of photos, though and you look great in all with that lovely complexion and great smile!

    And thanks to that author photo cliche article, I will never look at another author photo in the same light again. 😀

    1. Aw, you are too sweet! Thanks. 🙂

      Re that article: It has me trying to come up with an idea for an author photo that ISN’T a cliche. I think I’m stumped.

  4. I am SOOOOOO uncomfortable in front of the camera. Horribly uncomfortable. I don’t photograph well. Never have, never will. I don’t have any good author photos, but maybe a professional can help me out. I ADORE your school picture! (And all of them, really) I think my 1st grade picture was the only time I looked cute. *sigh* Who can resist pigtails and no front teeth?

  5. As far back as I can remember, I’ve ALWAYS hated to have my picture taken. Don’t much like to look in mirrors, either. It’s much easier for me to feel comfortable in my skin and just BE, without thinking about, or worse, being (ugh!) confronted with, what I actually look like. There are some decent shots of me, in which I look neither emaciated nor “fluffy”, but you look super in all of those pictures.

    1. Thanks. 🙂 I think it must be a woman thing, this hating to have your picture taken. I never heard a guy complain about it. Maybe they’re they’re more comfortable with themselves, as a rule?

  6. Those are all great photos! I’ve never liked having my picture taken, either. I have what I prefer to call an “expressive” face, which is a politer way to say that I have a gift for twisting my face into the most moronic expressions a human being is capable of achieving, usually at the exact moment the flash goes off. My author photo is the result of a lengthy session with a professional photographer who had the patience of a saint. She took several hundred photos, of which we deemed three to be marginally acceptable.

    I’m much happier going through life deluded. In my imagination, I always look good. 🙂

    1. You should be an actress! “Expressive” faces are a big plus on the stage. 😉

      I have one mirror in my house that, for some unfathomable reason, always makes me look better than the others do. Lighting, maybe? Who knows? All I know is, that’s the only one I want to look in, when I absolutely can’t avoid mirrors.

  7. I was going to say root canal, but then I read Erika’s reply and…well, let’s just say no. No, I would not prefer to have root canal without anesthesia. I used to duck pictures all the time, but then I noticed how everyone else would say, “I hate that picture,” and I’d be all, “But it just looks like you.” And then I realized that all those pictures of me that I’ve been hating probably just look like me. Since I walk around with my face hanging out all the time, dodging pictures didn’t seem to make sense anymore. Not that I like it any better, but I smile more.

  8. I FEEL your pain!!! I HAte (capital H) getting my picture taken. I had a friend with her expensive swanky camera take mine that I use all over the Internet. But she did tell me to look down until I was ready then as soon as I looked up she knew to take the picture. It was weird but it kind of worked so I wouldn’t get a tight smile.

  9. I HATE being in front of the camera! I hate my official author photo, in fact, although I hate it less than the other 35 that were taken during that photo session.

    The only one I almost like is a candid I took with my own phone (how teenager-like) but the resolution isn’t good enough to actually use officially.

    I like YOUR photos, though!

    1. It’s like a reflex, isn’t it? But I’ll be you don’t don’t look like a dork at all, except to yourself. We always look like dorks to ourselves, don’t we?

  10. The last one is definitely my favourite!
    And I HATE having my picture taken. The one I use for my blog was taken last May, and it was one of about thirty almost identical pictures my poor daughter had to take of me before she finally told me enough was enough and I had to pick one.

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