Strike a Pose

Me asking Siri "Can you please make my self-portrait not suck?"
Me asking Siri "Can you please make my self-portrait not suck?"

I don’t like having my picture taken – and I never have. I don’t think I’m especially photogenic (probably because I’m always totally uncomfortable) and can count on one hand the number of pictures I have of myself that I really like. I even took photography classes in high school so I would always have an excuse to be the one behind the camera, rather than in front of it.

Given this, it comes as no great surprise that I was underwhelmed by today’s theme for the #febphotoaday project on Instagram: self-portrait. After quite a few fairly awful attempts this morning, I managed to come up with one I liked well enough to put on the Internet.

I was chatting with my boss (who does a lot of photography in his free time) about how hard it was to get a photo I liked, and – after he gave me a bunch of posing tips – we got to talking about younger people seem so much more comfortable having their pictures taken. (This is by no means a scientific or research-based opinion – it’s just something I’ve noticed.)

It got me wondering… Is this because those of us GenX and older grew up with film cameras – with their lack of preview and the expense not only of the film, but also for developing and printing – which made photography more of a special occasion thing? Millennials, on the other hand, grew up having their every move documented, with camcorders, then early digital cameras, and then with the first of the now-ubiquitous cell phone cameras. And kids today… Well, let’s say that pretty much every child I know born after 2000 has so many childhood photos that if they were printed they’d be longer than War and Peace. By the time they’re adults, they’ll have no qualms whatsoever about having a camera stuck in their face, right?

What do you think… Am I finding generational differences where none exist? Or is it possible that the younger you are, the more comfortable you are being photographed?

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2 thoughts on “Strike a Pose

  1. sprite February 11, 2012 / 12:51 am

    Generational differences where none exist. Apparently when I was small I was so accustomed to being photographed that I stopped and posed whenever I saw a camera, irrespective of whether they were taking a shot of me — or even whether I knew the person taking the shot or not.

    You *do* have a tendency to glare at people taking your picture. I probably only have a handful of you that either one of us would be happy sharing.

  2. maryann February 11, 2012 / 7:26 pm

    As we think you are beautiful, of course the self-portrait is interesting and attractive, especially the eyes. But I think you’re on to something as to the generational aspect. There are thousands of pictures of some of my grand daughters on Facebook – some are very good, some interesting, a few very creative. And others are awful. They don’t seem to mind heck, they posted them! it’s a different outlook.

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