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?