This week at First United Methodist Church, we will be taking pictures for a new church directory. It is needed because our last directory was made four years ago, and we have grown and changed (especially the members phone numbers!).
However, this is a particularly traumatic time for me because I take a terrible picture. Occasionally a photo is snapped that is acceptable to me and I will use it for a decade as my official ‘head shot’ anytime one is needed. When it becomes obvious that is is not a recent picture, I look around or hope for another. I’ve begun to notice that snapshots taken when I am having a pleasant time and only semi-aware of the camera turn out the best. What I do not do well is ‘hold it.’ You know, the photographer spends five minutes with ‘put your hand there, tilt your head this way,’ then says, ‘Hold it’ and walks back to the camera and starts making adjustments, looking through the view finder, etc. Excuse me? My ‘held’ smile slowly melts and becomes something between a sneer and a grimace. I widen my eyes, try to keep from blinking, taking on the expression of someone who just witnessed one of those Halloween jokes that jumps out of the computer.
My oldest granddaughter, who I love very much, posted such a picture on her Face Book Page. It was taken at one of those photo ops at a family gathering where everyone brings a camera. We keep re-organizing the groups (now the first cousins, then each family unit) We pose and flashbulbs flash – all but one whose owner yells, ‘Wait a minute, I didn’t get that. Hold it.’ Why don’t we designate one person photographer and share pictures by email? Who knows. The results this time were classic. And my sweet grandchild, who I love more than chocolate, has put it out there for all to see.
I can only hope Olan Mills will a bit more discriminating.