Posted by: Admin | September 29, 2010

Say “cheese”

I was talking to a chap today about the fact that men are often reluctant to have their photograph taken and it turned out that he’d spent a fair few years of his working life in the print trade. He told me a story that gave me pause for thought, which I’m duly passing on to you.

“I lost count of the number of times I was asked by bereaved families to doctor family photographs to include a father who had recently passed away,” Ian told me.

So often fathers are either behind the camera or simply absent when the cameras come out. It isn’t something we notice until they pass away and we start looking in vain for a photograph in which the family appears altogether. Part of Ian’s job, as a Photoshop expert, was to paste an absent father into a group shot.

“It was really, really sad. I never liked having my photo taken, but that made me realise that it wasn’t for me, it was for other people. I never fuss about it now.”

I think that applies to all of us who hide behind the sofas when the cameras come out. Hating the way we look, being self-conscious, not liking the attention are all excuses we use to absent ourselves from the family photos. I doubt if many of us have paused to consider that there’s a serious reason to “say cheese”. Time to grin and bear it.

It means a lot to have Mum AND Dad in the family photos



  1. I have been preaching that for a long time now. As for myself, as cranky and cantankerous as I can be, I will be missed and photos will be valued so I have taken to documenting myself for my loved ones. Some will think it was vanity but they will be wrong. They can think anything they like, I will not know but there will be photos.
    As for the young exercising their false modesty by hiding from the camera or making funny faces it is not tolerated. My wraith is not to be taken lightly. Now when the camera comes out they try to look their best as they should because if they want to be part of this gathering then there photos will be taken.

  2. Very thought provoking. I am that person who refuses to appear in any photos. Mmmm

  3. well, OF, sometimes it’s even better when you can catch folks unawares with the camera!

    As for you, WH – for shame! (I’m the same though. How vain we are!)

  4. I noticed last night people were reluctant to have their photos taken. I hope you managed to get a few nice shots before you politely put your camera away. It was a special occasion and deserved to be documented.

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