I was thinking that I should have taken a photo last weekend when the four of us were watching the annual Ducks/Beavers matchup (formerly known as the Civil War game but both colleges recently agreed to stop calling it that so now it’s the game everyone still thinks of as the Civil War but is referenced awkwardly in the newspaper). There we were, after all, sitting together and doing a thing, or at least 3 of us were properly attuned to the gameplay while I repeatedly said things like “Whoah what just happened?” because I don’t understand shit about football except that I enjoy the part right before the snap where one dude in the back just, like, darts around like a dog with zoomies?

Our family photos have really dwindled, I don’t put the effort into it like I used to. The kids tend towards an extreme dislike of having their pictures taken, I mean most of the time if they even catch me aiming a lens in their direction they react as though I have betrayed their deepest trust, which is an exhausting emotional journey to embark upon for a quickie capture.

On the one hand I find this intensely irritating; on the other, I can’t say that I don’t understand. I personally need an enormous amount of preparation before being photographed and even then it kind of feels like getting a tooth pulled in that the moment itself is highly unpleasant and there is a LOT of relief afterwards.

I’ve been backing off from hovering-documentarian mode, but I miss it. I miss when the taking of pictures wasn’t so complicated, I miss the pictures themselves. There’s nothing like aging to drive home the power of images and their ability to bring back memories.

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Shes
Shes
1 month ago

I’m with you there. I hate hate hate how I look in photos, hate the weight that has crept on, hate how I (obviously) don’t look ‘the way I look to myself in my head’ in real life! And yet…..I love pictures of my parents- before they were together, as a young married couple, with toddlers, and as grandparents today. And where will I be when my daughter tries to look back, or when I’m not around any more. I allow some to happen, and delete the most painful ones to me! It’s the best I can do right now….And just realized I have made this all about myself instead of the ‘family pic’ but me not participating or wanting to be in the pic means there are precious few of those. Sigh…..

Kimberley
Kimberley
1 month ago

When the kids were little and wiggly and would make funny faces and not look at the camera, I always thought “Oh, it’ll get better when they’re older.” Earlier this fall I booked family pics and it was honestly the worst experience – the 13 and 15 year olds were horrible. HORRIBLE. Surly. Uncooperative. Bad attitudes. Expressions like they were off to the guillotine. It may be our last family session for quite some time. (Afterward the photographer said “Yeah, I don’t shoot a lot of families with kids this age” Ha ha haaaaaaa.) But I miss it too, when I could at least get some-thing resembling a decent pic. There are SO MANY things I miss about little kids. Teenagers are freaking hard. This too shall pass, I guess?

Robin
1 month ago

I’m the same about having my picture taken — it’s either a weirdly contrived “camera face” or a deeply unflattering candid — but this past summer I got to visit my family for the first time in 3 years, and I went crazy taking pictures and deliberately making sure I was IN a good deal of them… now I look at them for the memories of an amazing summer, and in all of them I look SO HAPPY.

Elizabeth_K
Elizabeth_K
1 month ago

My kids are fine for photos but OH their hatred of videos — even though they are innocuous 5 second ‘let’s capture this moment’ videos. Sigh. I see their point — I didn’t have to take so many as a kid …