Bad photos

jrhighOnce when I had 26 Beehives (or was it 28?) I told them how beautiful they were and that it just wasn’t fair because no one was meant to look good in junior high.

And I say that in the way you would tell a dog that had just gummed your favorite hen half to death, “Bad dog!”

I can’t decide if this will be easy or hard, because the truth is, while I love to take photos, I’m not at all photogenic. In fact I’m shocked when I see photos of myself–shocked and dismayed. And not because I think I’m heinous to look at, but because the person in the photo is not the person I see reflected back at me in the mirror several times a day. If photos could capture that person, well, I’d be fine being in the picture. But they don’t and I’m not.

We–or at least I–are/am particularly bad a selfies. I have a pained expression on my face in every single selfie I’ve ever taken. OK, except maybe not the one where I’m buried in a faux-fur lined down hat because it was in Green Bay and the wind chill factor was a number too low to count down to, so I’m fairly certain my face was frozen and couldn’t bother being pained.nope-stillpainedNope. Still somewhat pained. But also frozen.

In any case, I have noticed something interesting about photos. Often the ones we hate the most are the ones our friends and others who love and accept us unconditionally love. It’s like they see something in us we cannot see ourselves. I do not know why we are prevented from seeing that in ourselves. Or why, perhaps, we hold ourselves back from seeing that in ourselves. But it is a beautiful thing to have people in our lives who do see it and who love us in such a way that to them there are no bad photos of us.

I hope that I can see and love people as they really are. And recognize and appreciate the light in their eyes and the brightness of their smiles.

Recently I found myself in the uncomfortable position where I had to send some photos to a sister in our Relief Society to be features in a spotlight. Know what made me surprised me? There were a number of photos of myself I loved. That were not bad photos. In each one of them I was with people I love and I was visibly happy.

wearebadatselfiesI have no one to blame but myself for this one. We are bad at selfies. Generally I have a pained look on my face when I take a selfie, which means it’s better if I just don’t.

[Day 124 of Ann Dee Ellis’ 8-Minute Memoir.]