Looking at the Camera Flash

Flash of light revives
Old evil resurrected
Jealousy revealed

I was minding my own business when there was a blinding flash from a camera. Immediately I was on alert looking for the source. Usually it is Sparky trying to take a “candid” photo of his favorite photographic subject – moi. Sure enough Sparky was snapping a picture. I personally do not like to have my picture taken. Probably harkens back to school picture days when I would be coiffed with dippity-doo curls. Those curls were achieved by hours of interrupted slumber as the bobby pins dug into my tender scalp. The photos never resembled the everyday face I presented to the world. It seemed that I needed to be remade for the photos – that my normal state was not sufficiently acceptable to be captured for posterity. Anyway, I ended up going through some photos that I had in an album (yeah, the old fashioned photos printed on paper and inserted into books to hold those memories). Some of the pictures were from BC (before children). There was a series of photos that had been taken at a get together with a large number of friends. The photos were very revealing. Not much of a surprise among the people posing, but the camera caught several expressions of the folks in the background. Some were laughing and some were frowning. One had a look of surprise and another glared at the back of one of the others with a look of jealousy and dislike. Of course I couldn’t recall any reasons for the background drama that the camera captured. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there as a subtle undercurrent. In fact, the subjects in that series of vignettes have all played out the dramas of their lives in the public view and not all to a “happily ever after” conclusion….

49 thoughts on “Looking at the Camera Flash

    1. Hehe! I have a family portrait hanging in the entryway. I distinctly remember not liking how I look – now I look at it and think wow I looked good! Still not thrilled with the camera but I’ve come to an agreement with Sparky – he can take the photos but he CANNOT post them to social media unless I give my approval.

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  1. I’m struggling with the reality that our families and friends want to have something to look at when they remember us and when they speak of us. My firstborn went through a time when he didn’t want any pictures, and I bargained with him that for significant events, he should allow one, and then I’d leave him alone. That portion of his life is missing in our family pictures, and we both agree that it’s sad.

    I’ve gained a lot of weight and I am struggling to find a way to change my food habits for better. For now, I am trying to take “flattering” pictures, and telling myself not to avoid the unflattering ones. That way, I might know that what others (the camera) sees is what I really look like, and I can work harder on making those better choices. They see me with more love than judgement than I do. I surrender.

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    1. I can relate. I lost lots of weight and was so happy that I allowed more photos. But the best ones of me smiling were candid shots that weren’t posed. Anyway, good luck on your weight loss. Somehow the camera is able to capture the essence of the personality and as I look at photos I rarely see anything wrong with others’ photos. I am however a very harsh critic of my own appearance – go figure.

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  2. How many photo’s have no notation on the back and some day whoever gets them won’t know who the blazes they are? I don’t think our daughter has any interest and she bemoans my picture taking of objects. I may as well starting dumping pictures now.

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    1. No! Don’t dump your photos! She will change her mind, really, she will. I went through and made notations on the back of most of the photos about 25 years ago. My mother is very much into genealogy and so I know the importance of the info on the backs…

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  3. It’s interesting how old snapshots form our memories of the past. My grandma always rises in my memory with a Mona Lisa smile because her photos captured that gentle look of contentment. As we age, I think our faces naturally droop into what looks like a frown or scowl when relaxed which doesn’t necessarily reveal our thoughts…or maybe it does! Hence, the crabby old lady persona.

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  4. I like your way to relate your links with the photography, Val !! πŸ™‚ Yes the cameras are without any mercy !! And the face that are portrayed at one time will kept for years and years on the photos . How lucky you are to get a Sparky who takes you every month your portrait . This may relate the events of a year, illustrated with your portrait, photo to photo ! πŸ™‚
    Love ❀
    Michel

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    1. He has always been a “shutterbug” it got worse when he won a photo contest in college. At least when we had kids around they were his go to subjects, then the dog was in his sights. Now there is only me…

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  5. lol photos are indeed very revealing! Pins in your hair sounds like a picnic … I had my hair [well past my butt] tightly twisted in rags! Neighbourhood nickname that I found out years later was ‘spider’ coz of they looked like long legs 😦

    Mum would twine them tight with every hair pulled for 24 hours … the curl was gone within the hour! Weight of the hair dragged it out almost instantly

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    1. I had been keeping my hair permed for many years. Then I let it go natural. When I was young it had a wave in it but as it got longer the wave sort of straightened. Now I’ve got almost curly hair – sort of my COVID look…

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        1. I’ve never been one to fuss with my hair – which is why I’ve kept it short most of my life. I don’t own a curling iron or even a hair dryer! I’ve never dyed it. Lately I’ve stopped wearing foundation and powder and mascara and I never could wear lipstick (allergic and it makes my lips swell). Just a little eyeshadow and liner if I’m going to be fancy. What’s the point in smearing it all over the mask and no one is going to see my face anyway!

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  6. Some people are so photogenic. They just cannot take a bad picture. Every time someone asks that of me, i panic. I cannot take a good picture and have shied away from the camera always.

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  7. These days whenever anyone takes my photo, my Aunt Jo or some other relative of my mom’s shows up. I don’t understand it AT ALL. I’ve learned that the friends who love me most tend to be rather good at taking photos of me, not Aunt Jo by accident.

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    1. Hehe! I have seen that happen – you have to squint to see if it is one person or another… I’m sure that your Aunt Jo was a beauty but probably didn’t have the same bright eyes and friendly smile (or maybe she did in which case you should thank those genes!).

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    1. Hehe! We age, we change weights, we try different hair styles and trendy clothes (that 20 years later we wonder why our mother’s let us leave the house looking like that!), and still the eyes stay the same.

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  8. Oh Val, you reminded me of my high school escapades of having to go through auditions for commercial ads or print ads..and when i finally got my break (a print ad for a traditional photo film brand) my father caught me ..lol

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    1. You mean to say you were sneaking around and he didn’t know you were trying to get into modeling??!!?? My father was very supportive but we wouldn’t dream of sneaking around (at least I wouldn’t have but I think my youngest sister was a rule breaker)!

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      1. Yessss lol…well, not that he wasnt supportive at all, it was just his way of saying, dear you’re too young and why not focus on your studies..i was really very young then…lol..but i am glad my dad was very firm and strong about it…

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  9. I enjoyed this post a lot. It seems those of us with iPhones use the cameras to take a lot of β€œselfies. I wonder if it’s because we are trying to get that one good shot that we will keep and discard all the others. I’m guilty of that. I confess.

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