Everybody has got some hang up about themselves that makes them avoid the camera. For myself, I never was a fan of the fact that I looked like the mirror image of a deer caught in the headlights because my eyes were round or that I inherited my dad's jawline with a healthy dose of chipmunk cheek along with it. When I smiled, I swear my two front bunny teeth reached out and touched the camera to say what's up.
Aaaaand let's not talk about the two caterpillars served as my uni-brow. I mean, eyebrows.
Now that I'm older, I'm not saying I'm over certain hangups about myself. No, no, no.....Not saying I don't have those days when I secretly cringe at a photo that's been posted on social media from a family gathering or a hangout with friends. (How the heck does one of my eyes look bug-eyed and the other normal? Seriously.....HOW?!?) I see my age showing. I see the lines of white hair that stick out more. Yes, man'm, I sho do see them.
However......and you knew this was coming....even in that moment I am staring at an imperfect photo, already relentlessly listing all the criticisms I see in my face - well, it's then that I, too, have to scold that voice and also remember about the other things I ALSO see in that photo. A memory made. A crooked smile and a face that looks like I was weirdly constipated because my loved ones and I couldn't stop laughing long enough to take a "perfect" photo. The signs that show I am aging because it means I was basically given another day to live and another moment to remember with friends and family in a photograph. Eyebrows? They and my tweezers get a long just fine.
And shoot, those bunny teeth? If they're showing, it means I was smiling and happy. So yeah, I'll take 'em.
My point is this. Just because I'm a photographer, doesn't mean I don't understand the weirdness and hangups that come with avoiding the camera. It does, however, remind me big time of the more important stuff - that I'm fortunate enough to have moments like that in my life that are worthy of being captured on camera, that I got people to share those memories with, that I had lots of reasons to smile and celebrate and take both the cute and not so cute photos.
These caterpillar brows and bunny teeth are avoiding the camera no more. And they're on a mission to remind others the same thing.
Cheers to existing in photos - bunny teeth grins and all.