How many times do we duck out of the way of a camera because we feel like we look old, or fat, or messy, or frumpy? A lot of us do it, and we should have the right to make the decision about whether or not we feel like being photographed, but a Facebook post going viral this week makes a compelling argument for getting in front of the camera, warts and pimples and flyaway hairs and all.
According to The Huffington Post, the Facebook post is from Texas inspirational speaker Kaylin Maree Schimpf, who addresses her post to the men in the audience, saying:
Dear men…. take the photo…
It doesn’t matter what she looks like, or if she tells you no, take the photo. You may not think about it often, or at all honestly. But how many photos does she capture of you, of your family and of your life you’ve built. But when she is gone, those photos won’t show your children the women who was behind the camera.
This doesn’t just apply to men–and really, if someone is saying no, we should listen to that–but she has a good point about who is going to be looking at those pictures someday. Someday when we’re dead, our kids aren’t going to be looking at the pictures and thinking, “Gosh, mom’s hair was looking a bit frizzy that day when we all went to the beach.”
Someday we’re going to be dead. It sucks. I wish it weren’t the case, but it is. We’re all going to be dead someday. Hopefully it will be a long time away from now and there will be lots of opportunities to get blow-outs and eyelash extensions before being in photos, but shit happens. People are going to want pictures of you, and they aren’t going to care as much as you do about how you look in your bathing suit.
If you’ve ever gone through an estate, maybe you’ve recognized this from the other end. You might have been the one saying, “Gosh, I wish we had more pictures.” Maybe you’re the one realizing that you have tons of pictures of grandpa, but not many of grandma, because grandma was always the one behind the camera. Maybe grandma said, “Don’t take my picture right now, I’m a mess,” too many times, and now you wish you had a couple of those messy photos around. Or maybe it was mom.
In Schimpf’s case, it was her father. Not because he didn’t want to be in photos, but because he was always the one taking them. She told The Huffington Post that her father died a year ago, and she feels like she doesn’t have any pictures of him because he was always the one taking the photos, never the person in them.
”Photos are all we have eventually,” she told HuffPost. ”Memories are great, but I look back and I have nothing of my dad.”
With our phones and cameras these days, we can take all the photos we want, but a lot of the time there’s still one person who takes all the photos, and that person winds up missing from the visual record. Even if you’re not the photographer in the family, you would be doing your kids a favor to take on that mantle from time to time.