My post the other day got me thinking about all the bad photos I have endured over the years. It is a truth universally acknowledged that those of us who are ever photographed must be faced with unflattering results from time to time. There will be moments caught that offer digital (or film, if you are old-school) evidence that we do not always look how we hope or believe.
There are many factors involved – the angle is very important, of course – but there are also wardrobe, lighting and facial expressions to consider. Like that time David clicked a photo when I was mid-sentence and I look like I was ticked off while reading The Night Before Christmas. (Nice.)
There are 6 distinct stages I go through when dealing with a bad photograph:
1. Shock – WAIT. Wha…? Is that me? I have to take a closer look, because that person – though they look somewhat familiar and are wearing my clothes – cannot be me.
2. Denial – That’s not how I look. Is it? (This one can last anywhere from a few minutes to several days.)
3. Blame – I search for ways to explain the image that was so far removed from my self-perception: The camera adds 15 lbs. The angle is terrible. I’m in the foreground, of course I look huge. What is with the lighting anyway?
4. Depression – I thought I looked cute. Now I never want to wear that dress/those pants/that shirt again.
5. Bargaining – I will get up at 4:30 am every day and go on the treadmill. From now on, I will only eat air-popped popcorn and sugar snap peas. I will throw away the lilac eye liner.
6. Acceptance – The images may be emblazoned on my mind for some time – traumatic ones have a way of staying with us. Eventually, I realize the world didn’t stop because my self-perception was shaken and I find the strength to move on. I come to realize that though a shock, it is just a captured moment in time and it has as much significance as I give it. I also find watching YouTube videos of Labrador retrievers in the snow always helps me.
6 b) I go all Attack of the Cybermen on those pixels and DELETE DELETE DELETE.
How do you deal with a bad photograph?