Thursday, January 27, 2011

Snapshot

Taken last week at Balboa Park this is one of the few pictures of me I can live with. Every once in a while you get a snapshot that conforms with your idea of you. Does that make sense?

Do you hate looking at pictures of yourself? Are people that don't mind looking at pictures of themselves more realistic, do they see themselves differently, are they less judgmental?

I destroy most of them. I thought this might be important once: that so few pictures of me after age 40 exist but on seeing the albums my parents saved and their fate, sitting in a closet, I decided that one or two pictures was enough. How often do you look at pictures of your grandparents? Is there anything sadder than coming across old snapshots at a flea market, knowing no one wanted to hang on to them. I am throwing a lot out here. But the main question is: do you mind looking at pictures of yourself? I'm betting men can do it easier than women.

29 comments:

Dana King said...

What bother me most about photos of me is that I look fat in them. Same things with mirrors, so they had to g, too.

Scales are next.

David Cranmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Cranmer said...

You look smashing, Patti. Are you hanging with Sophia Loren?

Since we live in the digital age I am much easier with picture snapping. I'll take ten photos and delete nine. But that one is the keeper.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, David and yes, I agree, Dana.
I have never liked having my picture taken.
Please don't think I put this picture on here to solicit compliments though. The point is I don't like looking at myself-and yes, in mirrors too.

Jack Bates said...

I find it very difficult to sit for an interview picture let alone a headshot. It's like listening to my voice on a recording. Fingernails on a chalkboard to self.

Dan Fleming said...

I'm with you Patti. I believe there are 3 pictures of me in existance that I am happy with. And I challenge anyone to find a picture of me from the ages of 8-16 without a hand in front of my face.

Ron Scheer said...

I dislike any picture of myself taken before I was 60. I look sad in them, and they make me sad.

You have every reason to like the snap of yourself in Balboa. It's a knockout.(California does that to you, by the way.)

pattinase (abbott) said...

I never liked hats until I discovered they are good at obscuring.

Yvette said...

Now see, that's a terrific picture of you, Patti.

I despise pictures of myself. There are so few of them still around even from when I was young.
I simply am not a 'smiler'. I can't smile. Period. I either laugh or nothing. And now as I've aged none too spectacularly, I hate pix of myself even more. I look like a frog in most of them.

There are maybe three pictures of myself that pass muster for me and this is it.

My mother had trouble smiling too. We both have (and my brother to a lesser extent) what we call the 'Santiago smile'. Ha! We all howl over the fact that I simply cannot smile and when I try I look about as foolish as it is possible to look. Sometimes I look at the very few existing pictures of myself and I just think omg, do I really look like that? Embarrassing. God only knows what the world thinks. It ain't easy being old and decrepit. :)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Before you were sixty? Wow, that's a rare thing. I guess you got comfortable with yourself after sixty for the first time.

pattinase (abbott) said...

After seeing several pictures of myself with a big smile, I close my mouth as much as possible in pictures. I think I smile a lot in person but not on camera.
Why is it that other people, people you like or love, always look great in pictures. I think it's because you are used to their faces more than your own.

Richard R. said...

I was okay with pictures of me, usually with other people, I note, until I started to get overweight. Now I refuse to let any be taken except neck-up shots, and then rarely. It's not vanity, it's denial - I just don't want to face that reality.

BTW, tomorrow I'll have the first FFB since October 7, 2010. Too long.

Jerry House said...

I don't take a good picture and I don't smile for the camera. I will, however, gladly let anyone take my picture. If they can put up with me in person, they surely can put up with a picture of me.

Deb said...

I don't mind having my picture taken (although I don't seek out opportunities to get my photo snapped). When I was younger, I used to fret about my weight, my hair, my makeup, my clothing, but now I shrug and let the camera do its worst. However, if I know beforehand that I'm going to get my picture taken, I try to be sure I have plenty of lipstick and eyeliner on--there's nothing that ages me faster than the pale lips and lashless rabbit look!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Now that is sensible. Take my picture: just don't show it to me.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Too far-sighted for eye liner. But I should have reapplied the liptstick. Thanks!

Olivia V. Ambrogio said...

I don't think it's just that other people always look better in photographs; some people are just more photogenic than others, and it has very little to do with how good-looking or interesting-looking they are in life--it's harder to get good, accurate reflections of some people on film. I have some friends and family who always look good and like themselves in pictures, and I have other family members and friends who rarely look as good as they do in real life. I don't think I generally look good in pictures, though I don't mind my looks in the mirror. It may have something to do with how symmetrical one's face is, or how much of our appearance in person depends on animation rather than stillness--or just how awkward we feel being forced to pose.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Great points from a photographer. Awkward is a good word for how I feel. Also, as you grow older, only straight on pictures seem to work.

Todd Mason said...

Also, it's a self-reinforcing cycle. My friend Alice hates having her photo taken, so she often has an uncofortable rictus on her face, unless she's distracted or has been delighted by a joke or something like one, then she looks fine.

I am not terribly decorative, but the group photo at Eric and Paula's wedding you've seen, Patti, is about the best photo of me taken since, of all things, my first (1997) Pennsylvania Driver's License photo, which was ridiculously flattering. No chance, alas, that I'll have that one drug out for my obit. Assuming I get an obit. (I guess I'll just have to live forever, to closely paraprhase Dave Thomas's portrayal of Bob Hope years ago on SCTV.)

Randy Johnson said...

I don't like pictures of myself much. Not to mention mirrors. I'm a lot like Dana in that respect.

Never been much of a picture taker or keeper. That's why my avatar here on the blog is a school picture when I was ten. That may have been the last time I smiled in a photo.

And soliciting them or not, that is a great shot of you.

Cap'n Bob said...

When I was slim I took a pretty decent picture. Now that I'm overweight I look like hell. So, now I hate being photographed.

Loren Eaton said...

Nice picture, Patti!

My wife is the same way: She can't stand seeing pictures of herself. Which is funny, because I could look at them all day.

John said...

I know most people will find this absurd, but here's why I hate most pictures of myself. And why I pretty much dislike the way I look. I have always looked far younger than my real age. Because of that people assume an awful lot about me and treat me as if I'm a kid. It was fun until I hit 35 and then I wanted look like and be treated like the adult I knew I was. No such luck. I'm nearly 50 now and I still look like I'm in college. The only thing that gives me away -- and has every service industry person old enough to be my child calling me SIR -- is my gray hair.

And like you, Patti, and Yvette, I rarely smile in pictures. Nearly all of my smiles look more like smirks and most people think I'm a mean ol' SOB because of that.

K. A. Laity said...

You look fabulous, Patti. I seldom like pictures of me. Something about my skin reflects light too much so I always look pasty and washed out. The only good pictures of me are ones I've taken myself.

Women are so much more conscious of the effects of photographs because we are still primarily judged on our appearance. Even students in course evaluations feel "qualified" to comment on the way female faculty members (while the most rumbled males only seem to evoke the desire to take care of them). No, not bitter, LOL. Note to students: if all your clothes are black, they all match and you don't have to waste time thinking about what to wear. And I have a yellow scarf, so there. Jeez.

K. A. Laity said...

Er, "rumpled" but then you knew that...

(Love the word verifcation: hawkwok!)

Richard S. Wheeler said...

Thank you for that delightful photo of you. I hope you will continue the unveiling with another, no sunglasses or hat. It is said that the eyes are the mirror of the soul.

Your comment about old photos in flea markets no one wants touched something deep in me. On a closet shelf are portraits and photos of my first wife, Rita. Her family is entirely gone, her friends have vanished, and the photos have rich meaning to me alone. When I go, what happens to those photos of a remarkable and beautiful woman? I've asked a neighbor to keep them for a while after I go, and she says she will.

Dorte H said...

Great photo of an intriguing woman!

I absolutely hated seeing pictures of my own, silly smile when I was young. Then I realized that when I had loved ones take my picture, it was much better. I could send them a real smile and still look reasonably sane (i.e. not worse than most other people I know). So most of the pictures you´ll see of me in my place have been taken by my daughters.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Richard-Such a sad story and as I page through my family albums, I don't know who many of them are (were). I wish my mother had been more about her past than she was. Loren-your wife is lucky. Kate, you are too kind. Todd, I want to meet Alice next time I am in Philly.

Anonymous said...

Patti, great picture and I love the hat!

No, I don't like having my picture taken, though I don't mind looking at old pictures of me, if that makes any sense. It is embarrassing to see pictures from the early 70's when I had really long hair, but I get a kick out of it, especially now that I have very little.

When we visit my parents I like to look at my bar mitzvah album and go through the pictures, while my mother sits there going, "Dead. Dead. She's dead."

My siblings and I get a huge kick out of that, for some reason, especially if she lapses into Yiddish.

Jeff M.