Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Candid Ham-era

I know how to take a good photograph when necessary. I know the proper angles that are most flattering. I know how to look taller, thinner, more angular (like there are actual bones in my face) and better-rested. I haven't yet mastered the art of "younger," but give me time.

I'm an okay looking gal. Some might even go so far as to say "above average for lower-class Middle America." Homeless men and recently released inmates have gone so far as to describe me as "cute enough." But here's the thing: in a candid photo—as in a photo where I am not posing... a photo that is taken without my knowledge...

I am a mutant. 

Ok try and tell me this doesn't look like me or at least a close relative.

I don't have any good examples because I ensure that these photos are immediately destroyed. In these images, I weigh 300 pounds and have five chins. I am also usually chewing something and/or cross-eyed. And don't think that it hasn't occurred to me that this is probably actually how I look all the time and that I am just really successful at accidentally mirror-posing.

But I had an epiphany the other day after seeing a back-to-back version of a scene: one photo taken candidly and the other re-staged. In the posed version, I was 185 pounds lighter and fifteen years younger (the candid version was a 55-year-old).

I have come to a conclusion on the matter: the problem isn't that I take bad candid photos. The real problem is that I'm not posing 100 percent of the time in real life. And why shouldn't I be? Why shouldn't I live every moment of my life like I am being photographed?

Give me one good reason.



  1. Because we love you no matter what you may or may not look like at any given time. And we would still love you whether you were 55 years old and 300 lbs. or 21 and 135 lbs.

  2. I'm going to read this as, "I think you're 21 and weigh 135 pounds."


Your comments are why I get out of bed in the morning. Just kidding. But I do like them.