Friday, June 16, 2017

STORYTIME: You're Not Photogenic


Wow, it's been a while since I've written anything. College was interesting ride and I'm so grateful for the experience and opportunity to be around amazing people and learn so many new things. But today I am not here to talk about that. I want to write about something that happened to me during college...

"So I have a friend that is a Documentary studies major, which means she wants to make documentaries for her career. For her Intro to Photography class she has to take pictures of people in their natural habitats aka dorms.

So after lunch my friend, another friend and I headed to his dorm for our photo shoot. My guy friend pulled out his guitar and started playing a song, my Doc Studies friend was quick to whip out her camera and start snapping pictures.

Once she starts clicking she can't stop, she calls it being 'shutter happy'. Like trigger happy but with taking photos. Anyway we all get to singing a song and she turns the camera to me and starts taking pictures, I immediately am uncomfortable, just in general I don't like taking pictures of myself, I'm very insecure about the way I look.

I tried my best to ignore the camera and act as normal as possible to create the best shot but I was just super insecure. I think there was a mutual understanding, she wasn't getting the right shots she needed and I was acting camera shy.

She turned back to our guy friend and coninued to take pictures of him strumming his guitar. After about an hour-ish of singing, talking and taking photos we looked back on all the photos. Some of the ones of me were great but most were just weird, caught at the wrong time or wrong angle or simply captured my uneasiness with the camera.

Either way my Doc Studies friend thought it would be a great idea to point out that it was because I wasn't photogenic, after I had made a quip about the amount of photos taken of our guy friend. This comment took my by surprise. I wasn't sure if I heard her right, but surely as I turned to my guy friend he had made a concerning face and a short remark on the cocmment, but after a brief moment it was as if it was never said."

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The above was written right after the event happened. As I re-read my words I can't help but feel uneasy all over again. I'm not uneasy because of what was said but of how I acted and felt. I allowed myself to be a subject of a normalized social standard. I viewed myself in a way that didn't fit into the mold of convential beauty.

I allowed my fears of not being portrayed within this mold to effect my demeanor. I allowed it shut me down and make me feal a sense of uncomfortability with myself. Although I have struggled with self-confidence my whole life, I have started to become comfortable with who I am. And even though the comment was uncalled for, and even if those were her true thoughts, there was an ingrained truth that rang true in all of us because of the social norms embedded in all of us.

Please let me know if you've ever fallen subject of not being "photogenic".

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