If I’m going to be honest, I prefer being the one behind the scenes. I would rather take a picture than being a part in it. I like being the writer more than being written about.
But I don’t mind being on the other end of things, and I’ll tell you why.
If you look at photos throughout my childhood, you probably wouldn’t even think I had a mom. This is because while I was growing up, my mom always had an issue being in photos. She was overweight back then, so she didn’t like the way she looked in photos, so she was rarely ever in them.
My dad, on the other hand, is a total ham; he photobombs pictures he isn’t even meant to be in.
Now, I didn’t think my mom had a problem never being in photos, up until a couple years ago. She didn’t like that dad was always in pictures with us, and how we never ask to take pictures with her. For as long as I can remember, she always turned the other way when someone pointed a camera at her, so why would I do just that?
I just wouldn’t.
I didn’t realize it was an issue; she had done that to herself. It was easy taking pictures with my dad because he would just pose for you. You would have to fight my mom to be in a picture.
I’m no pacifist, but I’m not a fan of fighting, either. So instead of fighting, I just never asked.
I don’t know if my mom regrets not being in photos from my childhood, but I know that she wants to be in them now. How is anyone supposed to know that she was there if she isn’t in the picture? Are we supposed to credit every photo, “my mom took this, by the way”? Maybe this is why selfies were created, so the photographer didn’t feel so left out of the group shots…
And this question made me think of just that. If I constantly told my friends and family that I would rather not be in photos, they would eventually listen. And it would look like I’m never around. Do I like being in pictures? Not necessarily, but I don’t hate being in them either. What I do know is that I don’t want to feel excluded. I may be overweight, but I don’t want to make it look like I’m never around.
I guess it just depends on how I feel about myself that day.
And the same goes for writing—I don’t want to be a blank space in someone’s life. If you feel like I’m essential enough that you want to document my being in your life, I’m not going to shoot you down. I want to be present, and I want you to remember that…but only if you want to. I’m also not going to force my presence down your throat.
So I would be okay if the tables were turned on me. Just give me a heads up, okay?
Prompt: Are you comfortable in front of a camera as you are behind one? Or being written about, as well as writing?