Ding! My phone is offering another “special moment,” my photos compiled and set to bouncy guitar music. They are all pictures of me, taken by me. Selfies. Instead of smiling at pictures of loved ones, I critique. Bangs too long, bangs too short, no bangs, what was I thinking wearing that yellow top, gosh I have a lot of wrinkles, oh, that one’s not too bad.
Google, I don’t want to look at that much me. Save? Why?
Some days Google gives me photos of Annie, my dog. Look, says Google, we found similar photos and made a collage for you. Same boring music. These pix make me sad because she is so old now I keep checking to make sure she’s still breathing.
Once in a great while, my phone will show me beach pictures, photos from somewhere I traveled, or yet another sky shot from my yard, but mostly it’s me and Annie, each of us alone.
The last time I had formal pictures taken was at church for the parish directory. The photographer was sure I’d like to order some 8 x 10s, 5 x 7s, and wallet-size pictures to give to my loved ones. “Surely your kids will want some,” he said. “I don’t have any kids,” I said. The young photographer looked at me like I’d just said I was from Mars. Doesn’t every old lady have kids and grandkids? No. Some of us just have dogs.
If my phone was filled with pictures of family gatherings, multiple poses of little ones, or romantic getaways with my lover, it would be a whole different experience. But I travel alone. I take my own pictures, hoping to get a little scenery behind my big head. I smile because my unsmiling selfies scare me.
Why bother? I need photos for my website, blogs, back covers of my books, publicity, bla bla bla. So I take selfies. Sometimes when I make a public appearance, someone in the audience will photograph me and I’ll beg for copies, but mostly I’m taking pictures of myself on days when I feel attractive. Sometimes I do a video. Same face but moving. I might have just gotten a haircut, the lighting is perfect, or I’m all dressed up and think, why not. I usually don’t look as good as I thought I did.
I have studied the art of the selfie: Hold the camera up high not down low, have the light in front of you not behind you, watch out for poles, halos and other things that might appear to be growing out of your head. Practice with different poses and facial expressions.
I’m so sick of my own face.
I got two dings this morning. One was scenic pictures for which I might want to order canvas prints. The other was . . . me.
What about you? What pictures come up on your phone? Do you take selfies? What do you do with them? Will you take a picture of me if I take a picture of you? Can we do one together?
Here’s some great advice on how to take pictures of yourself: https://www.wikihow.com/Take-Flattering-Photos-of-Yourself
And some more: https://thirdeyetraveller.com/take-photos-of-yourself-when-travelling-solo/