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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Kids & Family Talk
Thread started 20 Dec 2016 (Tuesday) 15:55
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Don't Avoid the Camera

Senior Member
dasmith232's Avatar
Joined Nov 2012
Colorado, USA
Post has been edited over 1 year ago by dasmith232.
Dec 20, 2016 15:55 |  #1

In my case, I really like being on the "correct" side of the camera. Behind it. Operating it. I've been on this side of the camera since I was an awkward adolescent kid. Did the yearbook thing in school, etc. I've been the family photographer for years, finally turning into a corporate shooter with freelancing on the side.

I avoided being on the "other" side of the camera. Whether that's self-confidence or introverted tendencies or whatever, it's just something that I've avoided. I've heard from many other photographers the same thing: avoiding the wrong side of the camera.

My sister-in-law had been in that mode for all of her life. She just passed away on Sunday and I'm pulling together the pictures for a collage and slide show at the service in a couple days.

There's just one problem: no pictures.

Well, not literally no pictures, but that's almost the case. There are several where she's obviously moving out of the frame and the result is a poor side view. I've got my LR catalog spanning about 12 years and pretty fully keyworded and organized and she's in ... 4 pictures. Yup, that's it. Digging through some older (analog) film archives, I managed to find 3 more pictures. Well, four, but one isn't usable. One of the three film shots is ... well, beautiful. She didn't like the camera because she didn't like the way that she looked.

So if you're inclined to avoid the camera, I'll make a request on behalf of your family members (none of whom have I ever met). Go ahead and get in the frame once in a while. They might appreciate having that(those) picture(s).

How about you? Do you avoid the camera?

Mostly using 5D3 with lots of different lenses and flash, but also still using a large format 4x5 film camera.

my head is usually in the way
-Duck-'s Avatar
Joined Apr 2016
Shelton, CT USA
Dec 20, 2016 16:18 |  #2

Yep, I've encountered the same thing with family members who've passed. I found two types of avoidance; the "Don't take my picture" type and the "Ham to the camera" type. Both are a form of avoidance in their own perspectives.

The first kind will actively avoid being in front of the camera by any means. If they can duck out, turn away or throw up a blockade, they'll do it. The second kind will do the complete opposite and look straight at the camera and make some form of funny, awkward or grotesque facial expression rather than look 'normal'.

From experience I know better and try to 'educate' my friends and relatives to the merits of looking your best for each photograph. I'll make sure I'm smiling, being active or somewhat involved in the photo. I want people to remember me as that guy who was always happy and engaging, no matter how I really felt at the time.

As my family's photographer I have identified those family members who try to hide from my camera and purposely seek those people out with more candid or unexpected shots. Just so there will be photographic proof they really existed.

"If you didn't learn something new today, you wasted a day."
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Alveric's Avatar
Joined Jan 2011
Dec 20, 2016 16:21 |  #3

I do, and I intend to continue doing so.

'The success of the second-rate is deplorable in itself; but it is more deplorable in that it very often obscures the genuine masterpiece. If the crowd runs after the false, it must neglect the true.' —Arthur Machen
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ksbal's Avatar
Joined Sep 2010
N.E. Kansas
Dec 20, 2016 16:54 |  #4

After being the last person to take a decent picture of someone before they died several times now, I put myself in front of the camera even if I hate it. My son is going to have some decent pictures of me and him together, and he will love them even if I can't.

And I tell everyone else the same as well when I get the 'oh I don't want my picture taken' bs.

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Don't Avoid the Camera
FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Kids & Family Talk

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