Saturday, August 12, 2006

Say Cheese!

As a kid I hated appearing in photographs. My dislike for photographs extended to all occasions, from family functions and gatherings to vacations. The reason for this dislike was one part shyness, one part “who-the-hell-is-going-to-care-about-that-picture-anyway?” and eight parts of NOT BEING PHOTOGENIC! I have to admit, I’d probably rank as one of the most unphotogenic people on Earth. The Yeti lurking in the mysterious heights of the Himalayas is more photogenic than I am. In fact, I have a picture of mine taken in the snow in Sikkim where that’s exactly what I’m mistaken for -- the abominable snowman!

Of course, this aversion for being in front of the lens meant that I invariably ended up behind it. If you have a group of people, all of whom save for one want to come in the picture, then it makes sense to have the odd one out click it. Initially, I thought this was the best possible deal -- at least I didn’t have to be in the snap. (If, nay when, I become famous and the press starts looking for photos from my childhood, they’re going to have their job cut out for them!) However, I soon ran into new troubles.

I think it would be appropriate at this point to let out a little secret of mine -- for a guy, I’m terribly bad when it comes to working gadgets. Learning how to master the TV remote took me two weeks, and it was over a month before I stopped putting wet clothes in the microwave to dry them. Now, even though cameras ten years ago were much simpler than they are today -- there was basically just one button that you pressed to click a picture -- it took me a while to get the art right. Plenty of mucked up photos later -- blurred, fuzzy, missing heads, thumbs in the way, etc -- I was finally able to produce pictures that didn’t cause my parents to want to strangle me when they were developed.

At about the same time that I was getting real nifty with my photography skills, I also realized something else. Taking a photograph is slightly more work than sitting for one. If there’s one quality that reigns supreme throughout my being, it’s my laziness! So what if I wasn’t photogenic? Was all that work clicking photos worth the trouble of avoiding looking like a doofus in the family albums? Nah uh.

So I switched roles again. I started coming in all the photos once more. My strategy now was to sandwich myself between the best-looking girl in the picture and the best-looking guy. This way, I figure, no one will actually end up observing me. I’ll also often, as a backup plan, stick my tongue out and close my eyes. So if anyone sees the picture and laughs, “Hey, look at this idiot here!”, I can always blame it on the incompetence of the photographer for clicking it at a time when I wasn’t quite ready.

I’ll conclude with a little anecdote from my recent trip to the South. We were at the beach at Mangalore -- with me flaunting that six-pack I’ve worked so hard for -- when a man comes up to us with a camera and says to me, “Excuse me, could you do me a favor, please?” He also simultaneously points to his camera.

“Sure,” I reply. “Where would you like me to pose for you?” I’m thinking this guy’s got the early sniff on my future fame and celebrity.

“Ummm... No. I meant could you please click a picture of me with the sea in the background?”

I incoherently mutter a phrase that rhymes with ‘clucking bell’. “Sure, of course.”

By the time you read this, he’s probably looking at a VERY up close picture of my thumb with the sun somewhere in the background.


Anonymous said...

Does it disturb you that the last couple of comments you got was three posts ago?
and one of them was yours...

You're losing your edge, arnie...

La folle narratrice said...

I disagree.
Long time since i've blog surfed and this post definitely put a smile on my face.
kudos my man!!!

Arnold said...

la folle narratrice - Thanks, girl... how you stumble across here more often in the future...

"A" said...

i read this post ...and the one thing that i know is that .....u have a digicam ...but the freak that you are dont seem to be using it ??

and if anyone has to be called a photographer ( or a one who loves taking photos )...... well certainly dont fit the bill

Arnold said...

"a" - Definitely wouldn't call myself a photographer or "one who loves photography".. What from the post gave you that idea anyway?

"A" said...'ve caught me there

coz i read this post some time ago

and when i went to commment on i later ..i couldnt remember what i originally wanted to say

Bheekling said...

I share the same feeling, I HATE being photographed too, I'm with you in that list of most unphotogenic ppl on earth ^_^

Siddhu said...

Dude, post something! WTF!?

some chick said...

been readin ur posts fer a while.. must say one is even more interestin than the next.. funny too! gg