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Does It Have To Be Picture Perfect?

Oct 22, 2007
I HATE having my picture taken! The expression "take your picture" says it all. It says something's going to be taken and it is - my peace of mind.

It sounds like a cliche, but I'd rather go to the dentist. I would, that is, if the dentist didn't have his own camera and didn't x-ray my teeth. That's enough to trigger my photo phobia. I get that doe-caught-in-the-headlights look, my face freezes and my top lip sticks to my front teeth. This makes it difficult for the dentist to fit both hands, a mirror and the x-ray film into my mouth. It's not a pretty..."image".

Well meaning family and friends have tried to unfreeze my face by taking candid shots, but shot is how I feel when I look at them. They fall into four categories: eyes closed, mouth open, out of focus and just plain outlandish.

What I need is a photographer who can touch up my negatives - who can make them look less negative - who can make me look more like Meryl Streep.

I live in Southern California - the land of plastic surgeons. Shouldn't this be the land of negative surgeons too? Yes, photographers can air brush little mistakes; but that isn't enough. I want a photographer who can air brush with hurricane-force winds.

On the other hand - the one with the family album in which I'm the missing link - I appreciate that digital cameras can improve my image by deleting it. Don Quixote fought windmills. I fight cameras in hopes of dreaming my own impossible dream. One good photo is all I dream. One good photo could be my photo finish - just a good one - not perfect.

Picture perfect describes something that's exactly right. The ones for my driver's license and my passport are so far from being exactly right they're in the next zip code. They're so far from being perfect they look like they were taken by the photographer who takes the "Wanted" posters in the Post Office.

There are people who say a picture never lies. Please tell me they're wrong. If it doesn't show me from head to toe, how can it be telling the whole truth?

No, the next time someone tells me to "Watch the birdie" or "Say cheese", I better be watching a golf tournament or ordering a burger. If someone takes my picture, I want it back.
About the Author
KNIGHT PIERCE HIRST takes humorous looks at life.
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http://knightwatch.typepad.com
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