1. Narcissists. Yes, I’m talking about the people who need a visual record of every move they make at a party or during a vacation. They’re so busy recording the moment that they often forget to enjoy it. Then they really need their pics — and Google — to actually see where they’ve been.
2. Group photos. From weddings to parties, there are always multiple shots because someone is looking away or blinking or simply decides to go missing and insists on a retake. And just when you are ready to disperse after smiling hard for minutes on end, an annoying uncle will insist on one last shot because his bald head caused a reflection he isn’t pleased with.
3. Digital cameras. It’s a gadget we all own but how many can really handle one properly? With a gazillion brands and models out there, it’s unfair to expect the person taking your picture to be a professional at it. He/she is highly likely to click using ‘night mode’ on a bright sunny day or involuntarily shoot a 30-second video instead of taking a snap-shot.
4. Instant access. Thanks to instant access to photos on a digicam one has the freedom to capture 1,632 shots of a person at a time until he/she finally decides the picture is ‘perfect’ for Facebook.
5. The smiles. I cannot fake one; every time I try, it looks like a grimace. Call me a party pooper . . . or let me be on the other side of the lens!
6. Bad photographers. No matter how hard you try to flatten your belly, a lame photographer will always succeed in focusing on that extra bulge. Whoever says that photographs help us study our best features is an idiot. They do nothing but reveal our faults. I mean, who wants to know that their nostrils are asymmetrical?
7. Poor timing. The photographer will NEVER click when you’re smiling. It’s only when your cheekbones start to hurt and you decide to give your muscles a break that you are blinded by the flash.
8. Reflections. Yes, I know my glasses reflect and NO don’t expect me to remove them each time I’m being photographed. It’s even worse to have someone spot you hiding them in your hands in the photo.
9. Photogenic people. They never require that perfect light/white-balance or make-up to amplify their features. They also don’t have a good or bad side. No matter how silly their pose or how crappy their hair looks, they look fantastic and comfortable in every picture.
10. Peer pressure. The desire to have a memory of every lunch, dinner or farewell means you have to look well-groomed even when attending your great uncle’s funeral. For the camera-toting friend ‘photographic memory’ holds a different meaning altogether. He will insist on taking so many pictures that even before you’re home, your pictures will be floating on Facebook, Twitter and Flickr with 27 people already having ‘liked’ them.
Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, June 26th, 2011.