Saturday, 18 June 2011

A Family Legacy


I inherited a title from one of my grandmothers . I don't advertise it and most people would never have reason to know . But , at this time of year , I relinquish my anonimity and become , once more , The World's Most Unphotogenic Person .

Granny , in fact , was a very attractive young woman and there are many photos of her looking lovely , if somewhat reserved . But she never liked how she looked in later life so glowered at anyone rash enough to approach with a Kodak . Hat pulled down to match the corners of her mouth , she'd scowl into the sun in wedding photos or trips to the beach .

She was actually very funny , loved singing silly songs to us all , taught me to read when I was four by making it such fun , made me flower-printed dresses and took me to tea at Switzers where we would both eat too much cake . And her laugh was infectious .

And that's how we all remember her .... which is just as well , because there isn't a single photo prove this .

But now it's School Photo Time again and I'm forced to reveal my true self . Yes , though never a beauty , I've inherited the same dislike of how I've aged , the same inability to smile civilly at the camera . I , too , glare forbiddingly in every group photo .

But as I looked through old photos today , I saw that I couldn't have hoped to escape the curse . Look at my father and one of his sisters on the beach !

Luckily my daughters escaped this gene and look enchanting when captured on film .


rachel said...

That is just so amusing - two scowling, suspicious children clearly having a lovely time beside the sea.... Wonderful to have a genetic excuse for all those bad photos of you!

June said...

Those two children had clearly not been told to say "cheese," but had just been told, "Come here. I want to beat you."

I rarely like the way I look in photos either, but I figure everybody else knows how I look already. It's just me that's always surprised at how my smiling face looks so much like a pumpkin... Maybe I'll try scowling. Maybe I'll like that result better!

Tania said...

Oh your poor, poor Aunt. As one naturally afflicted with the same gene (unless I try REALLY hard), I have only sympathies for School Photo Time. At least you're not glowering at the children.

love those cupcakes said...

I sympathise. I'm thinking of wearing hats with veils. Really substantial veils.

Deborah said...

I'll be comopletely upfront and admit that I took you literally at the first sentence. And with that firmly misunderstood, went on to wonder why School Photos required you to reveal who you really were.
People have been locked up for such feeble-mindedness.

I was just thinking about you today, actually, while out walking in the countryside of an un-named European country where people speak a language not mine. (Just in case Friko is lurking around) That your love of Amsterdam has really put a bug in me and I'm going to go there. My problem, however, will be to recognize you if you refuse to publish a picture of yourself.

Marcheline said...

Strangely enough, it's not the genetic makeup or bone structure that makes people photogenic, but the pure joy they pour into their smile. Try it sometime - next time you're going to have your picture taken, imagine some wonderful thing has just happened, and beam out your best joyful smile. I bet you'll like the picture!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Heavens no !
Then I just look downright scarey !!

Friko said...

I hate being photographed.
I always spoil pictures because I simply cannot help pulling faces.
Looking winsome? Loathsome, more like.

so many of us share this dislike, perhaps here should be groups of PPAs. Personal Photos Anonymous.

Claire * Lola Is Beauty said...

I too HATE having my photograph taken, especially the smile on demand forced kind. The only photo of me I've ever liked is when I didn't know it was being taken, so didn't have time to perfect my alarmed panic look!

Liz said...

Love the photo!

Come on, please, let us see what you look like! Even if it's with a hat pulled down over your face!

Rattling On said...

(Ahh, Marcheline... if only it were so easy.)
As I said in my reply to you last week, I fear the Nonphotogenic gene is more widespread than you imagine.
Like your Granny, I refuse to be caught on camera. Posed or impromptu, I always look like a rabid loon. And I really am not kidding. I have refused to go on school photos, they can take it or leave it-it's not in my contract.
I have even been through photo albums (belonging to other people)and removed offending snaps. Maybe I just need a good therapist...

elizabethm said...

I think Marcheline is on to something. I hated the way I looked in photos for years, not helped by having a father as a photographer so that I felt I was being photographed every time I drew breath. A few years ago I just decided to stop hiding at the back of pictures or sneaking off to the loo and just smile broadly. It doesn't always work, sometimes I do indeed look like a rabid loon, but more photos are tolerable than used to be the case.

Pam said...

When people take photos of me I dread the next step. "Mmm" they scowl "that's not a very good one of you...or( continuing to press the delete button) oops!.. definitely not that! ..Let's try again shall we?" and they wonder why I'm reluctant! Loved the beach photo!