I do not photograph well. This is not false modesty. I am reasonably happy with my looks. There is just something about having my picture taken that feels like torture, and it shows in the finished product. I look awkward and self-conscious, every time.

This was not always the case. I have pictures of myself as a young child, and that girl is smiling, wide open to the world. Pardon me for saying that I was adorable then. Back when I had my baby teeth.

Then I hit the stage of teeth too big for my face, compounded by the fact that curly hair was not in style at the moment. Between trying to hide the teeth and contain the hair, I lost the joy of hamming it up for the camera.

Photography used to be more of an investment, when pictures required film and processing. There was more pressure to look good. I knew the silent reproach of a drawer full of school photos, unworthy of sharing or trading. Just stacks of little rectangles on a page, all big teeth, lumpy hair, and eyes pleading for approval.

Over the years, I have seen a few good photos of myself, mainly taken when I was completely unaware of the photographer, or when I was just too caught up in the fun of the moment to remember to worry. So I know I can take a decent picture, I just don’t feel I can.

Things might have been different for me if I’d had grown up with digital photography. Don’t like that snapshot? Delete and try again. And again. Hey wait, I can do that now. To overcome my “photo phobia” I have set a challenge for myself: at least one photo of myself daily, until I can get comfortable with the process and/or have a picture suitable for my LinkedIn profile.

It starts today. Cheese.

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