Jest for Fun
This is often due to a poor setting. My cluttered house makes for a background so busy, I need a bloodhound to find the subjects. If I move them outside, a tree or telephone pole sneaks behind and appears to grow out of their head.
When an acquaintance visited Niagara Falls, she asked a fellow tourist to photograph her family. “Make sure you get the falls in the background,” she said. No such luck. The resulting picture would best be described as Niagara Fails.
Sometimes the fault lies with the model, at least in my case. I always get nervous when I’m on the receiving end of a camera. My mouth makes all sorts of strange contortions in search of a natural grin. In the end, it looks more like a grimace.
The poses lack a certain imagination as well. When subjects stand straight in front of the camera, uncertain when to smile, the print looks like it should be framed at the post office. Still others clench their teeth or hold their breath and appear to be suffocating.
“Candid” poses can be overdone though. I saw the senior photo of a gal who chose a nearby lake for her background. Perched on a large rock, she leaned back in what she apparently saw as a seductive pose. My hubby snickered when he saw it. “Looks like she’s about to fall in,” he said.
Then there are those notorious newspaper poses, like the groundbreaking with someone’s foot poised on a shovel. Or the donation wherein two people hold each end of a giant-sized check. I like to think it’s a tug o’ war.
Or the subject who rests his chin on his fist. Speaking of which, we all know that cameras add 10 pounds and almost as many chins. To offset this, the photographer should perch himself above eye level. In a helicopter, if necessary.
Since everyone seems to be a photographer these days, we could all stand a lesson in how to be camera ready. Experts advise that we practice smiling in a mirror to see what looks natural and what to avoid. While we’re at it, we should find our “best side.”
Note: The back of our head is not an option.