No Pictures Please
Last night I made a fabulous caprese salad. It wasn’t actually fabulous because of anything I did – but how can you go wrong with tomatoes and basil straight from the garden, and fresh mozzarella – all drizzled with extra virgin olive oil?
It was so delicious and so beautiful, that I immediately pulled out my phone for a quick photo. And stopped.
What the hell?????
How I miss those days when you had to buy film and pay for each print – how preciously we hoarded our 12 shots per film.
I blame Social Media in general. I blame Facebook in particular.
We’ve evolved to a place where we need to document and share every little moment of our lives. And we need to have a photo to accompany the documentation of these moments.
I’m not absolving myself. I do it too. And I love Facebook – I love reading about everyone’s big and trivial events. I love seeing their photos.
But I think we may need to pull back a bit.
Here – in order – are the photos I love to see.
- Your kids. I love seeing your children. I especially love the candid shots that reflect their pure joy of experiencing the world the way I wish I still did.
- Your pets. I am just being kind by putting your kids first. Your pets are really first. Because, let’s face it, dogs and cats are just plain more photogenic than kids. Especially because your kids are not exactly always reflecting their pure joy – they are mostly just mugging for the camera.
- Your selfies. I love selfies. I love to see your faces – because I love you guys – and the selfies you choose to publish also tell me a lot about how you are seeing yourself. So I get to see your face and your mind.
- Your throw-back photos. When you post some ancient crinkled picture, I see my old friends as we were – and the memories are so sweet. And for my new friends – seeing an old photo of the you that I did not know is like finding a piece of a big jigsaw puzzle – another piece leading me to the solution of who you are.
And in moderation, I also like:
- Your vacation pictures. I like to see you happy and excited, and I also like the exotic distant scenery. Be kind though – pick the best 5 shots. Don’t remind me of the long long slide-shows my relatives subjected me to as a kid.
- The weather. Huge snowpiles and rainbows and big black clouds are sort of interesting. Rain: not so much.
But enough already.
Admit it. There are things we don’t really need to see.
I’m guilty. I know. But I swear I am going to try to follow my own advice.
So here’s what I could live without:
- Traffic. I know you’re bored on long car rides. But the traffic from your windshield? Please don’t bore me too.
- Along the same lines: please refrain from departure gates. And “Welcome To” signs. I’m thrilled to see you standing in front of the Taj Mahal. It’s a little less compelling when you are standing in line at the airport McDonalds.
- Wrapped gifts. Your Christmas tree is fine (though one shot per year will suffice.) But I don’t understand the frequent pictures of wrapped Christmas and Birthday presents. I’m not even particularly interested in what you GOT – never mind the box it came in.
- Movie stars. Yes, we are all fans for someone or other. But unless Brad Pitt is actually hugging you, you can skip the photo. I know what he looks like. And Johnny Depp. And Elvis. And even (sigh) James Taylor.
- The back of your kids’ heads. You may think you are both artsy and respecting your kids’ privacy by always shooting them from behind. But honestly? I’ve seen enough cowlicks and ponytails. Either show me the front of your kids or don’t show me at all. I’d like to see their smiling faces. Not their little behinds.
Back to FOOD.
We all eat.
All the time.
I like my food. I don’t care about your food.
I don’t need to see your soup, your steak, your lobster, your omelet, your au gratin potatoes, your ice cream cone, your julienned carrots, your steamed clams, your fancy coffee, your pumpkin pie.
Or your caprese salad.