Nancy Roman

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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:

  1. Traffic. I know you’re bored on long car rides. But the traffic from your windshield? Please don’t bore me too.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.


Not my caprese salad. That’s why I can show it to you.


  1. So, where is the picture of the garden, from which the components of your caprese salad originated? I want to see that mozzarella tree, and that virgin olive oil bush.

    Nice post, so much so that I would Facebook share, but I recently deactivated my account.



    • I grow my own salt too.


      • Which explains why a “reviewer” of “Just What I Always Wanted” bemoaned your salty dialogue. So I’m sipping bourbon, baseball on the radio, and your protagonist has just entered “a store called, simply, ‘Lovely.’


        • Thanks for reading my book! (And although all readers have their opinions, and I have learned to live with some bad reviews – I don’t really understand why, when my blurb describes a “foul-mouthed sarcastic teenager”, some readers then are appalled that she swears.)

          Liked by 1 person

          • I didn’t think it was a bad review as much as a “How dare you?” More about the commenter’s back story than the one you’re telling. Anyway, I’ve honestly been hooked the “Maya Maria” gambit.


  2. You will NEV-er make it as a food blogger if you don’t have an annoying and VERY slow-plotting series of at least eight pictures to illustrate that you may–or may not–need measuring spoons to concoct said dish!

    Your one pic is a delight. Think caprese should be on our menu tomorrow along with “zoodles” and clam sauce. Tonight we had movie popcorn. No pics.


    • I stopped myself just in time before I took a picture. So I stole one instead – so as not to break my own rule.


  3. Agree!


    • I am going to try really hard to take my own advice too… no more snaps of my food.


  4. sassycoupleok

    Very nice thoughts that actually mirror our own, must have something to do with age… and absolutely love caprese salad….yummy!! Now pass the wine please. 🙂


    • A nice Shiraz goes well with caprese.


      • sassycoupleok

        Yes Indeed !! Now we have a conversation party ! 🙂


  5. Exactly right!


  6. I don’t have a smart phone and have to haul out my camera, which helps with restraint. We have a little game when we go out to dinner…count the number of people taking photos of their meal or a selfie with their meals. Hell, let’s just count the people who are looking at their phones instead of their dining partner. It’s almost everyone! Okay, I feel better. 🙂


  7. I share few pics of my grandkids on FB, although I can’t help boasting now and then. Food? I’d rather drool over someone else’s photography. I don’t do signs, back of heads, selfies, or movie stars. I rarely get wrapped gifts, so take that off the list, too. I do think we get too carried away with our cellphone photography, though (I have 600 pics I need to download SOON!)


    • Pictures of Grandkids are perfectly fine – in fact they are required.


  8. I’m quite interested to see other people’s photographs, and not at all interested in looking at photographs of me. At last in the days of printed photos, I could turn the things around and look at the back.


    • Maybe that’s what certain of my friends are doing when they post the back of their kids’ heads?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Love it!
    I, on the other hand, am much more interested in photos of your food than of your kids.
    IF it’s well-prepared and beautifully photographed, of course! Different strokes!


    • Ha! I can introduce you to a couple of my friends – they are plate-obsessed!


  10. Show me a cute pic of your animals all day long, that’s fine with me. Shoot I even take more photos of our dog than anyone else in the family. Is that wrong, I wonder?


    • Perfectly normal. Dogs are ridiculously photogenic.


  11. Dana

    I don’t have a smartphone, and I’m not on Facebook. I just read a lot of blogs. I like any pic, as long as there’s a good story with it! 🙂


    • I love Facebook… I just think the time is right to stop taking photos of our food. I think I could accept it though, if there were a good story with it, but the story is always the same: This is what I ate tonight.


  12. I agree with your entire list, well except for now and then I enjoy a food picture if it is a really spectacular cake, especially chocolate. If you or someone else baked all by yourself a really fabulous cake, I want to see that.

    I would add one other to the list of don’t show me. I do not want to see birthing pictures. Oh, one more. Don’t show me funeral pictures, especially of your dearly departed in the casket.


    • Really? Someone posted casket photos??? I have seen a few gravestones, but no caskets. You may definitely add that to the no-no list.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh yeah, more than a few times have I seen these. It is quite common in the Caribbean cultures (ex in-laws).


  13. There are also the people who share too much personal stuff on Facebook. I don’t need to hear about the latest fight with someone’s boss or husband. I’ll stick to the food photos.


    • You are SO right! I concentrated on the photos I don’t want to see for this post – but I’m feeling another blog soon about what I don’t want to READ.


  14. Can I get an amen here? Except that really is a lovely caprese salad. Now I know what I’m having for dinner.


  15. Ditto to the lists!
    ” especially love the candid shots that reflect their pure joy of experiencing the world the way I wish I still did” Yes. Yes!


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