Saturday, September 29, 2012

Say Cheese!

Cameras are everywhere today! We have digital minis, Polaroids, Rebels, iPads, phones, and computers -- all with the ability to snap a photo at any moment. You can put these photos in albums or share them instantly on instagram or any social network. So is all this photo snapping and sharing vain? Should we hide from the camera or become a super model in our own minds?

Photos have been around for a long time, and before photography, paintings and drawings of a person were often done. Having a portrait made was a very special occasion. People would dress in their best and sit or stand for a long time as the artist sketched or the photographer took the picture.

When photography started becoming more popular than expensive artist renderings, the subjects generally didn't smile. One, because it would be hard to hold a smile. Two, because teeth were often pulled rather than repaired. Lastly, it was considered by many that it was prideful to smile.

(P.S. The photos above are of my family. The first is my great-great-grandparents on their wedding day. The second is of my great-grandfather and his 21 siblings. Good looking folks ;)

Do you think smiling is vain?

Smiling is a natural occurrence when we are joyful or excited, and joy in the Lord is a very good thing. 
"A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." ~ Proverbs 17:22

I really don't believe that smiling in photos is vain, but my caution might come if you wrestle with the temptation of building a haughty spirit. You might think to yourself, "I am the prettiest gal; I take the best photos," or "I want everyone to comment and 'like' this photo on facebook." Ask yourself if posting the photo is for self-glorification. I enjoy seeing photos of modestly fashionable ladies and agree that uploading a photo of yourself is not exemplifying a haughty spirit, but if you are posting a self-taken photo of yourself every two hours, then I encourage you to examine your heart and see if pride has taken root.

"Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."
~ Proverbs 16:18

Now you might be thinking, "Abby, I avoid cameras as MUCH as I can. I don't like them!"

Cameras are definitely not something to fear. There are many occasions when a group photo might be taken and your family and friends want you to join in. They want you to be a part of the memory. So jump in and smile pretty! It's more awkward to have to be coerced into taking a photo.

Tips on taking a good photo!

Though you may not be oh-so-cute as my niece Lacie, anyone can be "photogenic"! All it takes is keeping a few things in mind before the camera flashes.

  1. Posture, posture, posture! The way you stand or sit is VERY important -- keep your shoulders back, yet look natural. Avoid posture that alludes to lustful ambitions, i.e., making your body look like a rag doll.
  2. Give your hair a little boost just before the photo is taken.
  3. Eyes bright and cheerful! You can tell a lot from what your eyes say. Avoid the sultry eyes.
  4. Decide if you want to do a full smile, a grin, or just a relaxed pleasant lip. 
  5. If you don't like being in photos by yourself, grab a friend. (Sisters work well, too! ;)

Don't forget to say CHEESE!!!

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