I used to HATE having my picture taken. That was before we started PhotowalkingUtah. When you are hanging around several dozen photographers at once, you might as well get over it, your picture will be made and your friends will return the favor.
So I have no qualms anymore about handing over my camera to my students and getting literally in their faces (about 6″ away) to demonstrate the extreme distortion a wide angle lens can do to facial features. As they look through the lens, I jut out my chin or glare into the camera to really exaggerate the effect. We all have a good laugh, and I tell them never to use that focal length on someone they love. I can talk all day and show my example pictures, but seeing it through the viewfinder has a bigger impact. I’m pretty sure it’s a memorable lesson.
The shutter on my camera is more sensitive than most of the students’ cameras, and I end up with a fair number of photos like these that they accidentally take while activating the autofocus system. I usually delete them, but tonight I decided not to. They aren’t flattering, and who knows what happened to my hair in the hour between leaving the house and when I handed over the machine to my students. You know what? It doesn’t matter that I don’t look so great. It wasn’t about me.
Maintaining a solid grip on that concept, how little really is about me as I move through the world, is a continuous project. Even if I forget how little is within my purview, it’s still true. It doesn’t ever change. There’s just a whole lot less thrashing when I remember.
And one of these days I’m going to have to get myself back to SLC for a photowalk. I miss those guys, despite the fact that it’s pretty much a guarantee they’d take my picture. It’s what I see through the lens that’s all about me.