General Etiquette > Family and Children

Family Photo...Help!

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rose red:
I hate having my picture taken too.  My family is huge and I just blended in the crowd so it's not as bad as individual or small group pictures.  If it makes you feel better, everybody will be searching for their own face in the picture and probably just skim over yours whenever they look at it.

On the one hand, I don't think it's unreasonable for family to want to have group photos taken. (I'd feel differently if someone was demanding multiple professional pictures of just you.) And as someone else said, if you're there for the wedding you'll probably be trying to look good anyway, and there will be so many other people in the photo that you'll kind of just blend in. Plus, I personally think no one is as critical of photos of me as I am myself (er, did that make sense?)--I mean, I've noticed that when I look at a photo of myself, all I see is the flaws, and other people like it. And the same with others--if my mom looks at a photo of herself, she'll immediately criticize it, while I think it looks fine.

All that being said, you are an adult and you simply don't have to be in the photo if you don't want to. I've always thought that was a nice thing about being an adult, that I can now choose to do this or that, or not, as long as I express my choice politely. I wouldn't talk about it at all beforehand, just smile and nod when the photo comes up. Find out the organizational plans--when the photo will be taken and where. Then, at the appointed time, vanish. Find a distant ladies' room, go out to your car, walk around the block, whatever works for you. If there's someone left behind that you can absolutely trust, have them text you when the photo is over. If not, I would give it a good half hour at least. Then come back and act normal. Determine what the likely reaction will be--will people chide you?--and prepare, perhaps with a good explanation (that might be a white lie).

I almost always look awful in pictures, too. In the past I've always run from cameras, and I still do when someone tries to take my picture while eating or in a bathing suit.
But two things help me get over the "ack, camera" panic. One, a friend told me that no one else is going to be nearly as interested in how I look in a picture as I am. To them, it's just the way I look.. they're not going to pick up on a hair out of place, or puffier than usual eyes.
Second, I read a thing (might have been posted here?) about the importance of taking pictures with your kids (might not be applicable here) so that they will have the pics in later life to remember the good times by.. even if you don't look your best.
I have a "whole-family" pic taken a couple of years ago.. well, it's really just me and my sisters and kids, but that's still 20+ people. I look like something the cat puked up in the picture, because I had JUST gotten out of the hot tub and thrown on my shorts & t-shirt (still have the towel on my shoulders). It's one of my favorite pictures, because it's one of the few times we actually were all together.
I think you should try to find a way to wrap your mind around being in the picture. Good luck!

I think disappearing for a half an hour will jist keep evryone waiting and looking.  If you can't suck it up then don't attend at all.


As someone whose pictures always look like either a DUI mugshot or something newly risen from the grave, I can sympathize. However, I suggest you bite the bullet and do it. 

There will be a large number of people in the picture and there are sure to be others who feel they look even worse than you do in the finished project. 

You won't have to display the thing in your home.  It can be forgotten fairly easily. 


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