I have an odd relationship with photographs.
I've a large extended family, specifically on my father's side. My father is the oldest of fifteen. Those fifteen have scattered about the country and are now located in places like LA, San Fransisco, Minnesota, Conneticutt, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts (which holds more of them per square mile than the rest) Collectively, they have through various means produced about forty human beings whom I proudly refer to as cousins, and a couple more who I will, when pressured, admit are my cousins. I am close with many of them, and am well aquainted with all of them due to the fact that every Christmas, Fourth of July, wedding, graduation etc, a good portion of us gather, the number of which and distance travelled depending on a largely abstract value I refer to as the Travel Necessity Index.
Now that I've provided the background, I'll move on to what, in fact, I am actually talking about. Photography has a certain prevalence in my extended family. One of my aunts is a professional photogropher, and a brilliant one at that. Most of the rest are well accomplished amatuers, as are a couple of my uncles. My father, having recently discovered the digital camera, has become something of an enthusiast, and is in fact the one who takes most of the photos at the aforementioned gatherings, when in fact amongst the amatuers, he is quite frankly the least accomplished. Still, there are indeed hundreds, perhaps thousands of photos from said gatherings
And there isn't a decent photo of me amongst them. Usually this isn't something I lament, but when I looked for a portrait for my profile, or when a member of our blogging crew makes a drunken request for a photo with which I wish to comply, it becomes irksome.
There are a few reasons why amongst the online database of photos that my family keeps there isn't a single decent one of me.
When my family gathers, the photos tend to happen when I'm off somewhere else. When I do get photographed, whether at a gathering or otherwise, it tends to be under one or more of the following circumstances:
I am wearing a tux, some sort of uniform or other formal dress. I'm told that I look good as such, and I really don't know whether or not that's people blowing smoke up my ass, but as Shakespeare noted, "The eye sees not itself except by some other means, by reflection." Perhaps its the posing in those situations that puts me off. I don't know what it is, but I take horrendous photos under those circumstances:
I am at the beach, where for some reason seems to pre-empt the usual rules when it comes to gatherings. However, they usually occur after I have just come out of the water. As much as I love the beach, I hate the feeling I get when I come out of the water. The feeling of salt water slowly drying in my admittedly excessive hair is detestable to me, and my expression and manner on the whole reflects this in the photographs.
When I do manage to show up in photos at gatherings, I am not alone. there is usually a small someone standing on my hands, clinging to my leg, sitting on my lap, hanging off of me, or making some crazy pose in front of me. In short, I serve as a backdrop, and thus am usually out of focus. (those photos are usually the most fun though)
I am in costume during or after the photo shoot for a play, in which case the photos are either taken by my father, and thus are poorly timed and make poor use of lighting, or are taken by someone else, in which case I have no access to them. There have, in fact, been excellent pictures taken of me in costume, but I never manage to get copies.
When a picture of me is taken by any of my photographically competent relatives, it is promptly lost, with the exception of some photos of me as a kid.
There is one other reason I have no good photos of myself, and that is my lips. When they're moving, even a little bit, they never seem to draw focus, but they're pretty big, and that is more often than not captured in photographs, no matter what I do with them.
So what I'm trying to say here is that photos have been a problem for me. As an actor eventually I'll need a headshot, so maybe there's a chance that'll be good, but I shudder at the prospect of being denied auditions as a result of a bad photo.
In conclusion, I have settled, rather lamely, with the photo I am uploading as I am writing this.
This post was entirely too long.