Growing up, what's the golden rule when you're in front of the camera? Say cheese, right? Sure, not every photo is supposed to consist of a smile. Some people take photos when they get arrested (mugshots), some smile (under the influence or rich), most don't. Some smile when they take their pictures for their drivers licence and other forms of identification, some don't. But when it comes to weddings and parties, don't think that the majority of them should consist of smiling and having a good time? I grew up always thinking that. If you're not having a good time, then why even pose for the photo? Today, I see it more and more. Wedding photos are looking like prison photos. Yeah, I can see the joke now (ball and chain). But you would think that on the happiest day of one's life, they would show it, right?
This pattern seems to be most common with young African-American males. I see a lot of this on Facebook and Twitter because I know a great of deal of them from high school and college. Some are married, some are engaged, others I guess are happy. But when I see their wedding photos and others related, it tells me something differently. I could be reaching but I seriously think that most guys feel that if you catch them in a tender moment or anything related, people are going to assume that they're soft. Soft is sort of taboo within African-American males, it's to us as what kryptonite is to Superman. It doesn't affect me one bit. People can think what they want about me. If they think I'm soft because I smile, then so be it. But I can't say the same for many others. I've seen wedding photos with everyone smiling except for the young male groom and his groomsmen. It leaves me shaking my head because it's supposed to be a day of happiness. It's a holy union for crying out loud. At my wedding, I'm cheesing all the way. These photos may last a very long time.
I can see if you're in character and if that it doesn't require smiling, then so be it. But most of the time, the opposite. I don't smile in every picture either, but a lot of times when I don't, it's appropriate for that particular picture. Scroll down and look at my profile picture. I'm not smiling, but it was because I was posing in character. It looks like I'm in deep thought, which is appropriate for my blog site. A lot of times when I see these photos of people grimacing and looking tough when the time doesn't call for it, it just sucks the life out of atmosphere. It looks more like a funeral than a wedding, and I even seen people smile more at a funeral.
Not only the lack of smiles and affection taints photos, also there's also "flipping the bird" and "booty front and center" pose. These days a lot of people want to be rappers and live that sort of "dangerous" lifestyle. A lot of them take cue from some of their favorite rappers who also pose and look as "hard" as they can be in front of the cameras. Some think that what they're doing is "real", but a lot of them are in character. A lot of young men are easily influenced by that, so they emulate it. About more than half of my Facebook friends (male) have a photo or two with them flipping the bird at the camera. If I was the one behind the camera, I would be offended. Again, if it's done in character that's fine. If it's one of those party photos or even at a wedding or family function, it's horrible.
The booty pose on the other hand, with me being a guy you would think I have no problem with it. Don't get me wrong, no one loves women more than me. However, a lot of times when I see those poses I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Laugh because most of these young ladies got it down to a t. They have themselves positioned in the same angle almost perfectly. They have their faces turned the same way. I mean maybe they're really good at geometry the way they always have themselves positioned. I don't want to say it's unoriginal, but it's uninspiring. This is my opinion and my opinion only, but it almost seem as if they're inviting you in when they show their butts to the camera. As sick as that may sound, that's definitely the first impression I get. It's just not attractive to me. I may be the only heterosexual male who will say that, but that's just how it is.
Last but not least, the infamous duck face. Oh God, I can't stand the duck face. It can make the most attractive woman very unattractive. I don't know its appeal, but it's the absolute worst pose I have ever seen in my life. I don't want my Caucasian ladies to get offended, but 95% of the time I see it within them. I'm not saying this to be joking or to get a giggle or two, but I find the pose disgusting. Now if you're blowing a kiss at the camera, that's something else. But the duck face is an entity of its own. It's taken up its own identity. To be honest, sometimes I don't think some of the girls are even aware that they're doing it because of how "normal" it's become. I'll be surprised seeing a girl take a normal pic with a simple smile and no duck face. Unfortunately, it's become a rarity these days. My daughters (if I have any) better hope I don't see any pics of them with it. Trust me, it's not going anywhere near my photo albums. I'll use some white out and then draw some normal lips on them, or perform some sort of manipulation through Photoshop.
I'm no expert on how to pose or take a photo, but I'm telling it like it is. Most of these poses I see today are unattractive and unnecessary. You can do whatever you want, but when you take photos for them to be looked at and critiqued by others, don't be surprised if you get a response you don't want. Most of these photos can keep you from advancing in life (job or school admission). Basically if you want to do it, you have the power to do so, but just know that not everything you do will be accepted. I don't always smile, but I do when it's appropriate. And if I don't want to do the appropriate pose for a particular photo, I just simply choose not to be in it.
It's not fair, but sometimes what you do in front of the camera can and will be used against you. Think about it.