Some people are easy enough to photograph, whenever a camera is pointed their way they assume a certain position, adopt a certain smile. Some will carry on with whatever they’re doing, knowing that the camera is there ready for the right moment, but unselfconscious when confronted with the iris’ stare.
And there are the others, the ones who stiffen up and adopt a PhotoFace expression, not unhappy that the camera is about to click, but unsure about what to do.
And you would think that after a year of weekly self-projects, Ron would have banished PhotoFace from his repertoire. But though you’d be wrong there’s probably a good reason. Turning your camera on yourself is a lot less unsettling than having someone else shoot you. I suppose it’s about control. Control over when to take the shot, whether to delete it or let it live, and fundamentally, control over the intent of the photo – the mood, composition and how you want you to look.
So recently I’ve started directing people to distract them from the dreaded PhotoFace. And the key to direction, it seems, is to make it fun, or make it absorbing so that if they do notice that you’re about to press the shutter, they’re enjoying the moment.
My dad is another one. A keen photographer who doesn’t exactly enjoy having the camera pointed on him so I got him to read the paper while I tried out the camera he’d just given me. And while Margaret was busy texting, I took a little snap of her too.