Think a Bit Thursday: Smiling In Pictures Doesn’t Make Sense

I was recently looking through a photo album while I was struck by an unusual thought. Most of the pictures, as they include a person or group of people smiling for the camera, are essentially fake.

Pictures are events in time that have been captured with the intention of being stored and shared. Why is it that we need to feel the need to smile infront of the White House to say “I’m happy in DC.” Were you walking around DC smiling like a goofball to show that you’re happy to be in the nation’s capital? No. It is our desire to make it seem like everything in DC was fine and dandy, when really, it’s not. We want to make it seem like our experiences are all fantasies.

What’s the significance of this picture? Oprah is smiling infront of the Taj Mahal. But right after the picture was taken, I can guarantee you that she wasn’t smiling. The person taking your picture says cheese, you smile, and then you frown after the flash goes off.

I can understand why we don’t FROWN in pictures. It makes it seem like our experience in NYC was an unpleasant one. But instead of posing, faking happiness for the camera, and then moving on with out lives, why don’t we take pictures of actual events that occur? Instead of posing infront of the Washington monument, why not take an action shot of some sort next to the landmark?

To me, THIS is a more genuine picture than the pre-game picture of the player smiling with the soccer ball in hand. Instead of a staged picture that says “I am happy and playing soccer,” this is a real picture that says, “I am happy and playing soccer. Well.”

Look at this kid.

Instead of smiling next to the pool, his mom took a picture of him leaping into it. This is a much more dynamic and cherishable picture than one of him faking his joy.

See my point? Maybe I have this opinion simply because I don’t like pictures. Regardless, please share your opinion in the comments below. Is it strange to “stage” pictures?



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