Not Photogenic

Mike's Common Sense

When I was back at home on vacation a few weeks ago, I was over at Mom and Dad’s house for supper. My mom made sauerkraut and dumplings for me and dad like she always does when I come home. After supper my sister Pauline said “Hang around after supper, we are going to show the old home pictures.” “Oh oh, here we go…”

Before we go on, let me digress. I grew up as the middle of three boys all one year apart in age. My dad thought himself an amateur photographer, and in 1959 bought him self a real nice German camera. My dad loved to take copious amounts of pictures of his three sons, and my twin sisters.

There was one slight problem, I hated that camera. Not only did I hate that camera but I absolutely dreaded that thing. There were few things I dreaded more than Holidays and special family events because that meant that my dad would be lurking about with that damned camera.

It really wasn’t the camera I had a problem with, but the flash attachment. This attachment was a big foil cone that you would plug a flash bulb into. This flash bulb was slightly larger than a walnut, and went off as if a super nova exploded in front of your eyes. For minutes after taking a picture I would stumble around blind seeing nothing but little purple after images of the flash.

Needless to say I quickly became conditioned to squint when placed in front of that camera. It was so bad that even when we were outside and didn’t use the flash attachment I could not keep from squinting. Hence there are NO good pictures of our family with me in them. None, zip, zilch. I have ruined every picture I am part of.

Not that I wanted to, or tried to ruin them, I just couldn’t help myself. Believe me, I got a lot of slaps upside the head from my dad to try and cure my problem, but even that didn’t work.

Ok, back to the present; we all decide to watch the DVD copy of all of the old family pictures. I know it is coming and I don’t have to wait long, “That damn kid is squinting in EVERY picture! What the hell was the matter with you Michael?” My dad bellows. I feel bad but what the hell it’s been almost fifty years! Surly he didn’t think they corrected my squinting when they put the pictures on DVD?

Fortunately as I got older, the flash bulbs got smaller in size. I did eventually learn how not to squint when having my picture taken.

Too bad dad doesn’t have any of these pictures.

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Comments 19 comments

G-Ma Johnson profile image

G-Ma Johnson 7 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

Very funny and yet so true...I too remember those flashbulbs and the blue dot afterwards...Thanks...:O) Hugs

MellasViews profile image

MellasViews 7 years ago from Earth

haha. I remember back in school this girl brought in some oldschool camera that had bulbs pop when she snapped a photo. In the late 90s this type of thing was unheard of, they stopped inventing them, where she got it is anyones guess? At any rate, everyone made fun of her, and yadda yadda... my story is really boring, but when you mentioned the quirky flash, I had a flashback and wanted to share. : ) Thanks for sharing a bit of memories with us. : )

Feline Prophet profile image

Feline Prophet 7 years ago from India

I eyes are almost always closed in photographs!!

VioletSun profile image

VioletSun 7 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

HA! I also remember those flashbulbs, and the blue dots I would see afterwards; had actually forgotten about them! Thanks for the memories. :)

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago

hi muley,

Cameras! I hated them too! As a very young child, there were lots of pictures taken of me. Once I grew up, I came to hate having my picture taken. In your family it was your dad, well, in mine it was and is my brother. He's always lurking around, tip-toeing, trying to sneak up on me so he can take a picture. I will guarantee that probably in almost every picture or camcorder shot, you will not see my face. I'm either hiding behind something or someone, or my face is turned, or it's covered with my hands. I think my aversion developed when, as I became an adult and began to go up and down the scale, I always felt uncomfortable about how I looked. Now, looking back I regret it. Because, no matter what, I am me, and all the hiding in the world won't change that. So, in a way, I deprived my family of decent photos of me.

And yes, like the other commenters, I too remember the blue flash. Eeek!

SJM 7 years ago

As kids we were always told "don't look directly at the sun" that is unless the sun is mounted on a camera. Your eyes are better off because your body knew the flash was bad for your eyes! Besides how boring would the pictures have been if they couldn,t rib you for squinting.

Love ya

muley84 profile image

muley84 7 years ago from Miami,FL Author

Hi G-Ma! Thanks for stopping by and laughing with me.

muley84 profile image

muley84 7 years ago from Miami,FL Author

Hi MellasViews! Nice to meet you. So glad you could relate to my experience.

muley84 profile image

muley84 7 years ago from Miami,FL Author

Hi Feline Prophet! Thanks for the moral support!

muley84 profile image

muley84 7 years ago from Miami,FL Author

Hi VioletSun! They are OLD memories, but memories none the less. So nice to hear from you.

muley84 profile image

muley84 7 years ago from Miami,FL Author

Hi Trish! I think we have got to the bottom of you not having a picture up here. lol

muley84 profile image

muley84 7 years ago from Miami,FL Author

Hi Steve, you are probably right, but I still feel bad after all of these years. Poor Dad.

trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago

LOL, you know what muley? You may be right :)

James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 7 years ago from Chicago

Brings back memories, bro'. Hope you are doing well. I' trying to catch up on my reading after a couple of weeks off. Thanks!

lafenty profile image

lafenty 7 years ago from California

I remember the bulbs came in packages and my Dad would go through several on holidays.

muley84 profile image

muley84 7 years ago from Miami,FL Author

Hi James! I am also a busy guy, so I know where you're coming from. Good to see you again.

muley84 profile image

muley84 7 years ago from Miami,FL Author

Hi lafenty, nice to meet you.

lisah 4 years ago

ooh wow ! so i have pals with the same characteritics as alittle gal i had this feeling of HELL NO!No photos!!!!

muley84 profile image

muley84 4 years ago from Miami,FL Author

Hi lisa! Nice to meet you. Glad you empathised with my situation.

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