To think that a person who "doesn't like having a photo taken" is a PITA?

(148 Posts)
gail734 Thu 28-Mar-13 18:21:00

My MIL is a little ... self-absorbed, shall we say. One belief that she holds is that she looks better in a photo if she's sort of caught unawares, rather than just facing the sodding camera and giving it "cheese" like everyone else. So she now tries to create this effect every time, waiting until a split second before the picture is taken before turning her head and staring into the middle distance. I first noticed it when she spoiled all of the informal photos at DH's graduation, standing beside him doing what is basically a catalogue pose. I knew she'd do it in my wedding photos, so I told the photographer to watch her like a hawk. Judging by the number of times he shouted, "Mother of the Groom, look straight at the camera, please!" she was planning to do it in every photo. She's now doing it with my 9 month old DD, her only grandchild. I think that in years to come, my DD may like to have a photo of herself with her grandmother, but I've now given up. I've always thought that people who do the big flappy hands, going, "Noo! Nooo! Don't! Don't take my photo!" make a tremendous show of themselves, but this is something else. It's not all about YOU, you old bat. And you don't look better staring off into the distance. You look like a simpleton.

SwedishEdith Thu 28-Mar-13 18:25:11

Well, stop taking photos of her! I hate people always wanting to take photos all the time

Tee2072 Thu 28-Mar-13 18:26:24

If she wants to look like a simpleton, let her. What's the problem?

Or just don't take her picture.

Is this really an issue?

LeChatRouge Thu 28-Mar-13 18:28:15

Can't you wait til she's not looking and then call her name. She looks at you, you click, simple.

Or say firmly, right, a few for you where you are staring at the wall and a few for me where you are looking at the camera - yes?

moominmarvellous Thu 28-Mar-13 18:28:21

Ha ha! Simpleton. I love that word.

We have similar with one of my nieces. We just want one picture of all the grandchildren together, but she always creates. She is however happy to post a gazillion pouty and posey 'selfies' on FB, Instagram etc.

anonymosity Thu 28-Mar-13 18:28:31

I hate it when people ask me to pose for a sodding photo. And I hate it when they take random shots, without asking first. I find it a) cheesy to the extreme and b) invasive.
But that's just me...

nars Thu 28-Mar-13 18:28:46

i really wish you could post one on here, i bet they're really funny photos!

i would just carry on regardless taking photos

EarlyInTheMorning Thu 28-Mar-13 18:29:07

Photos of people posing are not very nice
Candid photos are better
I'm with your MIL on this one
You don't sound like you like her very much
She sounds like she's lost confidence in the way she looks
Be kind

LadyKinbote Thu 28-Mar-13 18:29:56

There's a big difference between people who fake shyness in front of the camera for attention and those who genuinely have low self-esteem. I don't take photos of either for entirely different reasons!

Glittertwins Thu 28-Mar-13 18:30:00

I hate having my photo taken and will avoid it as much as possible.

iZombie Thu 28-Mar-13 18:30:28

I hate having my photo taken, but I grin (rictus at times I must confess) and bear it for the sake of being a relatively normal person.

blueraincoat Thu 28-Mar-13 18:31:13

I think the person constantly shoving the camera in my face wanting to capture every moment of an event is a PITA.

diddl Thu 28-Mar-13 18:31:13

I also hate having my photo taken.

If with a GC, would probably prefer to be looking at the GC than the camera.

She does sound annoying.

But then some people seem to tit about so much when taking pics also.

Just take the bloody thing!

ClippedPhoenix Thu 28-Mar-13 18:31:21

I don't like my photo being taken either. Leave me out of it and get the camera away from my face. I'd have told you that an all.

moominmarvellous Thu 28-Mar-13 18:32:03

I'm guessing the new baby has lead to more pics of the MIL than usual?

HildaOgden Thu 28-Mar-13 18:32:08

Accept her for how she is.You say she's self absorbed,she might say she's self conscious/insecure.

When she is dead,you (well,dp and dd) might well look back at those photos with fondness...'ah look,there's Nana doing her pose'.

I think you sound way too agitated .

I'm with your MIL on this one, I am the least photogenic person in the world and hate posing for photos.

I hate having my photo taken, really hate it.
But I am straightforward about it and say 'please don't take my picture'. Easy

Schmoozer Thu 28-Mar-13 18:34:31

I agree with hilaogden.

gail734 Thu 28-Mar-13 18:35:11

I don't especially like having photos taken - I'm not Kate Moss. But I don't get into group photos and sabotage them! I don't say, "Oh a family shot? Well it'll have to be the family minus one, because I don't do photos!"

SoupDreggon Thu 28-Mar-13 18:35:12

Personally I think that people who insist on taking photos are a PITA [shrug]

Bartlebee Thu 28-Mar-13 18:36:15

Whilst I think it can be an intrusion to insist on photos as some really loathe it, some people can be very precious.

My sil hates being photographed to the extent she will put her hand up to the lens or turn away (my dh is fond of a photo opportunity). As a result, every single photo of her is bloody awful. It's a vicious circle.

RedToothBrush Thu 28-Mar-13 18:37:47


If people don't like their photo being taken, respect the fact they are self conscious and not as confident as you.

If someone deals with it in a particular way, then its fair enough imho.

I think you just don't like your MIL tbh.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Thu 28-Mar-13 18:37:57

I don't see why you care so much either, let her do whatever she wants.

I see no difference between the level of fuss you are making and the level of fuss she is making, you both sound overly bothered about photos. So YABU.

NinaNannar Thu 28-Mar-13 18:38:23

add to that fucking, SHY people

they get my goat

NinaNannar Thu 28-Mar-13 18:38:57

lol at her turning and smiling Gail

post a pic

TomArchersSausage Thu 28-Mar-13 18:39:07

There's a photo of me as a baby on my mum's lap. She has a towel completely over her head and looks like a large towel shaped bump in the backgroundconfused.

I think she was having some sort of bad hair daygrinShe's not always like that about photos btw. I just thought you could suggest it for mil.

bigbuttons Thu 28-Mar-13 18:39:11

OP you are nasty. Who on earth are you to demand that you can take someone's photo and then have them in the wrong because they don't want to?

Tinuviel Thu 28-Mar-13 18:40:17

I hate looking at the camera if flash is being used as it sends my eyes funny and on occasion has triggered a migraine. I am sure I would be a much bigger PITA if I was whining about how ill I was feeling and vomiting over your camera/baby!!

Snog Thu 28-Mar-13 18:40:33

YABU and insensitive

RedToothBrush Thu 28-Mar-13 18:40:41

I don't say, "Oh a family shot? Well it'll have to be the family minus one, because I don't do photos!"

Sorry, but its the right of the person concerned to abstain from photos if they want. If YOU don't like it and want to use the emotional blackmail trick about it then frankly it YOUR problem. Just be grateful she allows you to take photos at other times.

It is not sabotage, its just not being comfortable with certain situations.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Thu 28-Mar-13 18:41:17

I do as Norks does, I just say 'no thanks' to being in pictures.

I also will put my hand up when rude and annoying relatives insist on carrying on regardless. Sometimes I do v signs just to be petty grin

NinaNannar Thu 28-Mar-13 18:41:36

god i am WITH YOU GAIL
those and the ones who dont like to get hot when they exercise
are shy
wont have a photo taken
wont drive at night for no reason
wont sit apart from their H at a dinner party

there is SO SO much that annoys me its amazing i dont combust

nars Thu 28-Mar-13 18:43:20

i would talk to her about it as when people look back at photos they hated at the time usually see them as not being as bad as they think they were

(i think that made sense)!

lol at nina getting in with her usual hatred of shy people - yes we know you hate shy people

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Thu 28-Mar-13 18:45:04

I thoroughly loathe people who have a go at shy people. Horrid attitude.

I am not shy btw so it is not a personal issue for me, but bloody hell, why are you picking on shy people?

MamyPoko Thu 28-Mar-13 18:45:22

I think your Op is hilarious. She does sound annoying. YANBU.

Salmotrutta Thu 28-Mar-13 18:45:44

I could swap your MIL for my self-obsessed SIL.

She loooooves someone pointing a camera her way and does a hair-flicky, tilt-heady, toothy grin. Someone once told her she was photogenic. Big mistake.

... even if its true

NinaNannar Thu 28-Mar-13 18:46:56

nars * snuggles up *

NinaNannar Thu 28-Mar-13 18:47:15

i hope the op's MIl looks like Lulu , all turned up collar and flicky hair

RedToothBrush Thu 28-Mar-13 18:47:42

Shy people are easier to target because they are easier to shit all over and further damage their confidence. Thats why bullies like them.

NinaNannar Thu 28-Mar-13 18:48:22

lol BULLY?
the most overused word in the world.

Ill take unkind.

jollygoose Thu 28-Mar-13 18:50:15

I really dont like having my photo taken as I generally come across quite ugly in a photo and hate to look at it afterwards. Whatever is a pita?

TheBigJessie Thu 28-Mar-13 18:50:54

I can see why you wouldn't want her looking away from the camera at group shots during the wedding, but otherwise, just take pictures of her looking at her gorgeous new granddaughter. Stop trying to pose them together, and just take pictures of your MIL and daughter taking pleasure in each other's company. After all, she's right, she will come out better in the resulting pictures!

RedToothBrush Thu 28-Mar-13 18:51:07

I hate to break it to you, but don't get to pick and chose what word you like Nina.

HazeltheMcWitch Thu 28-Mar-13 18:55:32

I hate photos too. And I'm not shy, so if someone was clicking away at me after I'd asked them not to (or moved, if it was an occasion/scene, whatever they were trying to capture), there'd be words.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 28-Mar-13 18:59:26

Photos steal your soul.

I'm with your MIL

Toasttoppers Thu 28-Mar-13 19:00:43

I hate the constant photographing of people with the rise of mobile phone cameras.

Just don't take her photo.

havingamadmoment Thu 28-Mar-13 19:00:49

I wouldnt say it annoys me that people dont want photos BUT my mum was like this diving out of the way refusing to have her photo taken so there are very few photos of her. So much so that she died when I was 17 and I have TWO photos of her. Thats it. I would have loved to have been able to show my children a few more - our albums look like my sister and I lived alone! my dad taking the photos my mum hiding away!

INeedThatForkOff Thu 28-Mar-13 19:01:24

I absolutely cannot look at the camera, I just don't know why. If I have to be in a photo I end up looking in the wrong place with my lips curled into a snarly gurn which is my best impression of a natural winning smile. Try as I might, I just can't do it. You might as well ask me to copy out the Phone Book with my right hand. My mum, dad and brother are all the same.

For this reason, our wedding photographer took only inconspicuous, reportage style shots, no poses. Unfortunately, photography was such an afterthought for us that we forgot to point out some important guests like our DGMs, and there aren't any pictures of them.

YABU. Having photos taken can be a genuine problem.

BrunellaPommelhorse Thu 28-Mar-13 19:02:14

yup rl mate said same - no pics to go on the order of service. VERY sad.

gail734 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:02:42

OMG, read my original post! bigbuttons, I certainly don't DEMAND to take this woman's photo. She gets in my photos and makes a funny face. The same funny face in every photo! RedToothBrush - she doesn't ABSTAIN. I wish she would! People look at my otherwise nice photos and go, "OMG, what is up with your MIL??" She is not shy - she think's she's gorgeous. The whole "looking into the distance" thing was developed after long hours poring over photos of herself. My point is - it is, let's say, my wedding. Stop worrying about how you look in the photos. Nobody is looking at you. You daftie.

nyprincess Thu 28-Mar-13 19:03:00

I hate getting photos took & will avoid it when ever possible. I don't say no just to get attention or whatever, but because I hate how I look in them. I hate the way I look when I look in the mirror & in pics I look worse so why would I want a reminder of that. I only have a few wedding pics that I am happy having on display & they are ones where you can't see me from front view. I don't even have any nice ones with my daughter, which I do feel bad about.

If I annoy people by refusing to be in photos them I'm sorry but that's the way it is.

BrunellaPommelhorse Thu 28-Mar-13 19:03:23

gail you are funny

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 28-Mar-13 19:04:08

I didn't have Wedding Photos. that is how much I hate being photographed.

OP. in your opinion she spoils the photo with her catalogue pose. I think you should try and laugh about it.

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 28-Mar-13 19:04:26

I hate having my photo taken too. And I don't like to smile because I have wonky teeth.

I did not enjoy my wedding party as people with cameras kept trying to do "taken unawares" sort of pictures. Meant I couldn't relax for a second.

crashdoll Thu 28-Mar-13 19:06:21

People who are surgically attached to their cameras are a right PITA. So, YABU if you're talking generally but YANBU about MIL who sounds super irritating. Although, if I were you I'd let her look silly, it's her choice.

Chiggers Thu 28-Mar-13 19:06:36

I hate having my photo taken. So much so that I'm not in any of my DB's marriage/civil ceremony family pictures.

I refuse to wear make-up for photos as every type of make-up I've tried, makes my face feel really claggy and very uncomfortable.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 28-Mar-13 19:11:04

I have one photo of both my Nans. That is enough. The rest is resurrected from memory.

Hassled Thu 28-Mar-13 19:11:41

There's nothing worse than some wanker doing the "catching you unawares because no-one's really unphotogenic, they just pose badly" shite. Some people really are unphotogenic, and they're the same people who look weird in mirrors.

Gail - have you a photo of your MIL not doing the "pose"? Is she actually unphotogenic?

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 28-Mar-13 19:12:38


i hate foundation. I love maybelline BB cream, though. It is the first foundation/ tinted mousturiser i can wear happily.

wildfig Thu 28-Mar-13 19:13:29

There's a difference between someone who doesn't like having their photo taken (fair enough) and someone who has fixed on one particular photo in which they look brilliant and has vowed to recreate that exact pose in every single photo ever taken of them subsequently, regardless of how the rest of the photo group is composed (as with the OP's MIL). It's a family joke that my DAunt has been adopting a Joan Collins-esque, 'third ballet position', 3/4 turned face, 'enigmatic' smile, since approx 1959. She has it off to such a perfect degree that every photo looks as if she could have been photoshopped in, so identical is the pose. and now I do it too because it works

OP, I know what you mean. While everyone wants to look fabulous in a photo, you just have to accept that you probably won't look as amazing as the version in your head in some of them, but to the people you're in the photo WITH, your presence is what matters, not your double chin.

You need to get a few really nice shots of MIL looking straight at the camera, so she can replace her current photo pose with a more easily blendable one. Can you get any professional shots of her with her GC done? Where the photographer can persuade her?

gail734 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:14:52

Right, next time I'm in a photo with her, I'll try and guess what random direction she's going to look off into. Then I'll try to gaze in the same direction and we'll both look like we've been surprised by someone walking into the room. Or maybe I should rest my elbow on her shoulder and look off in the opposite direction, in the manner of a 70s knitting pattern??

wildfig Thu 28-Mar-13 19:15:44

Also, it's just rude if she's constantly looking out of shot in every photo. It must have made your wedding photos look as if there was a huge car crash/vicar on fire/helicopter landing taking place just out of sight.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 28-Mar-13 19:16:12

Seriously, how many photos one need?

oldraver Thu 28-Mar-13 19:16:16

No whats a really PITA and very rude, are people who try to insist on taking your photo when you have specifically asked not to take one then try to do it sneakily.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 28-Mar-13 19:16:28

Does one need?

MechanicalTheatre Thu 28-Mar-13 19:17:29

I hate having photos taken all the time. Can't anybody just fucking enjoy themselves without sticking a camera in my face 24/7?

gail734 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:18:39

Oh wildfig, the sarcasm was not aimed at your very sensible self! And all the people who "look terrible" in photos: tilt your chin down a little and look up. Practice in the mirror. At least all these little pouting teens posting selfies on Facebook know how to take a photo of themselves!

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Thu 28-Mar-13 19:21:58

How many pictures does one need?

I have a friend who has over 6000 pics of her 20 month old.

I think that is an ample sufficiency.

gail734 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:22:44

LOL at the vicar on fire. Precisely. Someone looking out of the shot, not smiling, looks bored. None of those made it into the album, obvs. I let her choose her own photos and had a little MIL's album made for her, which I paid for. Catalogue shots a-go-go. Nasty? A bully? I am a saint!

newgirl Thu 28-Mar-13 19:23:08

Surely it's easier to go along w having photo taken than to say 'don't like it' etc and make a bigger deal put of it?

I agree with op - situations like weddings/babies it's normal to get your pic taken - just get it done as quickly as pos no daft posing or protesting

JamieandtheMagicTorch Thu 28-Mar-13 19:25:28

Photos lower my self esteem. Most of the time I think I am pretty bloody attractive. Until I see a photo. I would just be a lot happier living the delusion I have created for myself.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Thu 28-Mar-13 19:25:52

But newgirl - why should people have to do something they don't want to just to please the camera bullies?

Lizzylou Thu 28-Mar-13 19:29:17

One thing that does annoy me is people who are photogenic and look good in photos but are actually rather plain/ugly in rl. They think they are the dogs because of how they look in photos when actually they look like a bag of spanners.
Not bitter about an ex-colleague, oh no. She always looked good in photos but in rl looked like Beaker out of the Muppets.

gail734 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:29:36

Hassled - she's not hideous, but she gets very excited at the type of event that you might take photos at. For example, your GC's christening. So she talks a great deal, resulting in sort of gurning photos, where she appears to be going "Oooh," or "Shhh..." [sigh] Just smile woman. Just a nice, bland smile.

BrunellaPommelhorse Thu 28-Mar-13 19:30:04

lol at you specifying bland smile

bigbuttons Thu 28-Mar-13 19:30:53

fair enough OP, sorryblushblush

Emilythornesbff Thu 28-Mar-13 19:33:48

Op you sound a bit scary.

newgirl Thu 28-Mar-13 19:36:28

I think weddings, babies, family things it should be quick and it's good manners to get your pic taken if the key people would like it. Completely different if horrid pics to go on Facebook or wherever but within a family group surely entirely normal.

Calling people camera bullies is quite extreme!

gail734 Thu 28-Mar-13 19:37:15

Emily, I can't be that scary or my MIL would Do the BLAND SMILE!!!

plaingirly Thu 28-Mar-13 19:51:12

I absolutely HATE having my photograph taken - not because I want to pose perfectly but because I hate how I look.

HildaOgden Thu 28-Mar-13 19:59:26

I really think you're's one thing that irritates you about your mother-in-law.Her own particlular quirk.

I'm sure there is at least one thing about you that she would like to change.

Live and let live,nobody is perfect.

I photograph TERRIBLY! I absolutely hate having to smile in photos because I look like a twat, and I HATE having my picture taken. The only photos I ever like of myself are ones I've taken, and that's because I take about a thousand and then pick the best one to show (usually to show off my new hair creations).

Sorry if my insecurity and shyness makes me a PITA...ah well grin

cocolepew Thu 28-Mar-13 20:08:45

Genuinely loling at 70's knitting pattern pose.
My brother and I don't live near each other but when he comes to stay with my mum and we go out places, we always do catalogue poses. Mostly pointing into the distance looking puzzled/surprised/scared/intrigued*
*delete as appropriate.

TheBigJessie Thu 28-Mar-13 20:11:40

tilt your chin down a little and look up.

Nooooo! That gives you a double chin!

<voice of bitter experience>

BrunellaPommelhorse Thu 28-Mar-13 20:14:08

I want to see the "ooh me?! I'm shocked " pose

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Thu 28-Mar-13 20:19:33

Bollocks to 'the key people'! I am the key person! grin

drjohnsonscat Thu 28-Mar-13 20:23:16

OP I know exactly what you mean. Attention-seeking masquerading as "I'm so self-efacing".

And btw, everyone's shy so GOI. The only way to handle shyness is to remember that nobody is really paying any attention to you anyway. You'd hope by the time you got to be a MIL you'd have learned that lesson.

drjohnsonscat Thu 28-Mar-13 20:24:27

Also everyone thinks they look dreadful in pictures. I do.

But what I look like is not the point of most pictures.

PainSnail Thu 28-Mar-13 20:29:36

I'm one of those people who doesn't like having their photo taken.

I have really photosensitive epilepsy.

But good to know you think I'm a pain in the arse.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Thu 28-Mar-13 20:30:36

I don't think I look bad in pictures, well, no worse than a large number of other people.

I just don't want to be in pictures.

drjohnsonscat Thu 28-Mar-13 20:33:09

painsnail I'm sorry to hear about the photosensitive epilepsy but I think that's pretty obviously not at issue in this thread.

PassNoRemark Thu 28-Mar-13 20:34:15

Cherie Blair and I are (photographic horror) twins.

90% of the time I'm talking because I'm so bloody nervous of the photographic outcome <stamps foot, ffs, how long does it take to take a fecking photo and why send everyone in the family a copy of the only one where you look fab and I look like fecking Morticia giving a lecture on how not to approach public speaking?)

I'm overcoming my inner Cherie by being behind the camera and taking lovely relaxed pictures by making my friends and family laugh instead of grimace.

gail734 Thu 28-Mar-13 20:34:47

drjohnsonscat: good points, well made. I always think there's a weird kind of arrogance to these so-called "shy" people.
"Oh, DO stop looking at me. Please don't photograph me, don't! Everyone's looking at me, and I'm so shy! Stop it! Everyone's looking at me!"
Em, no, they're not. Or they weren't, until you starting flapping your arms about and shouting.

newgirl Thu 28-Mar-13 20:36:51

I think epilepsy is slightly different from posters who don't like what they look like?!

Mrsdavidcaruso Thu 28-Mar-13 20:37:26

I hate having my photo taken I look like I fell out of the ugly tree and hit every branch on the way down.

newgirl Thu 28-Mar-13 20:38:21

Exactly Gail! Draws yet more attention - get it over done with soon as

gail734 Thu 28-Mar-13 20:41:04

Brunella, I would love to post the photos here, they do have entertainment value. However, I feel that posting photos of family members may out me! But photos last forever - I'm amazed that nobody else has identified the photo as a historical source. I have a photo of my great grandmother, a woman who was born in Skye in the late 19th century. I'm really glad to have that and know what she looked like. ONE surviving photo. And she isn't gurning or posing in it!

ProphetOfDoom Thu 28-Mar-13 20:42:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SirChenjin Thu 28-Mar-13 20:43:41

I'm with your MIL - YABU. I bloody hate having my photo taken, and bloody hate people who are always whipping out their camera or phone - "smiiiiiiiiiile everyone".

No - fuck off.

Yika Thu 28-Mar-13 20:45:25

Well I'm obviously in the small minority here. I also think it's a bit selfish to refuse to have your picture taken (within reason, obviously) - I'm talking family events, memorable moments etc., and I'm talking about those who systematically refuse, not just happen to be having a bad hair/teeth/face day. you don't have to look at it if you don't like the way you look in photos. It's for the person taking the photo to remember that moment!

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Thu 28-Mar-13 20:45:37

I draw little attention except with immediate family members x2 who are rude.

At weddings etc I just get out of the way.

Some horribly bossy types on this thread. Are you like ths with everything?

gail734 Thu 28-Mar-13 20:46:50

I've just remembered something that made me snort in a very unflattering way: She's doing it in her bus pass photo! Arf!

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Thu 28-Mar-13 20:47:34

It is never selfish to do what you want. It is selfish to bully others to do things they don't want.

If you want a picture of me, paint one from memory.

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Thu 28-Mar-13 20:48:42

My last post was in reply to Yika btw.

AllSWornOut Thu 28-Mar-13 20:50:56

Oh Gail, I sympathise. I think I can count on one hand the number of photos we have of DMIL just smiling at the camera. She's usually talking to the photographer or someone else in the picture/running out of the frame to get something totally unrelated to the picture taking occasion/making a big fuss of someone else in the photo so she's got her back to the camera/or a combination of the above. Just stand still and smile for 2 seconds woman, for the love of god! You are a fabulous person and I would like some nice photos of you and your family! Not another photo of your family and the back of your head...

DontmindifIdo Thu 28-Mar-13 20:51:02

Actually, from the description of the photo pose, I think YANBU because it's not like she's not taking part, she's chosing to be in the photo but trying to strike a pose that means when you look back at the photo later on, your eye is drawn to the one person who's looking the other way. She's making herself the centre of every group shot, even if it's someone else's wedding photo, a child's christening, someone else's birthday party - or just a group shot of the whole family.

Firstly, I'd not put her in any one to one photos, in group photos - like family photos if you have a christening/birthday/event coming up, can you get a photo taken then make a point of saying "oh, MIL was looking the otherway, oh MIL you'd hate that photo, it looks like you are bored of your own grandchild and don't want to be with us! Everyone, we need to take another so MIL has a nice photo with DD." keep going each time "oh no MIL, you're pulling that bored face again! We need another photo!" "oh MIL this is terrible! You look like you're smelling a trump in that one!!!! We really need to get one of you smiling and looking happy, everyone, another photo." even if this takes an hour, eventually, someone will have to break - make sure it's MIL. What'll probably happen is someone will say no to having another group photo, they'll make a comment about MIL always pulling that face.

Then you say to MIL, "I'm so sorry, I konw you'd like a nice photo of you with DD, we'll have to try again another day, can you try to look at the camera? When you look the other way it looks like you're bored or there's a bad smell. Honestly, you'd not want to keep any of these photos." deliver it with a smile.

Chesntoots Thu 28-Mar-13 20:51:36

I didn't have wedding photos either...saved me loads though. Good job really - the marriage only lasted two years!
Last year at our Xmas do someone went round taking photos on his phone then putting them on Facebook. I'm not on Facebook, don't want to be on Facebook and after a "chat" he removed all the ones with me in them.

gail734 Thu 28-Mar-13 20:53:34

YellowandGreen Look, believe it or not, this was meant to be light-hearted. I thought everyone else would be going, "Yeah, my gran hitches up her skirt for the camera!" But really, it is never selfish to do what you want? So, it isn't even a weeny bit selfish to do a funny pose in another woman's wedding photos??

YellowandGreenandRedandBlue Thu 28-Mar-13 20:58:46

I was replying to Yita's point that it is 'selfish' not to have one's photo taken.

DontmindifIdo Thu 28-Mar-13 21:01:27

BTW - i do think from friends who hate having their photos taken, after talking for a while i've realised they do have a distorted view of how they look. It's one of two things, either they think they are so ugly they can't bare the idea that anyone would record them (without realising we've been looking at the same face for the whole event, they see an ugly person in the photo and don't understand why I'd want a photo of someone who wasn't perfect, I see my friend and want to keep a momento of the event and the lovely people at it),

Or they actually think they are better looking than they are - and get upset that they 'look bad in photos' when actually that's just an accurate recording of how they really, really look - I guess they see something else when they look in a mirror that you can't hide flaws in the same way in a photo. (A friend who does this a lot keeps saying she has a "moon face" in photos, she really doesn't get it's the same face she has the rest of the time, she genuinely seems to think she looks differently in real life.)

twitchycurtains Thu 28-Mar-13 21:01:30

I hate having my photo taken especially if it's really unexpected, I prefer to know beforehand if a photo will be taken and then I can hide strategically place myself so that you can barely see me. Nothing worse than folk pestering you for photos when you really don't want to have one taken.

Having said that, my MIL and SIL have death glares /and if looks can kill type expressions in nearly all of my wedding photos, rather telling what they thought about me and the wedding. Best one, is where SIL is seen glowering at me as I walked up the aisle, I would get it framed and in our living room,but I'm too much of a coward DH won't let me.

TheRealFellatio Thu 28-Mar-13 21:03:43

I don't know who to agree with here - you or her. I completely understand where you are coming from, except that I AM her, and it is very stressful having personal image angst, especially in this day and age where every fucker wants to splash you all over facebook and the internet before you've had a chance to vet the results of the photo shoot.

I realise that I may be a bit of a PITA but I can't help it. Nothing would make me happier than to genuinely not care whether I look pretty/slim/young/sober with no double chin or droopy tits in photos, but unfortunately I do care, a great deal.

LaQueen Thu 28-Mar-13 21:08:12

I think, on many occasions, it's really encumbent on people to just be stoic, grin and make the best of it...especially if it's an important photo, at a special event.

There's little tricks you can do, to make yourself look better in photos, and you're better mastering them, than just glaring at the camera, or trying to skulk behind someone else.

If it's got to be taken, might as well, give it your best shot.

DontmindifIdo Thu 28-Mar-13 21:08:31

TheRealFellatio - that's the bit I don't understand, why do you only care about the way you look in photos? why is the recording of an event where you might not look perfect a problem whereas being seen in real life at the same event where you looked the same is ok?

Passmethecrisps Thu 28-Mar-13 21:16:35

My DH is a photographer - I constantly have to put up with having a chuffing lense up my nose. I have learned how to pose gracefully.

I think people are being harsh saying OP is constantly taking pics. Wedding, graduation and new baby. Hardly daily occurrences.

I also agree that all the flappy hand nonsense is just waring. Look at he camera and be done with it.

I do, however, have some tips which help if you genuinely are insecure. I had to learn them being convinced of my ugliness.

Look down at your shoes until the split second the picture is taken when you look up at the camera. You will always look thin and chic.

When smiling for many pics push your tongue into your front teeth.

As hard as it is relax. Despite what you might believe someone looking happy and smiling always looks lovely.

Passmethecrisps Thu 28-Mar-13 21:19:33

I get it felatio. The fact is the camera captures a split second and holds it still forever. People then get to study that imagine in intimate detail and make judgements on what they see. So if you are caught with a double chin or pulling a dreadful face then people are left with that instantaneous happening for ever

LaQueen Thu 28-Mar-13 21:22:28

A few more tips...

If you want to look slimmer, stand 3 quarters facing onto the camera, slightly point your front foot, and let your weight rest on your back foot, remember to drop your shoulders and tilt your chin up slightly.

Don't say cheese, say Yessss as you smile.

Startail Thu 28-Mar-13 21:26:22

I look daft in photos, DD1 is pretty hard to get a photo of because she gets very self conscious, DD2 looks amazing it's most unfair! envy

I totally sympathise with your MIL

Passmethecrisps Thu 28-Mar-13 21:31:47

laqueen I was just about to post those. I always tilt my right hip towards the camera slight and kind of cock a leg. Makes your thighs slimmer.

The other thing is that noone ever thinks that you look as bad as you think you look. Watch anyone looking at pics of an event they were at - they will hover much longer over pics of themselves than pics of others. They are typically looking at themselves judging how they look. They are quickly looking at everyone else being quietly jealous f how lovely they look. All the while being unaware that others are thinking the same of them.

Sunnysummer Thu 28-Mar-13 21:37:20

YANBU. My FIL of all people is similar... But instead he waits until after photos are taken, then goes through and deletes shots where he feels that he looks bad, no matter how many other people were in it! She has every right to avoid being ambushed for individual photos if she likes, but refusing to be cheesy along with everyone else for a group photo that is meant to be a memory from a big event is selfish, not shy or low-self-esteemed... I say you photoshop her hilariously wink

gail734 Thu 28-Mar-13 21:43:37

Sunnysummer: Yes! I'm going to give her a moustache!

INeedThatForkOff Thu 28-Mar-13 21:52:00

"Oh, DO stop looking at me. Please don't photograph me, don't! Everyone's looking at me, and I'm so shy! Stop it! Everyone's looking at me!" Em, no, they're not. Or they weren't, until you starting flapping your arms about and shouting.

Do they bollocks do this.

"I'm so sorry, I konw you'd like a nice photo of you with DD, we'll have to try again another day, can you try to look at the camera?

No I really could not look at the camera and your insinuation that the photo was not nice would undermine me further.

Or they actually think they are better looking than they are - and get upset that they 'look bad in photos' when actually that's just an accurate recording of how they really, really look - I guess they see something else when they look in a mirror that you can't hide flaws in the same way in a photo.

So you're saying that people should know they look like shit rather than feel comfortable under the illusion that they're fine?

Really, if you have no problem with having a photo taken you don't get it. It's like suddenly being expected to deliver a speech or presentation. Horrible for some.

INeedThatForkOff Thu 28-Mar-13 21:53:33

Ps - if you thrust a hip forward and 'cock a leg' you look like a vain twat.

cocolepew Thu 28-Mar-13 22:01:15

I think some people are misreading this hmm.

greencolorpack Thu 28-Mar-13 22:01:39

My Dad hates getting lots of photos taken. He will tolerate one and I am coming round to his way of thinking. It applies to many things. For example did anyone see the Madness concert at the BBC the other day? There were the cameras and the BBC taking lovely moving pictures of the event and yet, there were a whole bunch of people pointing their mobile phones at the band recording them.... Those recordings will be shit! Why can't people LIVE IN THE NOW? They should take one token photo just to show they were there and then just enjoy the experience of being there, rather than deferring their lives for the sake of a crappy bad sounding bad image video that will go on YouTube along with everyone else's. What a waste of time and effort.

I sympathise OP. I think it's pretty strange when people stand looking over their shoulder at the camera cos they think it makes them look thinner. It looks weird when one person is doing this in a group shot and everyone else is face on.

gail734 Thu 28-Mar-13 22:01:43

I have a cousin who's actually a model. She's in catalogues and things - she's not Linda Evangelista. In family photos she always turns directly sideways, hand on hip and sort of looks down her arm, beaming at the camera. It looks a bit affected since she's usually surrounded by all her big country bumpkin cousins and mad haired aunties.

cocolepew Thu 28-Mar-13 22:02:26

I sitting here like a numpty practicing the tips hmm.

cocolepew Thu 28-Mar-13 22:06:37

I used to be really photogenic, much better in photos than the flesh.
Unfortunately that seems to have desserted me and I look like a gurning mad eyed horror. I always have my eyes open too wide so they don't look old and crepey. It makes me look like whoever is next to me have their cock out.

Passmethecrisps Thu 28-Mar-13 22:13:59

Brilliant coco!

Probably ineed, probably wink

LaQueen Fri 29-Mar-13 14:51:06

"Ps - if you thrust a hip forward and 'cock a leg' you look like a vain twat."

Actually fork, no you don' just position yourself, so that you're standing well and making yourself look better.

I have 2 friends who are ex models. They showed me how to stand for photos. It looks low key, but definitely much better than just slouching infront of the camera.

DrCoconut Fri 29-Mar-13 15:01:32

I hate having photos done because I am so non photogenic its untrue. I always spoil group pictures with eyes shut, looking drunk when I'm not etc. For our wedding I asked the photographer to take loads of each shot, which he did. We still had trouble finding enough good ones with me on to fill the album! Even worse is when people put hideous pics of me on Facebook. I sympathise with people who hate being photographed and agree that unposed photos tend to be better especially if they take them when I'm not expecting it. Am trying to have a few done so my descendants know I existed grin

midastouch Fri 29-Mar-13 15:05:12

well i am a PITA! i hate hate hate my photo being taken im not in the slightest bit photogenic.
However its a bit different at people weddings etc i dont want to ruin there pictures!

MarmaladeTwatkins Fri 29-Mar-13 15:14:14

I agree with OP. She sounds a PITA.

Mind you OP, you could have my mother who thinks that her best photo face is achieved when she does the old Lady Di trick, 'chin down, eyes up,hint of a smile"

She looks like she needs a shit tbh.

scarletforya Fri 29-Mar-13 15:26:50


I hate all that flapping and fussing and protesting some people do when it comes to photos. I am not photogenic to say the least but I just grin and bear it.

My inlaws have an enlarged family shot of us all at dd's Christening. Everyone in it looks normal, except me. I look like a walrus trying to photobomb the group shot from the bottom. (kneeling on the floor) The walrus-photobombing effect is increased even further by the tiny hand of one of my SILs resting on one of my wobbly chins. blush

What can you do but laugh and cringe!

ByTheWay1 Fri 29-Mar-13 15:33:48

I hate the current craze of taking loads of photos on a crappy phone and posting them straight to facebook - are people being deliberately unkind - or do they REALLY have no inner editor saying " no I don't think ByThe... would like a photo of her looking really fat with her hair all skewiff put on the internet for all to see.."

Hence MY current craze of putting hand in front of phone until it goes away...

I agree in a way, I have a best friend who I barely have snaps of as she refuses to get in one on any occasion.

I too dislike having my photo taken as I genuinely always look horrendous on photo's, but i still get in them, to be nice. I just grin and bear it. grin

LadyBeaEGGleEyes Fri 29-Mar-13 17:00:38

I don't mind having my photo taken, unfortunately when it is I either look deranged or pissed.
I may occasionally be the latter, but even sober the camera hates me.

EndoplasmicReticulum Fri 29-Mar-13 17:02:34

"flapping and fussing and protesting" only happens if people are rude enough to insist on taking a photo.

If "please don't take my photo" isn't enough, I will hide.

Obviously for special occasions (like my wedding) I did the grin and bear it thing. But just generally, I'd rather they didn't.

Some people see everything at one step removed, through a lens, and don't think an experience has been worth having unless it's on Facebook. This irritates me.

Feminine Fri 29-Mar-13 17:05:37

laqueen is correct, her tips are well known and do work.

I look quite rough in every day pics, but scrub up well when needed!

op my Mum is like your MIL, she has extended these habits when photographing the Grandchildren too! grin

HarrietSchulenberg Fri 29-Mar-13 17:19:21

I was at an award ceremony for fairly youngish people a couple of weeks ago. It involved having a photo taken while they collected certificates. A couple if them did the Hello pose thing laqueen described and they looked like vain self absorbed twats compared with the ones that shook hands and smiled. The photos proved it - the posers look like wannabes while the more natural ones look much better. We actually can't use the posers' for our publicity as they look so fake, which rather defeats their intended objective.

I utterly hate having my photo taken. Unless I'm drunk, in which case you have to prise me away from the lens.

CalamityJ Fri 29-Mar-13 17:34:16

Do we have the same MIL? She ruins all the photos she has in her own house, all our wedding photos she was in and now all the baby photos with her in. IMHO it makes her look simple, like she doesn't understand how photos work! smile So not YANBU to not want your photos ruined by a simpleton.

LaQueen Fri 29-Mar-13 18:19:10

Harriet but on formal posed photos, such as at weddings/christenings etc...should people be photographed shaking hands with each other?

If you have to pose for a formal shot, or pose in a formal group shot, then you're better off following a couple of tried and tested tips, on how to stand well which doesn't necessarily equate to looking like a self absorbed twat, fortunately.

There's a huge difference between affecting an exagerrated Hello pose, trying to arch your back, and thrust out your hips, whilst smoldering into the camera...and, simply ensuring your shoulders are dropped, your chin is slightly tilted up, and you're holding your tummy in smile

The former pose makes you look like an arse...the latter pose makes you look like a slightly better version of you.

hopefloats Fri 29-Mar-13 18:20:59

I think if I was your MIL I would have snatched the camera off you and punched you in your self-absorbed chops by now.

DoJo Fri 29-Mar-13 18:42:50

I hate having my photo taken but mostly because I ruin perfectly pleasant photos of groups of my family/friends by looking like a demented, staring freak. I'm not exactly spectacular looking in real life, but at least I'm not constantly confronted by the sight of my own leering, peculiarly posed face unless I look in a mirror, whereas having photos of me captured looking horrendous is depressing. I don't want to learn 'tricks', I just want to look nicer in general, but as that's not to be, I just try to avoid being in photos. I know that this is a light-hearted thread, but I do think that perhaps the solution is to accept that this is one of your MIL' quirks and enjoy it as such.

crazycanuck Fri 29-Mar-13 19:31:28

I think there's a lot of missing the point on this thread. I think it may be because the thread is somewhat mis-titled (sorry OP!). Your MIL clearly loves having her photo taken as long as she's in her pose which essentially places her as the central subject of the photo. I don't enjoy having my photo taken, but I certainly don't manufacture a gormless pose that makes me the focus of photos I don't want to be in. Your MIL adores having her photo taken in affected poses, but loads of posters on here have taken your thread title to heart and think you're attacking those who really dislike appearing in photos.

I'm probably not making much sense (back to the cider...) grin

DyeInTheEar Fri 29-Mar-13 21:00:00

YANBU - but I used to fucking well do this. What a total twat.

Though my reasons were
1. I look like a gurning fool when I smile
2. I develop four more chins when I smile
3. I somehow looked redder but could be because I only relaxed enough to have my photo taken when I was drunken

I thought if I suddenly looked away when the photo was taken I would get away with not smiling and therefore not look like a gormless twat. But instead I just looked like I'd wandered into the photo and was looking for my lost escaped budgie.

I now smile, awkwardly and stiffly and try and stick my chin out.

BrunellaPommelhorse Fri 29-Mar-13 21:28:49

Lol at budgie

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