Don’t Take a Photo of Me

I am not at all the one you’ll find in photos. I hate being photographed. If ever someone aims a camera in my direction I duck for the nearest thing that can and will conceal me: phone books, curtains, tables. In the event that none of them are around I will shield myself with my hands or hide behind someone taller.

I have never liked seeing myself in a photo. Something about a photo seems confining: I’m of the opinion that you can’t really tell what a person is like by their frozen image.

Behind the camera is of course a contradiction. I like to wield the camera and take photos.

I would prefer to be written about, because you paint pictures with words. Words can become like a gloss of makeup or concealer: you can layer them as little or much as you like. I prefer a more spare style of writing, like when it came to my novel. In images there’s nowhere to hide, and people can analyse what they see. It’s the same with writing, but in writing you can merely say that a character is average height, with red hair and casual dress sense. There’s an anonymity there, because you can be describing any Jane Doe. I like to be anonymous, it’s why I don’t make many friends in classes.

In photos every detail is revealed, unless you hide in shadows.

As for writing about myself, from a fictional viewpoint I wouldn’t do it. I hate self-inserts: as an avid reader of fanfiction I have seen plenty of self-inserts, and it seems to me it’s a device an author can use to make themselves super excellent, super smart, gorgeous, etc: the only catch is, it isn’t real, because the Harry Potter world (sadly) isn’t real. I have created characters with traits based off my own, but that’s as far as it goes. I’ll save the writing about myself for an autobiography.

(And no, my refusal to be photographed isn’t because I’m a criminal dodging records. I’m just shy.)


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