‘Tis the season to revel in photographic (and/or photogenic) disasters.
Last week, my fellow Daily Post contributor Robyn wrote about the liberating power of embarrassing stories. It got me thinking about our collective reluctance to show less-flattering sides of our lives and personalities.
The imperative to present a perfect facade is doubly strong when it comes to our photos. Here, it’s not just the subject matter we care about — the perfect day at the beach; smiling, well-dressed toddlers; a faux-nonchalant smirk at a party. The picture itself has to be Instagram- and/or blog-worthy. Our images are always photoshopped in spirit, even if we don’t use the actual software.
This week, I say enough. And present you with the greatest gingerbread house disaster off all time:
This was taken last December, when we thought, despite our best judgment, that building a kitschy structure made out of inedible pieces of dough was a fun way to spend an afternoon with our son. (Both my wife and I come from decidedly gingerbread-house-free cultures, so we have an excuse.)
The result was a total catastrophe: the thing collapsed instantaneously, and it took hours to scrape off all that nasty royal icing (it was somehow everywhere). But it was also a hilarious, belly-laugh-inducing catastrophe. We’d failed to create a photo op, but not a memory. As for the photo, I’m the first to admit it’s not amazing: the lighting was harsh, and the angle made it tough to capture the full scope of our inaptitude. But you know what? For once, we didn’t care.
This week, share a photographic “Oops!” moment with us. The fiasco could be what’s in the picture: anything broken, jumbled, or otherwise cringe-worthy (ugly sweaters are encouraged!). Or it could be something in the photo-taking itself, from the tip of your finger ruining a meticulously framed panorama to an inopportune shadow messing up a family portrait.
Go funny, or serious, or go with a mixture of both — just let it all hang. You’re among friends!