I took a picture with some friends the other day. I had to suck in my gut for so long that I almost fainted. I made sure to put a hand on my hip, stick out my chest, suck in my belly, and tuck in one love handle while hiding the other. It was a lot of work. It was kind of like those guys on TV spinning plates on top of sticks, as soon as I would get the belly tucked in, the love handle would pop out; when I would hide the man-boob the double-chin would spring forward.

I wanted the camera to get me at my best.

I wanted the picture to show my good side.

There is no “Actual” setting on a camera. The various settings adjust for the millions of different combinations which are captured through the light processors we call eyeballs. There is no setting on a camera which produces a two-dimensional snapshot that can create the feeling that you get when you see an individuals smile.

You don’t see what I see when I look at a picture of you. A stranger doesn’t get struck by the same emotion as an acquaintance. People don’t look at photos to point out double-chins, mustard stains, crooked belts, and mismatched socks. The camera’s purpose is to help remind people what it felt like to see the warmth of your smile. The photo is kept to help re-create the feeling of the time you made someone feel safe, strong, courageous or loved. The camera’s job is not to make you look beautiful but to someday bring back memories of a person who cared.

A photo is not what you are. Who you are is built while no one is around. The camera is there to help remind people of the job you did of being yourself.

Peace, Love, and all things Beef related,