This is a response to Karen's recent post about not looking like her DMV photo anymore.
It reminded me of how much more I like my recent driver's license photo than any in the past. And how I used to never let myself be photographed.
I was the one behind the camera. It was safer there.
That aversion to being the subject of a photograph is why there are very few photos of me from the time I was about 10 through shortly before my daughter was born - some twenty years. With the exception of my gorgeous Hawaiian wedding photographs, there are few beauty shots in the albums to glorify my youthful twenties.
I can't even find my old driver's licenses from the middle two decades (which is odd because I save things like that). Those are the years Karen says I should I been posing happily for as many pictures as possible. And I suppose she's right.
One of my old boyfriends had a 35mm camera in his hand all the time and I was always avoiding it. Or screwing up the picture with a silly, or more often, a pissed off face. But I'm relative sure I looked pretty good back then. Not because I was younger, or had better hair, or more attractive features, but because I was happy.
That's the reason my most recent driver's license, taken as I entered my 50th year on the planet, looks a thousand times better than any from any previous year: and why the one right before it looks like a 3 AM mug shot of a apprehended female serial killer.
While I'll delete an unflattering picture of me faster than a shutter in bright sun, I don't flinch and try to hide from the camera anymore.