Tag Archives: photos

Cameras Are My Kryptonite

content1This post is about a subject that could be misinterpreted, or even misdiagnosed. I do not generally have low self-esteem. I am secure in myself. More than that I am happy with myself. I also have a lot of confidence in public, social and other settings. I don’t become shy or nervous without a very good reason.

I have a healthy amount of self-esteem. I know my strengths, I know my weaknesses. I am happy with me. I know what I am proud of, I know what I need to work on. I have a very high appreciation for others, which helps me to keep a balanced view of myself.

Fundamentally, what I like about me is that I love people. Like my parents, who trained me and whose example I imitate, I have learnt to be patient, mild, a peace-maker, forgiving, kind, tactful, sensitive and graceful. I like that I am joyful and cheery, but I can change my temperament according to the needs of others. I like who I am.

poseingHowever, this post is not about my strengths. It is about one of my weaknesses. I have more than one weakness. But this particular weakness is frustrating. It is a ridiculous irrational oddity. But it has a powerful effect on me.

I hate seeing photographs of myself. I don’t mind posing for photos. But I literally hate seeing the photograph after it is taken. If you don’t have a similar reaction yourself to seeing photos of you, you might find it hard to comprehend the extreme feelings I have. I cannot bear to see myself in a photo. My eyes immediately focus on the less admirable parts of me, or how tired I look, or the lumpy bumpy parts of me, of my hair or eyebrows looking a mess, or my tummy sticking out…I find what I see repugnant.

mirosStrangely, I don’t have those feelings when I look into a mirror. Mirrors are fine. Perhaps mirrors are kinder than cameras. But what I see in the mirror is pleasant, even attractive (lol – if I do say so myself!)

I know I can’t really be repugnant. Neither Goldfinch or Jack are in anyway desperate for attention, Either of them could attract beautiful women. If I truly was as ugly and horrid as the creature I see in photographs of me, they would not be interested in me.

If you point a camera at me, I instinctively switch on the entertainer in me. I can pose and prance and pout all you like. But when I catch sight of myself in a photo, I become depressed, and very very upset. Recently, poor Jack had to calm me down when I became inconsolable about some pictures he was taking of me.

dress2It all started when I mentioned to Goldfinch that Jack and I were heading to our first public event together. I told Goldfinch I was going to be wearing a lovely dress. Goldfinch asked me for a photo of me in the dress. Oh boy! A simple request, you might think. Not in my case.

I asked Jack to take it. I cannot do selfies. It would drive me to despair. But I was happy to pose as Jack took several photos. He liked the photos a lot. He wanted to post one on Instagram and comment that I had found the dress in a charity shop. Jack has been extremely keen for a long time to post photos of us as a couple on his Instagram account. He sees it as a way of making sure any critics realize we are not intimidated. (Although, the truth is I am intimidated!) I saw the photos he took and was devastated. Absolutely horrified by how awful I looked.

That’s always the way I feel. I hate seeing photos of myself. I truly literally detest what I see. Jack tried to contradict my self deprecating statements. He tried to calm me down. it didn’t work. I was inconsolable. That was the night before we were going to our first public event. Jack was tired that night. Perhaps I was too. In the end, he gave up and went to bed because I was in such a major sulk.

poserThe following night, we had an amazing time. All my confidence came back at the event, because I was focused on other people, both Jack and everyone else. I had no shyness, not low self-esteem. But people took photos. Some of those photos on now on their Instagram accounts. Jack says we look great, but I have begged him not to let me see them.

Poor Goldfinch. He has no idea what he started when he asked me for a photo. Poor Jack! To him photos are part of daily life. As a celebrity, he can’t avoid photos. He is always taking selfies and pictures of people he meets and places he visits. He repeatedly poses for photos with people who recognise him. But he has a girlfriend who has something between a phobia to a paranoia when it comes to seeing photographs of herself.

annie disappointedI don’t like that Jack saw me so upset about something that must seem so ridiculous. He has now seen a crippling weakness and how it makes me crumble. He wants to “cure” me. But he will have a battle. I have felt that way since I was a small girl. I have always hated to see photographs and video footage of myself. It hasn’t stopped me from being on stage, on television, and in fashion shows. Neither has it stopped me posing for cameras. But I can only do and enjoy any of that on the proviso that I don’t see the images the camera has captured afterwards.

I am fully cognizant of how much it doesn’t make any sense, Nonetheless, it is a powerful feeling. I am repelled by photographs of me. I find them revolting. So it is best, to let me carry on dancing, singing, posing and generally lighting up the room. But please do not show me the pictures you took. Because I will be on the floor in a puddle of tears, hating the abominable creature in those photos.

As I mentioned, it doesn’t effect how I feel about myself. The inner me is delightful. I know that. I get to walk around with a heart full of joy and warmth and smiles. There is no sinister unkindness lurking. I don’t have these intense feelings when I see myself in a mirror. But nonetheless, photos of me are a problem. They crush me.

Anyway, Jack is going to be away now for a while. I don’t think I can be on my own with a photo of us on his Instagram account. It’s something I am going to need his support to endure. Sigh.


Are We Out Of The Woods?

togetherness.jpg“Jack” and I have walked in the woods frequently these past couple of months. Lots of walking, talking, holding hands, laughing, a few tears from me on occasion and some kisses – very nice kisses.

It’s been great. And although, a few times someone has recognized Jack and said hello, we have not had any interruptions to our time together. But last week, a group of young men were walking with a couple of dogs (one looked like a pitbull, I didn’t see the other) and one of the lads whipped out his phone and came right up to the two of us (we were obviously walking along hand in hand) and took a photo of us.

woodsJack was friendly enough. He said something along the lines of “Hiya mate, it’s polite to ask first if you want to take a photo.” Anyway, at first I thought the lad was a little bit aggressive in his response. But Jack was his usual charismatic self. He chatted with him and asked about the dogs and some other questions. I wasn’t listening properly, I felt a bit intimidated by everyone staring. I think he was asking them things like where they were from and what they did for work.

posesSo Jack tried to make a bit of a deal and asked if the guy would delete the photo he just took, then Jack would be in photos with this guy and whoever else in the group. Jack is always willing to pose for photos. It is ingrained in him. He is not in the least camera shy, and he is comfortable with this aspect of the fame his work has brought him. To me, it’s all weird. To Jack – it’s just life. He gets on with it. The young man seemed very reluctant to delete the photo of Jack and me holding hands. I think that the chap did delete the photos, because next moment, Jack was posing for selfies with the group.

noope!.jpgAnyway, while this exchange was going on, I saw another lad in the same group step my way with his phone in his hand. I was convinced he was going to take a photo of me. So, I swing around and put my hood up and pulled my  scarf up over my face. Was I over-reacting? He was a total stranger! What right did he have to take a photo of me? Plus, I always look terrible in photos, I am incredibly unphotogenic. What might he have done with that photo? I have no idea, but I was not going to cooperate with him.

What followed was all a bit weird. This lad ran around to the other side of me. I became quite alarmed, I put my arms in front of  my face. The lad started grumbling at me. Jack must have noticed what was happening, because the next thing I knew I was buried in his arms and being pulled by him. I couldn’t see where I was going but he was trying to move quickly, and I could hear him calling out “cheers lads, we have to get going now.”

hid.jpgJack probably did not realize I couldn’t see the floor because I ended up tripping and would have ended up in the mud if it wasn’t for him supporting my weight in his arms. We must have looked so stupid.

Jack was telling me to keep walking and I was laughing because he had his hand on my head keeping my eyes down, and I was completely dependant on him guiding me along. At least now I could see my feet and the ground. He told me the lads were behind us, which is why he was turning down narrower paths. When he was satisfied we were out of their view, he asked me where we were because he had lost his bearings.

Hah! Jack! He drags me along, with my vision obscured by my hair and my hat, deeper into the woods and expects me to just know where we are and to know which direction to head in to go back to my little nest. That was one long walk!!!

(I know…yet another TS track – but it fitted my post so well, I could not resist!)

Why I Could Never Be A Travel Blogger

adelaideLoving every moment of being here with Goldfinch. So glad I am finally here! I have been taking lots of photos and writing own little thoughts in my notebook to formulate into posts later. I wonder if anyone is thinking, “COME ON CARAMEL…WHERE ARE THE HOLIDAY PHOTOS? WE WANT TO SEE ADELAIDE!” Or maybe that thought is about as far from your mind as I am from London right now. 10,100 miles away!!!

adelaide beach.jpgWell, I regret to tell you I think they are going to have to wait until I am back in England.  I will need to blue-tooth them to my laptop and then create posts with the photos. I am a bit of a technophobe at the best of times, and I cannot figure out how to create a post on my tablet with photos on my tablet. I am sure there is a way…but it is beyond me!

On three occasions in recent weeks I had to explain what a Luddite was to staff who were trying to advise me on “issues” with my phone and my laptop. Two were PC World advisers and one was a Vodafone adviser. They had never heard of the term “Luddite”. When I explained who the original Luddites were, I then had to reassure them that when I called myself a Luddite I was joking, I don’t actually try to destroy technology…it’s never in anger, but always an accident when I drown, drop or destroy by other means my electronic devices.