Say cheese without being cheesy!
Do you just love posing for photos? Are you totally selfie mad? Are you completely at one with the lens? Well, bully for you. But most of us don’t find it so easy. In fact, I’d guess that the majority of men find posing for photos a pretty uncomfortable experience.
It’s not so much that we’re camera-shy. It’s more that we’re wary of what the camera gets up to when we’re not looking. And, indeed, when we are. It distorts faces. It catches you at odd moments. It can even humiliate you. Cameras are wily things. You can’t relax in front of them because they have this nasty habit of snapping you when both your eyes are closed, or of making you look constipated, or worse still, of making you look like some seedy creep leering into the lens. Quite how they do it I don’t know. It’s a real poser, if you’ll excuse the pun. What’s needed is a strategy.
There are a few approaches you can take to this tricky business. The first is what I call “The Churchill”. This involves emulating our great wartime leader and channelling your inner bulldog. You look directly down the lens and give it your most formidable stare. No smiles, no joy, no happiness – just a staunch fella showing the world who’s boss. Ideally, you’ll accessorise with a cigar or even a Tommy gun if there’s one to hand. It all sounds fairly appealing, doesn’t it? We chaps won’t be defeated by these pesky cameras. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets… and indeed at house parties, weddings and any other gatherings involving cameras.
Do be warned though – it’s not quite as easy as it looks. You think you’re coming across as heroic and dignified but if you’re not careful you can just look like a miserable grump. I should know. I’ve tried it. The result was less bulldog and more sourpuss. The writer Martin Amis gets it wrong too, coming across in pictures more like a stroppy teen than a literary bad boy. So too the chef Marco Pierre White. He nails it half the time, looking all cool and unapproachable, but the other half of the time he looks utterly ridiculous. The problem is that these days if you take yourself too seriously you’re laughable. We’re not so into classical heroes anymore because we’re so democratic. Even if you have achieved something in life, you have to behave like an average Joe. This is why Will Smith looked so foolish at the Oscars trying to defend his wife’s honour. It’s not the right era for it, pal....
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