Camera Shy in a Selfie World

I’ve been camera shy my whole life. Whenever I saw a camera pointed in my direction, I’d do my best to get out of the shot. I marveled at people who started vogueing the minute they saw a lens.

Paradoxically, one of my jobs as a public relations consultant was to get my clients in front of the media. I would tell photographers and cameramen I didn’t want to be in any shots and stayed purposely out of camera range. When my family and friends found out I’d been with someone famous, they always asked “Did you get a picture with him/her?” Nine times out of ten the answer was no. Then they’d chide me for being an idiot for missing the opportunity. There were those times when a  photographer would pull me into a shot and take me out of my comfort zone.

In Kyoto with Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev and Raffi
A photographer insisted I HAD to have my picture taken with Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev and Raffi.

When I decided to start blogging, I realized that finding photos to go with some of my posts could be a challenge. There are whole chapters of my life that I have no visual record of because I wouldn’t let anyone take my picture. And, in many of the photos I do have, I look like a deer in a headlight.

However, there were two photographers who were exempt from my ‘Don’t shoot me’ rule. Mort and Alese Pechter were the official photographers for my client DEMA (the trade association for the scuba industry), and they traveled with me wherever I went. Given that I was the spokesperson for the association, I couldn’t shy away from their cameras. The Pechters made it painless, and luckily for me, graciously agreed to photograph events I was producing for other clients. I’m grateful for the beautiful pictures they took of me over the years.

In the Caribbean on a press trip for DEMA @PechterPhoto
In the Caribbean on a press trip for DEMA @PechterPhoto
With my client Phil Ramone who I adored @PechterPhoto
With my client, legendary music producer Phil Ramone who I adored @PechterPhoto
With Kevin Kline  @PechterPhoto
With Kevin Kline who brought his son Owen to see Raffi on Broadway @PechterPhoto

It has been many years since the Pechters shadowed me with their cameras. In those years, thanks to the global proliferation of people who have cellphones with built-in picture-taking capabilities, the world has become a minefield for the camera shy like me. There is no hiding. The time has come for me to get over my phobia. I’m going to bite the bullet and say “cheese.” This weekend will be an initiation by fire. I’m going to attend the BlogHer conference in New York. There’ll be thousands of trigger happy bloggers snapping away, and I’ll be one of them. I even bought a selfie stick.

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