It was not so long ago that photos displaying a bad hair day or an acne breakout could be safely locked away in the privacy of a bottom drawer.
Some of you might remember the luxury of being able to pick and choose which photo of your person would escape for public consumption. Remember sitting around with friends looking through photo albums that had passed through the family’s Censorship Department? Apart from your passport photo for which you were always suitably attired and somewhat somber, there were generally no photos circulating out there for which you had not primped and prepared. And all of this before the days of Photoshop.
Let’s roll the film forward (pun intended) to the present day in which photo ID cards abound. Apart from having a photo album on tap via a smart phone, most people walk around with a photo album of bureaucratic memories in their wallets. An absolute highlight reel of bureaucratic encounters and of putting your
best worst face forward.
Some of my personal chart topping looks are:
- Drawn, Haggard And Sunburned at the Motor Registry
- You’re Kidding, A Photo, Really? at my local social club
- You’re a Security Guy Taking This In A Dimly Lit Dungeon Using a Two Bit Camera at my work place
- Gonna Have To Live With This Legacy For As Long as I Work Here also at my work place
Now, I don’t know about you, but the question of whether I’m going to have a photo taken on any given day is not on my daily morning checklist. It is enough to race out of the house in the morning with two matching shoes. I can’t tell you how many times I have confused navy with black in the early morning light. As a business woman, I know I’m not meant to talk about this. We are after all high-powered, multitasking infallible Amazons! But, a straw poll of some of my fellow working friends reveals that this is more common than the polished, together, high-powered female business fraternity have you believe.
So, I have never worried about how I look in ID photos. Then again, I have never had to date in the world of ID photos. Perhaps it’s different when a potential would-be beau is looking through your wallet and stumbles upon Drawn, Haggard and Sunburned at the Motor Registry. Better he sees the real you, I think. Less room for morning after the night before surprises.
I am now wondering what happens to the mountains of ID photos once they are taken. As I’m writing this, I have visions of faceless bureaucrats scouring through mountains of photo ID’s looking for hot dates, perhaps even plotting the creation of a ranking system like in the beginning of the Facebook movie.
It is impossible to believe there will ever come a time when we can offer up our own selfies to bureaucracy.
However, I’m pleased to report that a photo ID miracle occurred this week. Having stumbled into a situation where I needed to create a new photo ID, I headed off to the
gallows photo centre to get shot. The lighting wasn’t great (is it ever?) and the camera operator was not a professional. Nevertheless, after a little congenial conversation around how this was my third attempt at navigating bureaucracy to obtain the ID and a couple of clicks I had my photo. Expecting the worst, I took the card, eyes going straight to the mug shot. And then the angels sang! The photo was passable, even more than half way decent. It even looks like a happy and excited me. Actually, it’s probably more likely relief that I had finally been succesful in my quest to secure this ID.
So this has restored my faith in the amateur model, amateur photgrapher shoot and produce process. I now have a new chart topping look – Happy, Excited And Ready For Anything.
And I have learned that it is possible to ace the photo ID and carry around a bureaucratic legacy which you can proudly show anyone, even a would-be beau!
Do you get anxious about having your photo taken? Given the opportunity, do you prepare your appearance for a photo ID shot?