Why A Picture is Worth a Thousand Lies

I can’t think of many people who hate the holidays, but I know almost no one who enjoyed taking the family Christmas card.  Ever.  Just one more, kids.  Here, let me just lick my finger and get that random smudge off your face (#ew).  JUST SIT STILL ALREADY AND LOOK LIKE YOU LOVE EACH OTHER.  I’m confident that I’m not alone.  By the end of the session, you can’t be more ready to go back to school or work, stop putting your arms around your siblings and get out of this ridiculous, itchy outfit.  But the card sent out showcases your lovely and mildly fake smile and shows none of the groans and shoving.  A picture may be worth a thousand words, but at the same time, it can be worth a thousand lies.why-a-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-lies-lake-of-the-ozarks

Before my trip to Los Angeles, I was beyond psyched for two weeks on the West Coast.  I knew I’d meet new people, get a nice tan (clarification: this was a hope) and enjoy the beach.  I even snapped some pictures of the breath-taking views and posed for some model shots.  I posted 12 pics on Insta from my time in L.A. and appeared to have a phenomenal trip.  And yes, I did have a nice time.  But between these selfies at the resort and perusing the art museum were two trips to the urgent care and three different antibiotics for my nasty sty which was bigger than a woolly mammoth.  Hence, the sunglasses for almost every single picture of the last week of L.A.  Case in point: you can get killer shots in Hollywood and be in a lot of pain.  The pictures showed off the lovely views and my cheery smile but completely neglected to tell the world that I looked like I had a rare disease in my eye and that I definitely did not feel Hollywood gorgeous.Hollywood Sign Los Angeles California

This trip to L.A. also inspired another post about how to fly on a plane alone.  I felt like such a strong independent woman (#girlboss) navigating the airports and doing it by myself.  But it wasn’t all smooth.  I had a delayed flight which delayed my shuttle pickup time at LAX.  So I had to chill in LAX for several hours which made me late for the first meeting of my conference.  Woot.  Woot.

And for my recent post A Classy Afternoon in Columbia, I wrote of the fantastic French toast and thrifting with Cate, Molly and Claire.  I bought a cute little cactus named Joey, tried a new coffee shop (with coffee ice cubes!) and pet a cat.  A perfect and classy afternoon, right?  Well, not quite.  I had a *lovely* stain on the back of my dress that I didn’t notice till hours later.   I’m 99% sure Joey was dead when I bought him.  And I’d actually just met all these girls only weeks before that afternoon.  It’s easy to look like the bestest of friends with cute shades and a fun selfie.  But looks can deceive.  Yes, the afternoon was incredibly fun, but travel photos (and just photos in general) can make life look, well, picture-perfect.  And the fact of the matter is: it’s not.  Fortunately, Shout exists which saved my life and one of my favorite dresses.  Yes, I’m bummed my second succulent didn’t make it to adolescence or get to see his first Christmas, but it’s not the end of the world.  Plus, I may not have known these gal pals well on this day, but subsequent lunch dates, a trip to the lake and a few nose piercings later have grown these friendships.  Columbia MO Consign and Design Gal Pals

This past summer Riley and I spent almost the entire day exploring the city of St. Louis together.  The macaroons?  So yummy!   A stroll through the art museum?  Oh, so classy.  All our photo opts?  Fabulous (#humblebrag).  Here’s what you didn’t see: I dropped a macaroon.  Sad day.  And they made me coat check these goodies at the art museum.  And we both were really tired by mid-afternoon and not incredibly chatty.  And it was one of the last times we’d see each other for months.  While I really enjoyed our day together, it was very bitter-sweet, knowing tears and lonely days would come all too soon.La Bonne Bouchee Macaroon Case St Louis MO

Photos have incredible power to tell stories and capture memories for years.  They’re not evil, but when we manipulate them to achieve this lofty and idealistic idea of status, we’re missing the point.  When you’re a slave to Instagram because you have to post a pic to let everyone know that you definitely weren’t sitting in your pjs watching Friends all night alone, it’s not fun anymore.  And to let you in on a little secret: you’re never going to reach the status you desire.

By all means, bring your camera on your next trip.  Go wild with the number of selfies you take.  I personally believe you can never take too many photos.  But don’t be so engaged on how hot your bod looks; focus more on the experience: the laughs with your friends, the ice cream that takes your taste buds to another planet, the sheer terror yet exhilaration of not speaking the language well.  A picture can be worth a thousand lies, but choose to make it worth a thousand laughs, experiences, memories, grins.  Picture-perfect isn’t real, so don’t hold yourself to that ridiculous standard, friends.



{Why do you love photography?  Do you hate it at the same time?}

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