Photographing the Soul

I vividly remember an episode of Frasier where someone wanted to take a picture of Martin, Frasier’s Dad and he steadfastly refused.  In a monotone deadpan voice he said something to effect of:
I can’t have my picture taken because it takes a piece of my soul each time.
Do you believe when you take some one’s picture, you’re stealing a piece of their essence, a part if their soul?  There are still cultures around the globe who do not allow pictures to be taken of people.  Some Native American Tribes still refuse to be photographed.  In fact, there is a story circulating that Crazy Horse never had his picture taken.

What do you think?  I know several photographers who steadfastly refuse to have their picture taken.  Myself being one of them, I can now use this as an excuse.  I wonder how many photographers don’t like their own photo taken?  I use the excuse that I’m MUCH better behind the camera then in front of it.

Truth be told, I don’t like how I look in pictures.  There are ONLY three people who have captured me on film that I respect.  I ACTUALLY like the pictures that were taken and that’s saying a lot.  My friend Rachel Carson Schemmerling took a photo of me at her graduation party in the early 1990’s.  My brother, Mike took another shot several years later and several years later, possibly in 2005 another friend, Amy Miller was collecting photos of frequent customers to The Madison Gourmet Beanery to hang in the business.  I was impressed with Amy’s picture too.

I’ve heard this story several times in the past, even before Frasier.  I recall reading about a tribe, it may even have been the Australian Aboriginals; don’t quote me however, that refuse to have their picture taken for this VERY reason.  They’re afraid that the camera will trap their souls.

Who is to say if this really isn’t the case?  If an entire population believes something to be true, then isn’t it true to them?

Think about that!

Be Happy!  Be Well!  Be Positive!
Blessings to you.


Photographing the Soul

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