In defense of bad photographs

People love good photographs. The ones where everyone’s hair looks great and so do their smiles. The ones with the artistic composition. People love good photographs. They share them online. They make them profile pictures and computer wallpaper. They may even print them and frame them or use them as Christmas cards. But what about the bad photographs? You know, the ones where someone blinked or the light is wrong or you just don’t like how you look.

Bad photographs often aren’t shared. Sometimes they are even deleted. But look more closely. Sometimes “bad photographs” are not so much bad as realistic. Consider:

* That Christmas card photo “ruined” by your daughter’s untimely fall the day before and resulting black eye.

* That cute picture that you don’t want to show anyone because the house was a mess.

* That picture that you hate because you “look fat.”

Someday you may cherish them.

* The black eye will remind you of your daughter’s adventurous spirit even if she becomes too cool to show it.

* In the clutter you can see a treasured item after long after it was lost or broken.

* That “fat” picture turned out to be the last picture you have of you and your friend before she died.

Take another look at your bad photographs. Maybe even print out a few. You don’t need to post them to Facebook or hang them on your wall, but keep them. Someday you may touch one gently as a tear comes to your eye and you think, “Yes, that’s exactly how I remember it.”

Or maybe you’ll just laugh at how ridiculous you looked. Either way bad photographs can be good things.

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You can also find Kim Z. Dale on Twitter and Google+ and like Listing Beyond Forty on Facebook.

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