I'm sure there was a time when I felt comfortable in front of a camera, but I don't remember it. I was probably a baby at the time. (One of the things that's so awesome about babies is that they are completely unselfconscious, and seem to feel pretty positive about themselves all of the time. I think that's why it's so much fun to look at pictures of them: they're totally relaxed and free around cameras.) Now, when a camera comes out, I'm suddenly intensely aware that I have a body, and that it is wrong. I don't know how to stand or hold my head, and what are these arms doing here?
It's a little easier when Rob is behind the camera cracking jokes. I can forget for half a second there's a camera there and smile without thinking about what my smile looks like (or if I'm doing it right).
But the easiest posture happens when I have Westley or Ivy with me. I tend to look at them instead of the camera. (There are pictures of all the parents with their children posted on the wall at Ivy's toddler group. Last week was the first time I noticed that I am the only mother not looking at the camera. I'm looking at Ivy.) When I focus on my children and appreciate their beauty, I stop trying to pose.
When I'm on my own, I feel like I'll be the first girl to be eliminated from the America's Next Top Model of Life. Looking at my kids instead of making eye contact with the camera is my way of being photographed without being photographed.