My father-in-law Archie was a fantastic man.  I loved him very much.  His disposition was so much like Bill’s that it would have been crazy if I didn’t love him.  He was a great father and successful jeweler.  He was also a very talented trumpet player and was part of local musical groups.  He wasn’t, however, a talented photographer.

Bill and his brother tell stories of how Archie was always lining the family up, making them squint into the sun and then being exasperated when the photos didn’t come out well.  Apparently, his idea of a good photo was one where his subjects were exceedingly well-lit and had eyes that were wide open.  Poor Archie was his own worst enemy in the photography department.

I really laughed when I heard the story of how he got everyone situated just so for a nice family photo on a beautiful college campus.  Things were going really well.  Everyone was well-lit and their eyes were open…mostly.  He happily backed up to get everyone in the shot.  He wasn’t quite far enough back.  With his eye peering through the viewfinder he suddenly took a tumble.  He fell backward into a duck pond, camera and all.

Much later when the kids were older, he was attending a school function.  It might have been a graduation, I don’t remember.  What I do remember is that he had quite a surprise when he got the prints back from the photo lab.  He was sure he’d gotten someone else’s photos because there were no photos of the event at all.  He went through each and every print and they featured a woman he didn’t even know!  In the first photo or two, she looked somewhat startled.  Photo after photo showed this unknown woman getting progressively disturbed and then angry!!!

Archie was flummoxed.  This made no sense at all.  Where were the shots he’d taken?  Who was this woman?  It was obviously a mistake.

When asked exactly how he’d taken the pictures, he said the only way he could get the shot was if he raised the camera over his head so the people in front of him wouldn’t be in the way.

It all became clear.  Archie had been taking pictures with the camera pointing in the wrong direction and that poor lady was sitting behind him being flashed repeatedly!  No wonder she looked startled…and then angry!  I’ve never seen the prints, but from what I hear they are hilarious. I would have paid good money to be in the photo lab the day those photos were developed.


28 thoughts on “Picture Imperfect

  1. Very funny! My father was a photographer of the Half a Head. Or on a bad day , No Head.
    And of course, in those days we didn’t have the benefit of instant review, so it was a week’s wait to finally see all these marvelous photos of people with half -heads and try to guess which body belonged to who.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great story Linda.
    Susan recently had the difficult job of sorting out her parents photo albums after her dad passed away and it certainly brought back memories of getting ones pictures back to discover all the headless people!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Hahaha! This is my mother in law today! She is so desperate for photos all the time and hasn’t taken a decent one in years-but we have to pose and wait (and wait) for her to figure out how to take a blurry, off center picture when 50% of the subjects are blinking!

    Liked by 1 person

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