Manners Matter: Camera Shy

Dear Mary Pat,

My brother never wants his picture taken. He’s in his early 20s and has been shy of the camera his whole life. It’s practically a phobia, and I can’t understand it. We don’t have any family photos together. Any picture we do have has his hand blocking the shot. So annoying and frustrating. It really bothers my mom, especially because there are really no pictures of him since he was old enough to put up a fuss. Our parents’ 30th anniversary is coming up, and my mom wants a photographer to come in to take pictures. I know it’s going to be a battle. How do I get through to him?

Sister Snaps
Algoma, Wis.

Dear Sister Snaps,

I suppose you won’t be able to do much about the day-to-day photos. If he doesn’t want his picture taken, you’ll maybe have to sneak the odd candid shot in or just accept it. As far as the family photo goes, though, I think your brother should absolutely participate. You can ask him to please think of your parents and how it would make them feel if he were to be absent from the photo. Gently remind him that his feelings aren’t the only ones that need to be considered.

Good luck,
Mary Pat