Smile!

I used to be a photojournalist. Like others (I assume), I found myself taking pictures even when I didn’t have my camera. You know, “Wow, look at the way the sunlight hits that building!” or, “Look how those blossoms cover the ground like pink snow!” I became an observer; mostly of people. I liked to watch and photograph people.

I still find myself studying people, in particular their media personas. I am certain Tom Cruise and George Stephanopoulos wear hairpieces. I know from taking hundreds of headshots that men don’t carry that thick a head of hair up front at ages 45 and 47.

Willie Nelson never appears in public without something wrapped around his head…a sweatband, a hat or a towel.

You’d think billionaire, Sir Richard Branson, would have the chutzpah to face the camera. He almost never does, though, not in the electronic or print images I’ve seen of him, including this month’s Worth magazine. He almost always looks away from the camera.

Based on media personas, we have questionable candidates for president. Barack Hussein Obama seems to not quite be in the moment. Watch any video clip. He’s not quite in synch with the camera or the interviewer; it’s as if he were Photoshopped into the scene later on. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s ‘picture’ is audible. She yells. A woman in a male-driven society, she apparently feels she must raise her voice to be heard. Meanwhile, the Republicans have countered with that homophobic embrace between John Sidney McCain III and Dubya, captured on film and widely displayed.

If public persona implies leadership qualities, we should nominate small children to run our country and our companies.

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