Monday, May 18, 2009

How Old is that Photograph?

I came across a tidbit by Jay Nordlinger at National Review Online regarding photographs used to represent notable individuals:

At the Amman airport, there are pictures of the king, as there are pictures of him all over the country. In a couple of photos in the airport, he looks very, very young. Those photos should really be updated.

Reminds me of photos of syndicated columnists. They should update them, every now and then. Some columnists have photos that are ten, fifteen years out of date. And sometimes you get a real surprise from a concert or opera program — that is, when you compare a photo in the program with the person on the stage. A fellow critic and I had a particular chuckle, a few seasons ago: There was a paunchy bald tenor onstage; and in the program, next to his bio, was a slim, shaggy-headed tenor.

Why, you might ask, did this particular item catch my attention? Interestingly enough, it has to do with four priests.

The first is the pastor of the parish where we live. The Parish Center used to be the elementary school and is now used for meetings by different parish groups and religious education classes. Every classroom features portraits of the Pope, the Archbishop, and the pastor. The pastor's portrait, however, is from the early nineties, when he was an associate pastor at the same parish. He's a little older now. Some of the children have been known to ask who the man in the picture is, and are amazed when told that it is the pastor. It wouldn't be hard to update the picture. Just last year the parish published a new picture directory, which features a recent portrait. I suspect that the younger picture is how he wants people to remember him.

The second is a blogging priest. His blog profile features a picture of a youngish-looking man in a collar. His parish is not far from where we live, and we had an opportunity to go there earlier this year for a presentation on promoting vocations. The man's a wonderful guy, but I had to strain to see the similarities to his profile portrait. I was left wondering how long ago the portrait was taken.

Priests three and four probably aren't to blame for their out-of-date portraits. Both are columnists for our Archdiocesan newspaper. One is bald--he shaves his head and has for some time, but the portrait the newspaper uses for his column has hair. The absence of hair is a pretty striking difference from what you expect to see if you read his column in the newspaper. The other priest must have provided a photo when the newspaper first started carrying his column, and the newspaper has never changed the photo. I say this because we still receive the diocesan newspaper from where we lived when I was in the Navy, and that newspaper recently added his column. The photo that they used showed a much older priest, though clearly the same man.

I would be remiss if I didn't report my own out-of-date profile photo. When I first started this blog, it was close to Christmas, so I picked a profile photo that featured me wearing a Santa hat. However, the photo was from a few years earlier, when I was sporting facial hair. It wasn't long after that when I ran into an acquaintance who told me that he had thought I was bearded again. Now, I just use my Mii, and nobody can possibly expect me to actually look like that!

1 comment:

Father Schnippel said...

I've been meaning to get them to update my photo.... this gives me incentive.