Monday, January 5, 2009

A Word About Pictures:

A practice that has become almost inescapable of late is the request for a picture.

When my oldest daughter got married, it was not so common. In fact, unless the shidduch was out of town and one could not meet the prospective chosson or kallah, one did not ask for a picture. The shadchan might but not the parents. Today, it is almost the first question. Some parents and young people will not begin research without a picture of the prospective Chosson or Kallah.

Please realize that pictures unfortunately are not a true representation of the person depicted therein.

Forget about “photoshop-ing” a picture. There are so many programs to tweak pictures that any neophyte can make a mediocre picture look great. But that is not the main problem. A very pretty girl was going out, and on the second date the bochur told her she looked nothing like her picture. A picture is representative of a person, and it can be a true likeness as it was in this case. Even though he thought he was meeting a certain person based on the picture, in reality she was so much more and yet different in other ways. If you must request a picture and the other party refuses, do not throw out an otherwise promising shidduch because of it. And if you usually refuse to give pictures but your counterpart must have one, bend your rules and send one. There is a situation when we ask a bochur to travel to another city, or our child goes for a week somewhere just for the purpose of shiduchim and must prioritize who they go out with because of time concerns, in such a case a picture could have a place. Why invest time and money into a visit that will surely be non-productive. But, when you or your child sees the picture unless it is totally not a face you can live with, (beauty is in the eye of the beholder) please, please think beyond the first impression.


Anonymous said...

First you explain how a picture can be inaccurate, misleading etc. and then you say a picture sometimes has a place because why invest time and money into a non-productive visit.

That applies to any date! Even one that does not require an out-of-town trip. Any date requires an investment of time and money, as well as emotions. How can you endorse pictures in some cases and not others and give that as the reason?

Either the reason makes sense, in which case it applies to any and all dates, or the reason does not make sense.

Or am I misunderstanding you?

Basmelech said...

You have a point. The fact is that pictures do not have a place ever. But, it is counterproductive to give up a promising shidduch because of a picture therefore in certain circumstances when it is either look at a picture or no go, then give in and give a pic.
The example I have had experience with is an out of towner who refused to make the trip unless he saw a picture. For the sake of the shidduch (which did work out) a picture was shown.