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You Asked: My Boyfriend Won't Let Me Take His Picture

You Asked: My Boyfriend Won't Let Me Take His Picture

Dear Sugar,

I recently went on an all-expenses paid trip to New York with my boyfriend, and it was great. However, when we were on our carriage ride through Central Park, my boyfriend refused to take a picture with me. Not only did he refuse while on this excursion, but he refused throughout the entire trip. I know he has nothing to hide; he just doesn't like getting pictures taken. I was so upset over this, and he just didn't care. He kept saying "No pictures. No way." We ended up spending the rest of the day angry, and he even threatened to get me an early flight back home. Any advice on this? We have had arguments about pictures before. He just refuses to let anyone take our picture. I really only have one of him since we have been together. Whats going on?

—At My Wit's End Emma

To see Dear Sugar's answer,


Dear At My Wit's End Emma,

I don't blame you for being upset. Getting your picture taken seems like such a normal thing, and it's a great way to celebrate your relationship and share it with others. Pictures tell stories and help us savor memories. Something tells me that there is obviously something deeper going on here.

I would definitely have a big talk with your man and get to the root of his feelings. Is he self-conscious about his looks? Is he worried that you're going to share the photos with people he doesn't like or know? Does he have an issue with getting his picture taken in general, or does he just mind when it's a picture of you two together? Is this a new relationship and he wants to wait until you've been together for a certain amount of time before you make the relationship official with a snapshot? It also may help if you explain to him why you want pictures of the two of you, or what you're going to do with the pictures after they're taken.

If he won't talk about this, you can try getting some info from his family, since this may have been an issue way before you came along. If you can't find anything out, and he continues to put his foot down about this, then you've got to figure out if this is something you can live with, or if you foresee this as being a huge problem down the road. Good luck Emma.


Join The Conversation
malsue malsue 8 years
my bf is the same way. We have been dating 3 years and it is like pulling teeth to get him to take a picture with me. I don't know what his issue is. He won't hang out with me and my friends, he won't come see my family. i half the time think he is hiding something, just not sure what it is yet. But my bf is the same way "No pics"
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I don't think it is weird that he doesn't like to have his picture taken. I don't like to have my picture taken and do my best to get out of it. What I think is weird is you got in a fight over it, actually it's not weird it's stupid. You know he doesn't like to have his picture taken so why force the issue. I went to Paris and I am not in one single picture and it doesn't ruin my memory of the trip at all.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
My husband hates taking pictures, in fact his whole family does. I realized this was a family issue when during our wedding photos with them NONE of them smiled. They all have self esteem issues, and take pride in making fun of eachothers smiles....Now my hubby smiles and is getting used to me taking pictures. I solved it by telling him to just go to town, take pictures of himself with every sort of smile, facial expression, and he can see what looks the "best"
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
Haha my boyfriend HATES it too. Like hates hates hates it. He'll get so mad if I try and sneak them too. I just respect his wishes (because hey I probably do some things he thinks is weird too) and try and get a pic every now and then when it's something important.
foxie foxie 9 years
Maybe he's secretly in another relationship and doesn't want any evidence of it floating around...
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
yeah some people don't like their pix taken (me included) but it seems strange that this is always the case with this guy. doesn't everyone have a pix of their partner in their wallet???? even if it's a year or 2 old usually you have a pix. i don't know, maybe he's in the witness protection program and can't risk it. sounds like a bit of a control freak.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
And while I think "I'll send you home" is a childish way to handle it, I can absolutely understand wanting to simply get away from the person, and quickly. If it had been days of being bugged for something after I'd repeated said no, I'd be the one on the early flight home, waving good-bye.
Greggie Greggie 9 years
I hate - HATE - having my picture taken. And the more people insist or say "it's just a picture!" the worse I feel. It's horrible when people condescend that way. It can be a valid phobia, and mocking it only makes it worse. I think it's really rude to push someone into it when they clearly don't want to. Personally, I say you need to decide if it's a dealbreaker. Can you learn to deal with it, or will it be a big enough issue for you to be unhappy overall?
mcreverie mcreverie 9 years
a lot of guys are like my experience, the 2 main reasons are: 1) they're secretly insecure about their looks and they think they look ridiculous in pictures, and 2) they think taking pictures are a girly thing and they feel effeminate when they have to pose i think the longer you stay with him and insist on taking pictures, he'll come around
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 9 years
yeahhh somethings up.. i mean. sure other boyfriends don't like pictures but see how everyone else says that every once in a while they let them take pictures? they don't say their beau threated to send them home. he sounds like he's got something to hide. I just gotta repeat what Almost Famous said earlier in the response. What happens if you get married? no pictures? YEAH RIGHT, who would agree to that?
Asia84 Asia84 9 years
Screw that, something is fishy . . . either he is hiding something, or he's super-insecure (i.e. not being photogenic, or not so attractive). the only time i ever had a guy not want his picture taken was with a guy that i date for 8 months; he never wanted to take pics, and then one morning a got a phone call- from his WIFE! he had 2 lives: a wife in one city, living in a house. and he got an apartment in another city. she found out because something came in the mail,and she did an investigation . . . i hope that this guy is just weird and not a total loser like the guy i dealt with.
kuikui84 kuikui84 9 years
It sounds like some sort of insecurity..I think you just have to dig in a little deeper.
sweetk8ty76 sweetk8ty76 9 years
My initial thoughts were that he has something to hide, but after reading the other responses I guess maybe a lot of guys are like that. We love to take pictures and frame them but I guess not everyone is like that.
EllaBella EllaBella 9 years
I agree with carak on this cause the first thing I thought is this guy has something to hide... Maybe he doesn't want you to have any evidence of your relationship??
mlmoreno47 mlmoreno47 9 years
My boyfriend takes pictures but always makes a stupid face or looks away on purpose which is sometimes even worse than not taking them at all because he is ruining them and I have to look at them all over again!
Lilhighlander Lilhighlander 9 years
I guess I would initally think this is totally sketchy and I can totally see why you fought all day. My husband hates to have his picture taken, but will give in for me. He won't let anyone else take his pics, but I can. But, the pictures are one thing...threating to send you home is another. I'd think seriously before getting too serious with this dude. Shutterbabe...Awesome idea!
watereatsrock watereatsrock 9 years
My boyfriend also refuses to take pictures!!! On very rare occasions I will get him to take one of the two of us, but for the most part I just get pictures of his hands. I think that you should just leave it alone...eventually he will come out of his shell..but only when he is ready, and if you push he will never be ready.
lilwildone1202 lilwildone1202 9 years
my boyfriend doesnt like taking pictures for no reason. if we're out somewhere then yeah he will but if i've noticed there aren't any new pictures of us he'll be like ok we'll lets go somewhere... i have lots of pictures of us though...more than enough actually. altho the other way i figured out how to let him take pictures is to give him my camera and let him take candid photos and then he'll loosen up. he is kind of self consious about his smile (he thinks when he full on smiles he looks like an old man). but he isn't as bad as the person in the question
carak carak 9 years
maybe he's married and he doesn't want the picture spread around social networking sites and his cover blown.
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
That is sooo sketchy.
groem6 groem6 9 years
ufshutterbabe, thank you for an amazing idea! I have almost no photos of me during my younger years after I got old enough to refuse to stand still for my parents to "shoot" me, and the only pictures I have after turning 20 (I'm 30 now) except for 1 are pictures I've taken myself. I absolutely hate cameras, at least being in front of one! Even if I'm not a vampire nor a criminal wanted by the police.. ;) I'll start taking foot photos from now on. Having been places and done things and not having anything else but pictures of the others, gives no clue that I was ever there. From now on, I'll be in pictures! (My feet, at least)
lilegwene lilegwene 9 years
My fiance was the same way! Didn't like his picture being taken at all. However, when we went to Paris I forced him to take a few pictures. I think he's in less than 10 total. Recently, I brought out the album I made from our trip. He hadn't seen it yet, and he loved looking at the pictures! He kept bringing up little stories and anecdotes of things that had happened or things we had seen that were brought to mind by the pictures. When we were done going through them, I was like "Are you glad I took those pictures? In future trips, I can take less because I know how much you don't like taking pictures..." And he was like "No, I just don't like seeing myself in pictures. But, I see your point. I am really glad you took these, and I will pose for pictures in the future." So, it worked out for us! Maybe something similar will work for you? I understand not wanting to be in tons of pictures, but one every once in a while at a memorable or monumental time in your lives should not be out of the picture! ;)
ufshutterbabe ufshutterbabe 9 years
Poster of a Girl & FadedBlue - Thanks! I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with the guy for the picture thing - Seems kind of harsh to assume he's a pyscho for it. I'm wondering if it could be a cultural thing, some are less comfortable with being photographed than others.
remedios remedios 9 years
He's either a criminal, a psycho privacy freak that needs to be locked up, or a baby.
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