Photogphobia: The dark side of media saturation

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Chris Rock makes many poignant observations in his standup acts. One of my favorites is when he noted that people in Rwanda don't suffer from lactose intolerance. The point made is that Americans have unusual problems as a result of overconsumption. I found an interesting parallel this morning when I was browsing the photographer wanted ads on Here's what I found:

Fear of Photography
OK, I have a weird problem. I admit it. I am terrified of having a picture of myself taken. Video cameras, surveillance cameras, cell phone cameras. You name it, I hate it. I very nearly have a mental breakdown every 4 years when the drivers license is renewed. I haven't been out of the country in 10 years because I can't handle having a picture taken for a passport. I've left places that I paid to get into if I notice too many cameras around.

Now up until this point in my life I have just dealt with this and suffered silently but I am getting married next year.
I could just run down to city hall in my jeans and that would be the end of that, but I want to get dressed up and have a pretty outdoor ceremony. What is the point of doing all that if no one can take pictures? Plus, I'm the bride. What, am I going to tell people - they can take pictures of everything else but me? I need to resolve this problem asap. Does anyone know of a psychologist or psychiatrist who can help me? I'd love any sort of advice from someone with a similar problem or has dealt with this on a professional basis.

Brides and models pay me a lot of money to take as many pictures of them as possible, so it's a little mind-bending to consider someone actually being afraid of having their picture taken. I started doing research into the fear of photography and came across an interesting forum discussion on photography stealing a person's soul. I'd love to offer some helpful advice to this poor woman, but I'm at a loss. I considered the suggestion of using a long telephoto lens so there's some distance between her and the photographer. I also considered the idea of using a right angle adapter so that the camera wouldn't be pointed at her, but I have a hunch that those suggestions won't resolve what's at the core of her fear.

If you know of a resource that may be of a help, I'll gladly pass it on.

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