….because that’s what I look like, right?  I look like a cross between Ansel Adams and Georgia O’Keeffe.  So I’ve been asked this many times before.  Let me let you know how this is going to go down. You’re going to see me across the restaurant carrying four hot plates in my hands.  You’re going to wave me down, point to your iPhone 3GS that sports a broken glass screen, and you’re going ask me to take a picture for you.  You’re not even my table but I’ll have to demure.  I’ll drop off the plates I have and approach you and say, OF COURSE, OF COURSE I’ll take a picture of you, your husband with the vacant stare, and your two hipster kids who are wearing about six pounds of rubber jewelry on their scrawny arms.  OF COURSE I will.  So here’s what you’re not going to do.

You’re not going to all stand on the railing with the sun to your back.  I’m no George Eastman Kodak but I know that if all the light is behind you and none of the light is behind me, the picture’s going to be too dark and you’re going to ask me to take the picture again while acting like, somehow, it’s my fault that the picture didn’t turn out well.

You’re not going to leave your phone in video mode.  If you do, I’ll record a video of you.  Yes, I know how to switch it to picture mode and no, I cannot possibly be bothered to switch it.  Firstly, using your terribly outdated phone hurts me.  It hurts me more than when guests ask to have their Chardonnay chilled to 31 degrees Fahrenheit.  Secondly, do you really want a 3.2 megapixel picture that captures all of your sun damage, botox injections, and hair plug implants?  Is that what you want to remember from tonight?  I suggest you remember the food and nothing else.

You’re all going to look at the camera lens.  It’s very simple.  A six month old baby can do it.  A dog on Valium suspended from a complicated system of ropes and pulleys can do it.  Please, just look at the damn camera lens for three seconds so I can take your freaking picture.

You’re not going to ask me to take pictures with two different camera phones.  No no no no NO. Trust me.  Two camera phones are not going to make you look any less like a real life version of the characters from A Family Guy.  Two different photographs from two different phones will not, somehow, stop you from being hunted down by the members of X-Factor for being mutants of the human genome.  Simmer down and get organized for ONE picture.  Email that picture to the other members of your brood.  Simmer down and finish your Ranch dressing with a side of Cobb Salad.  Please.

Finally, once the picture is taken, I’m done.  I’m outta there.  You are not even my table.  YOU ARE NOT EVEN MY TABLE.  I saw YOUR server walk by us three times now and he/she didn’t even take over the camera taking duties.  This is the same server who NEVER does any roll-ups.  How is it possible that I’ll have 40 guests but end up doing 120 roll-ups?  My guests are not using three roll-ups each.  Some of them use all their silverware to eat bread but they’re not using three roll-ups each.  Anyway, there are three rules about picture taking.  The first is, “There are no do-overs.”  The second is, “There are no do-overs.”  The third is, “There’s NO FREAKING way I’m taking another picture of you because one of your guests was in the bathroom and missed the first picture.”