I posted to Facebook about the pictures. This is what I said,
"If I post a photograph of myself please refrain from telling or asking me to smile. I could easily launch into a long emotional rant about this but really I shouldn't need to. Please show respect, and refrain from commenting if your only thought is that I need to smile. This is not directed at any one person. Commentary on this subject is not welcome."
I doubt this will entirely curb the behavior but having said something I will feel no guilt in deleting future comments and referencing that post if asked about it.
If anyone chooses to unfriend me over it, I'll get over it. I don't need that stress.
I was expressing to Mom a summary of what I said in the comments on yesterday's post. She hates having her photo taken and was sympathetic. She tends to have a pained expression in photos unless they are candid shots and she is unaware the camera is on her.
I can remember having to take photos for an art assignment of family members and being frustrated when the film was developed and every picture of Mom she looked pained or even a bit anxious. I asked her about it and apparently Grandpa used to fuss at her to "smile damnit!" which understandably put her on edge. I don't think she has ever really recovered from that pained "oh crap, not this" response to cameras.
As a result of her and others in my life I try to always ask before trying to take photos and make it clear that while I would like a photo, I will not be offended if someone says no.