No more smiles around the table

I’d like to propose an end to the around-the-table photograph. They suck.

You go to a restaurant for a special occasion, engage in lively and engaging conversation, enjoy good food and drink, and then someone decides that “We need a picture!”

Sure. That’s fine. But not around the damn table.

Of all the places that we could take a group photograph, why do we ask people to crowd around one end of the table, bending at impossible angles in order to face the camera and squeeze into the shot, thus framing the entire photograph with a table that is strewn with the detritus of dinner?

Why not a photo outside the restaurant, so we could at least identify the location years later?

Or beside the lobster tank or hostess station or even the space between the two restroom doors?

Anywhere but these bizarrely-staged photos of twisted bodies, craning necks, half-empty wine glasses, the mangled remains of lobsters and chicken and the annoyed stares of people in the distance as they are blinded by the flash for a third time.

I call for an end to this insanity. Who is with me?