“say cheese” Dad

May 28, 2015

“SAY CHEESE!”… and with a simple ‘click’,a smiling family moment is captured forever.

My Dad would say this whether he was the subject or the photographer at hand.  I thought he said this because he loved his cheese so much. (The oldest cheddar possible was always wrapped and quickly placed under the Christmas tree, tucked in with his birthday presents, and  often the add-on to his Father’s Day gift).

…Alas… I came to realize that everyone said this to generate the perfect smile. But where did this come from?

It is not 100% clear.  Some internet-delving shows that the earliest account of this expression appears in a Texas newspaper in 1943 when the former U.S. Ambassador Joseph E. Davies was asked why he said cheese for his own picture.  He replied with a chuckle: …”it’s simple! Just say cheese and it’s an automatic smile. I learned this from a politician,.. an astute politician… a very great politician….  but  I can’t tell you who he was…”. It is largely agreed that he was referring to Franklin D. Roosevelt (as Davies served under him).  How fun to connect the trivia dots!

I now look back at photos of the past and, like many, miss my Father’s strength, his words of wisdom, and his steadfast presence. But love goes on. And to all the Dads near and far… know that you are a true and powerful guiding force, you are loved beyond measure, and you will forever be with the ones who call you “Dad”.

Happy Father’s Day … and here’s to many “say cheese” moments!