Saturday, July 28, 2018

Not Taking Selfies: Learning to Take my Own Pictures

I've been blogging and Instagramming (is that a word?) for a while, but I'm not an actual professional. Photographers are not lining up to take my picture, oh no. And the people who do actually argue over who has to do it next.  

Some have an Instagram hubby. I have Instagram children. And, they're really quite good at it. They take direction well and even humor me by taking more than just one picture.  The oldest is well past his Instagram picture taking duties and asking him would mean taking some of his teenage criticism. My big girl does so with a certain amount of drama and sarcasm while my youngest prides herself on being able to get the shot in just three goes. She even counts me down...3, 2, 1.

Jokes aside, I owe a large part of being able to keep this blog and my Instagram running to their efforts and support (of course the hubby, too). That said, I had to make an unexpected return to Hong Kong and I've been without the crew for nearly a month. Aside from their emotional support, I've quite literally had to find another way to take pictures, too.

I remembered that my girl Beth of @bjonesstyle had done a YouTube video about how she takes her Instagram pics and quickly rewatched it to get some pointers from her. I also ran out to Stanley Market and found a neat little tripod with the bend-y legs that can wrap themselves around practically anything. After discovering a good self timer app (coincidentally the same one that Beth recommended), I set off to figure this whole thing out.

And here's what I've learned taking my own Instagram pics:

First --- I'm even more self conscious about using a tripod than I am about having someone else take my picture. I feel silly when someone is taking the outfit pic for me (it's the posing), but having no one to pose for makes me feel even more foolish. It's so ridiculous because I really could care less what others think of me, but somehow this makes me feel exposed or attention seeking.

Second --- Angles are important. To take a picture that is flattering, you need to have the tripod set up at about thigh/waist height. This isn't an exact science, but I've had most success with this in the last month. If I attach my tripod to anything lower, I look bottom heavy; any higher and I look short.

Third --- I need privacy and space (this one links to the first lesson). To get ready, to figure out the right angle, to try out a couple of poses and really move around to see what works. I hate people looking and I also hate having to dodge the people walking through my picture. But, this kind of applies when having my picture taken without the tripod, too.

And finally --- I kind of like having this tripod. I don't feel like I'm putting anyone out by asking them to take my picture. I can take my time and take as many pictures as I want without anyone getting impatient. If I start to feel bold, I can really work on my poses without worrying about anyone giggling at the ones that just don't work.

That said, it's super hard to pose for no one because there is no energy or chemistry. I worry that my pictures reflect that vacant feeling.  I hope they don't. I'll keep practicing. I'll be glad when my kiddos get back because I miss them, but I also like the taking my pics. But it's good to know that I have a back up when they don't want to do it.

If you're thinking about trying to take your own pictures, I'd definitely suggest using the Photo Timer+ app. It counts you down and gives you options for # of pics and delay. The other thing you need to remember is to definitely take LOTS of pictures when you start. You'll save yourself having to do it again. The Photo Timer+ app lets you take up to ten at a time.

Happy self timer tripod picture taking adventures!

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