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!


Riana Johnson said...

You're doing great and your self-taken photos are looking wonderful. I totally understand how you feel, though! When I was running my etsy store I often had a similar problem: to instagram-husband or tripod?? When I was using my tripod I would listen to music and dance. Oftentimes, those were some of my favorite photos! Good luck -- it does get easier <3

Fashion Schlub said...

Ahh, the frustration of getting photos! I also do not have an Instagram husband/boyfriend/partner, so mostly I pester friends and sometimes my landlady (!) to shoot outfits for me. Fortunately some of my friends know their way around a camera pretty well, but they all feel they "can't shoot people." So every photo session is a little mini lesson, which is fine, but time consuming...and I feel bad usurping their precious time as it is, so I end up usually not getting as many pictures as I'd like. Plus, I'm a photographer myself - so I have a specific vision for each shoot...concepts and composition, lighting, angles, etc...but those things are hard to impart to another person. I've tried the tripod/timer setup but damn i just cannot get the focus right...except in my living room where I know the exact distance from camera to me to get me in focus...and only when I stand in the exact same spot in each shot...and I really prefer a more free-flowing-moving-around type of shot...and I just really need another human being for that. Who understands MORE FOCUSING, LESS CLICKING! Sorry, venting. You touched on a sore spot for me :-)

I found you through the IFB Links a La Mode summer link-up thing.

Happy Photo-ing!


Natalia GutiƩrrez said...

My sister takes most of my pictures during the summer, but once she's back to school it is impossible to get ahold of her and my tripod comes with me. I feel awkward posing for no one too. In fact, I'd rather not take pictures of my ootds if there is no one available to take them.


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