Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Self Portraiture: A Cautionary Tale

I am the shutterbug of the house. At all times I have two cameras on the ready. Should Ember do something new and/or adorable, I can easily pick one up and capture it. Andrew, on the other hand... it's as if taking pictures just didn't occur to him. This means, I am not all that present in photos. Looking through the album of a recent trip to Vancouver, I only exist in family self portraits.

Self portraits are when Andrew or I holds our little point and shoot out in front of us, and capture the subjects, shoulder up. We have been doing this for as long as we have been together, so it's kind of become our thing. 99% of our family pictures are captured this way.

We have a camera that makes this practice much easier. However, despite the swivel lens, perfect pictures aren't a surefire thing. Sometimes family pictures go downright awry...

On a hill, I recommend putting the stroller brakes on.
Otherwise, your photo could turn out like this:
Andrew leaned a little too heavily on the stroller and away we went. The pro photog in him managed to capture this error.

If your child is like ours and is sometimes more interested on what is going on around her than smiling for a picture, I recommend the following technique:

Have all the subjects look in a different direction, so it appears as if your child is playing along. Of course as soon as you implement this, your child will smile beautifully for the camera.


Hold the camera at eye level or higher to avoid excess chins or you may end up with something like this:
One person looking up and squinting while the other pulls her hoodie up over the offending chins and cries in disgust.
(This is an oldie, from before Ember's time.)


It advisable to have the person with the longest arms take the photos. This will ensure that everyone makes into frame. Unlike this: It could have been a good photo.

In following these simple guidelines, you too can snap beautiful family photos to adorn your walls, or simply make you smile.


  1. These are awsome Sarah!!!! Don't we all have a ton of pics like this!!!!! Awsome family treasures!!!!!! I just love reading your blog!!!

  2. I love this! And I kid you not, one of my postings in the works is a "bad and crazy photo" post! I wanted to capture all those photos that don't make the grade for one reason or another, but are still worth a laugh!
    So fun!

  3. Kristin, I look forward to seeing your pictures. I'm sure all families have photos like these tucked away in a "vault", but there ARE so good for a laugh.