March 1, 2013

Dear Frannie Friday--Self Phoblography

I've taken my own blog photos for almost two years now.  Even though it probably is easier to have someone take your own photos, I'm just not comfortable with it.  I always look awkward.  And it isn't easy. I work full time and have a family of five so I need to know how to take my photos on the fly.  I'm still learning the photography portion of the self-photo thing, so I can't really give much advice on the actual mechanical side, but I can help those who are interested on taking your own blog photos!

Rule #1--Be Prepared.

Be prepared, be prepared, be prepared.  I can't stress this enough.  When you have a limited time to take your own photos, which also means set up and take down of tripods and setting the, well, settings of the camera and scouting a spot and eyeballing, etc. etc.  The worst thing is going through all of the hassle that comes with being your own photographer and finding out you forgot your memory card.  Or your battery is dead.  For me, if I don't get my photos in that small window, that's it.  So here are things I carry with me when I anticipate taking blog photos every time:

An extra fully charged battery (or extra double AA's or what have you), a spare memory card, a remote (seriously, I don't know how I used to use a self timer) and my fully assembled tripod (aka with that little thingy that attaches the camera to the tripod).  

Rule #2--Explore.

I have opened my eyes to a lot more surrounds while driving since taking my blog photos.  Even though I usually take my photos in one of a dozen locations, they usually look significantly different.  Why?  Because I explore different spots of my spots, if that makes sense.  Start scouting nearby places.  You don't have to stick to the astonishingly beautiful landmarks, there are photo worthy locations everywhere.  I'm fortunate to live in a state that has lots of parks, bike paths and walking trails, but it's also cool when you can get that urban feel in an alleyway, a parking lot or on the steps of churches or libraries.  Don't be afraid to venture past your own front or back yard.  There's a lot of great places out there.

Rule #3--Don't be scurred.

Along the same lines of venturing out, just know that at some point you're going to be asked what you're doing by a passerby, at the very least.  I know it can be kind of nerve wracking to take your own photos in public.  In a sense, it is a bit of a spectacle to see someone posing in front of a tripod taking their own photos.  I will say that 80% of the general public won't say anything, though they might give you a once over.  But there is that other 20%.  Majority of those people will merely ask you what you're doing.  In this instance, you can feel free to use this opportunity to promote yourself and your blog.  A lot of other bloggers I've talked to about this suggest carrying your business cards with you while you take your photos.  It's a great idea and it really gives you a more of a business-y approach to what you are doing.  I'm usually caught without mine and I am forced to use the back up of either trying to explain what I'm doing in a very condensed sense or using a cop out (photography project or class is a good one).  And a small percentage of those people will say something weird or rude (I can't even backlink how many times this has happened to me), but this is a very small percentage.  Just ignore those people.  Trust me, the more you do it, the more comfortable you become with doing it.

Rule #4--Be comfortable and HAVE FUN!

Even though I don't seem to smile much in my photos, it's not because I'm in a bad mood.  It's just what I'm comfortable with.  And it works for me.  But do try to loosen up a little.  Find a fun pose.  Do a jump.  Have a seat.  Climb some stairs.  Make a funny face.  The great thing about taking your own photos is that majority of the time, you're actually by yourself so you don't have to worry about looking silly in front of anyone else.  So find a spot and a few poses that you are comfortable with and just go with it.  This is supposed to be fun, remember?  Your photos come out much more natural and down to earth when you are yourself.

Wool Trousers-Forever 21; Duster Cardigan-Kohl's; Brown Floppy Hat-Target; White Oxford Shirt-thrifted; Tie-Patrick's; Boots-Wal-Mart

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