This is a blog about why you shouldn’t do self-portraits or in my case, self-family-portraits! Hire a photographer, People! (I’m talking to myself.)
It’s hard to do that when you are a photographer. I’ve had a few photographers ask if I wanted to trade family shoots — photographers I’ve never met, but whom follow my blog (Hi, Guys!) — but I’ve always said no. I am definitely one who feels comfortable only on one side of the camera: the back!
Not surprisingly, I’ve taken our family portraits every year for our holiday cards. I bring my trusty tripod, a wireless shutter remote, and something to get the attention of my kids, like a DVD player or this time, Blue (the dog from Blues Clues). Unlike doing a shoot for my clients, I only wanted one shot. Just one. (For client shoots, my goal is to get 50-80 great, framable shots!)
Doing a self-family-portrait was a last minute idea because I had a photoshoot cancellation from my client being suddenly sick. Since this was my first morning off in months, I thought what better than to use the precious morning light for a photo of my own family?!!
The hour went by like this: bad to worse to miserable. It was the worst photoshoot I’ve ever had!
I figured, I can’t use these photos for my holiday cards, so why not blog about them. That way, the shots won’t be a complete waste. They can be used as a source of entertainment!
Problem #1: A Stationery Camera
With a photographer behind the camera, the camera could move to where you need it to be. Instead, I had my toddler monkey running up to the camera and touching the lens!
That’s me on the left. Yea, you see me smiling on the outside, but inside, I am crying!
Problem #2: No One To Control The Subjects
Hiring a photographer isn’t just about having someone who knows how to take a nice photo. It’s also about managing your subjects… coming up with ideas, getting the attention of the subjects, and sculpting your photo by talking to your subjects and moving the camera to the right light, composition and perspective.
This next photo has two obvious problems…
Problem #3: The Ambiguous Focal Point
No one knows where the focal point is since there is no one behind the camera! The result is a nice, blurry photo of us.
Problem #4: Who’s In The Frame?
Apparently, another family is, but we didn’t know since no one was facing that direction!
(And hey, is my husband making a chipmunk-smile? I’m contemplating if that should be Problem #5! Tee hee.)
Here are a couple wide angle shots that just crack me up!
My, That’s a Big Finger You Have!
And I am appropriately calling this photo…
That Kid Must Be VERY Smart With THAT Size Noggin!
FYI, the distortion was intentional. Ian was standing there and checking out his prized branch, while I was getting my camera tripod set up, so I played around with my wide angle lens until I got the distortion I wanted. The more distortion, the better!