I have to confess. I am terrible at something. Well, I am terrible at a lot of things, but in photography, there is something I really really suck at: self-portraits. Good thing no one will hire me to do a self-portrait!
So the other day, I needed to submit a headshot of myself to a company I work with (EM Marketing). “I can do a self-portrait,” I naively thought. Gah!
If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve read how I found this little project to be a form of torture.
Aside from preferring to be on the backside of a camera (thank you very much!), I also had the added challenge of needing a white wall as the backdrop. With 3 little kids and a lifelong love for Art, I have paintings, children’s artwork and photographs everywhere. The only blank white walls are in areas that receive little sun or have no space to put a tripod, like the stairs.
My only option was to remove a large canvas and STAND ON A COUCH! Why didn’t I just move the couch? Well… silly me. I thought it would take 5 minutes. *eye roll*
- I didn’t have space for a tripod because I wanted to use a long lens. (Hey, I need all the compression I can get, so I used my 85mm/1.4!)
- I couldn’t get my wireless shutter remote to work, so I had to use the self-timer button on my camera, which meant running back and forth.
- I needed to focus on an object and then stand in the exact place of that object immediately after pushing the shutter. Oy! Since I had to be so close to the wall, I used a large aperture to create some blur behind me. No one needs to see all the marks on my wall, right? That meant it was easy to be out-of-focus. In fact, I took about 100 images and only about 20 were in-focus.
- I was on a strict time limit. There was a cute little 3 year old who kept running into my frame or touching my camera/tripod!
- Did I mention that I don’t like being in front of a camera? Maybe I should have listed this as #1!
My Focus Object
This was one of my test shots.
I had to knock down poor Mr. Bear every time I hit the shutter. Sorry, Bear.
Behind the Scenes
I know this is a poor quality image. My 3-year old, Ava, stole my iPhone from my desk and started taking photos!
You have to give me ‘props’ for sharing this embarrassing photo, right?!!
1. Find a place with decent light.
2. Set your camera to manual focus. You will get the most control that way. Then focus on an object where you will be or focus on something in the same plain as where you will be.
3. You may want to dress in full (not just the top half), even if you plan on doing a standard headshot. *ehem* I can attest to that!
4. Set your camera to take multiple photos per shutter release. You can do this with most DSLRs under the Self-Timer menu. I set my camera to take 5 photos each time, with 10 seconds in-between snaps, so I can get in my next diva pose (yea right!)
5. Avoid doing self-portraits. Just kidding.
Phew, good thing this one came out blurry!
So why am I sharing all this with you?
There hasn’t been anything about my journey as a photographer that has CRACKED ME UP this much since The Worst Photoshoot Ever! I’ve always believed it’s healthy to laugh at yourself once in awhile, and I thought that you could laugh along with me.
And maybe for one or two of you, it would help to see that everyone has challenges and embarrassing moments. Everyone!