tips for getting in the shot {embrace the camera}

Emily Anderson and I are joining up again this week to encourage others to ’embrace the camera’. You can find out more about past Embrace the Camera weeks by clicking here. Basically, it is the idea that a lot of us hide from the camera for reasons like we don’t like how we look or we feel awkward or whatever. BUT when we look at pictures of those we love, we see them not their flaws. I want my kids to have pictures of me from their childhood. I love looking back at pictures of my parents and grandparents from years past. I want my kids to have that too.

When Emily asked me if I was ready for another round, I agreed, but with about as much excitement as I feel for trying to find parking downtown in a city (which means ZERO). Here is the deal, the week before I gave myself a personal challenge to try to take a picture once a day of me and my guy and it didn’t go so well.

I had visions of cute picture of us as a couple. That doesn’t work when you are both in paint clothes all the time. I also learned that I tend to bug my eyes out or cut my face in half when assigned the task of posing for a picture.  Sure Emily, I would love to put myself through that again.

3.16embrace-2I also tend to crop myself out of photos. I include just enough that I know it is me, but not enough to really be IN the shot.

3.16embrace-5I am actually not all that bad about taking pictures that include me with my phone. I am terrible about taking them with my DSLR. So this week I am going to focus on my DSLR not my phone.

My other struggle is I don’t feel like I do much that is ‘photo worthy’, which is ridiculous since I think everything my family does is worth capturing. Yesterday we tore the final pieces of carpet out of the upstairs. I had planned to fix my hair a little and pose with the kids for picture, but then I decided I wanted to just capture what my kids see. My kids (and friends that randomly stop by) won’t remember me with fixed hair and a cute outfit. They’ll remember me with paint on my hands, a hole in my jeans and probably some dust in my hair.

I think my kids will look back at this and laugh with each other, re-telling stories of how mom could never not have a house project going on.

3.16embrace-9After the carpet was out and painted baseboards were drying, the boys and I made cookies for my grandparents. I stepped back and got my camera settings correct and then asked Chris to come snap a few shots of me with the boys. You can’t see my face, but there I am…in a picture…doing life…with my kids…(without bug eyes or my face cut in half!)

3.16embrace-6I got a couple of requests on Instagram to share a few tips for how to step out from behind the camera and get in front of it. So, here goes.

SOMEONE ELSE: I either put my camera on full Auto or I get all the settings how I want and then ask someone to take the shot. I also try to be very descriptive of what exactly I have in mind. Poor Chris.

TIMER: When taking shots with my DSLR, I set the camera where I want it and then focus where I am going to be in the shot. Once I take a few practice shots to make sure the settings look good, I turn on the timer. Then I focus again and press all the way down to start the timer. Then I step into the shot in the area that I focused.


Below are several other ways I get in shots, primarily with my iPhone.


Top row:

  1. I found the angle I wanted and then did my best to describe what I wanted to a friend. She was using my iPhone and I had her stand in the spot I wanted and told her not to zoom. This could be misunderstood for being very bossy, but I did it with a nice voice 🙂
  2. I used a Belkin remote & my iPhone for this shot (but the camera app with the remote does not work well in low light, I’m not a big fan of it)
  3. I had my daughter stand still and I walked across the sand from her. I propped my iPhone against my jacket and set the shot up how I wanted. Then I used the timer on the Camera+ app. I set the timer and ran over to her to start spinning. I got lucky that she was right over the sun when the timer went off.

Middle row:

  1. This was a dslr shot. I set the camera on a ladder across the room. I took a few shots of Chris while I was getting the settings and focus where I wanted. Then I set the timer and stepped into the shot with him.
  2. I handed my phone to my oldest son and told him to take a picture that included the bottom of my boots and both of the chickens legs. I find if I can give my kids exact places to crop, they usually do a great job of following those kind of directions.
  3. Chris took this with his iPhone.

Bottom row:

  1. The boys piled on top of me and I stretched my arm out with my phone as far as I could. I used the back facing camera so we could see if we were all in the shot.
  2. Chris took this with his iPhone.
  3. I held my phone out and tried to keep the arm that held the phone out of the shot.


Unlike when we we did Embrace the Camera in the fall, there will not be any prompts this week. You can take a photo every day or just 1 this week. The main point is instead of staying behind the camera, challenge yourself to get in front of it. I am going to focus on doing this with my dslr, but you can stick with your phone or whatever camera you want. I’m going to try to do it each day, but if I forget I won’t be taking a selfie at midnight just to check it off a list. I’ll share my pictures here this week and I’ll also try to remind you to embrace the camera.

If you share a picture on Instagram, be sure to include the hashtag #embracethecamera



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