What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Friday, August 14, 2009

Foto Friday

Lookie Here! A Foto Friday post is ACTUALLY turning up on a FRIDAY! Wonder of wonders!

Don't get used to it though~next week I have to skip out on the post (I have an excuse, really I do!).

I have pretty much exhausted my meager photographic-know-how so I think from this point on, Foto Fridays will happen as I think of more tips, as I answer specific questions, and eventually-as more of a challenge to extend myself into areas I am not so good at by creating a subject assignment (that you all can practice on too---please?!?).

This week's Foto Friday is in answer to several questions I have received about the pictures of MYSELF on this blog.

I had grand intentions to do a "photo shoot" and take some recent pictures of myself to show you (you know, REALLY good ones!), but alas, didn't happen. You get the leftovers molding in the Picasa fridge. surry

99.9999999% of the photos I post on this blog of myself are taken by, none other than....ME.

Here is why.

I am horribly unphotogenic. It's true! Matt even says so. When anybody takes a picture of me I look ginormous and swollen and...hideous. H.I.D.E.O.U.S
(One particularly heinous photograph had me in tears and Matt said to me "Sugarbear, you just aren't photogenic. You don't look like that in real life." Still to this day I don't know if that comment made me feel better or worse.)

But, it was the truth nonetheless.

What?!?! You don't BELIEVE me?!?! oh man.

should I?


ok. you asked for it.

(and that one isn't even the worst of it, because it still lives in Picasa and wasn't destroyed immediately.) There. I feel cleansed.

I feel it is necessary at this point to include this disclaimer: "I have a very low-tolerance high-powered ugliness filter on this blog and therefore, any photos posted of myself on this blog have made it into the "nice" category. All other rejects are quickly ripped and burned. Ugly photos WERE harmed in the making of this blog. Thank you."

My hideousness behind the camera is in part due to:

1) Me being uncomfortable in front of the camera so inevitably, I wind up making silly, uncomfortable faces without even realizing it.

2) At six feet tall, I tower over everyone so people who take my pictures get a wonderful focal point of my double chin.

And okay...because I am the rest of those things too.

BUT. I have good teeth. I have that going for me.

I hated pictures SO much of myself and felt SO bad when I saw them, that I eventually began hiding BEHIND the camera and for a (blissfully) long time, I never saw myself or my insecurities.

Then one day, it hit me like a mac truck. I am the one who is with my children every moment of every day. They wake up to me singing "Good morning", they go to bed with my tucks-in and kisses and I am the one who shares with them all the moments in between. Every day. And yet: there was no PROOF of that. No pictures of us together. I found that to be incredibly sad and tragic. I wanted them to have more than memories to look back on.

So I began taking pictures of myself again. And it must have worked alright because several of you have asked how I take "such good photos of myself".

Here is how.

1. I have really long arms.

2. I wrap my camera strap around said arm so that on the off chance that the camera being haphazardly clutched by three fingers ends up falling, my life will not shatter along with the lens.

3. I always hold the camera HIGHER than my head (even just slightly) and point down (just a bit). This helps to thin a face.

4. I smile. I almost NEVER take pictures of myself when other people are around, so I don't have to feel all weird about it. So a real, live, genuine smile can happen without me feeling like a dork.

5. I pull my chin AWAY from my chest. Not a lot. Not like a turtle or anything but even a bit helps to eliminates a double chin.

6. I take lots. When you are as unphotogenic as I am, one picture usually doesn't end in a great shot. You need several takes to find one that is suitable.

7. Most of the time I use my own finger to snap the picture but occasionally~ I use the 10 second timer and set the camera on a rock or something. That is usually when you can see more of me than just my head, or if I have more than one child in the frame with me. No one is watching, so again~no need to feel dorky running to the "spot".

Most of all~ you just need to DO it. Because your loved ones deserve it. Besides, they see you every day- flaws and all. And LOVE you despite them (if they even notice them...)

But if these things don't work for you~ just purposely obstruct a view....

...or make a funny face.

Then at least they will know you TRIED.


Peggy said...

I love it, Rebecca! Okay I do have some questions for you... What about us that have short arms? I'm all of 5'2" on a good day! I go from photos of fat double chins to looking up my nose.. We laughed at my self portraits as they were really close, henceforth the short arms...

I'll try to come up with more questions. OH, what setting do you use for your macro photography? I'm having problems getting the camera to focus. Or are you zooming in when you do you editing?

I love Corynn's bandaide, by the way. The poor thing. You should see some of the photos we have of the boys. You would think we beat them. They just ran into stuff a lot!!

Take care now,

Anonymous said...

I just want to say Thank You!!!!!! All your work has been a blessing to me. And to my family. I used to want to commit suicide everytime I looked at a picture of myself (pretty much still do) only now I think of what you say about not being in any pictures. Makes it hard to believe I am really there mother! Now I can try again. God Bless you all and thanks for the dehydrating, we are getting busy as we all should be. Never know what is just ahead! Mumofeight

Bonnie said...

You, my dear girl, are full of you-know-what.
Most people think pictures of themselves are terrible, I however have yet to see a bad picture of you. Not as flattering as others, well yes, but bad? Not hardly. You should see some of the goofy shots people have taken of me. They are burried in a box, under piles of stuff, so no-one will find them. Ever.
Matt needs to have his head examined if he says you're not photogenic.
BTW, did some of the pictures not show up? I see lots of blue boxes with question marks in them.

Dana said...

I've been a pro photographer for many years and I know from experience that 99.9999999% of adults hate photos of themselves.

Having said that, I always think the photos of you are BEAUTIFUL! You always look radiant and so relaxed in front of the camera.

Don't be so hard on yourself!!!


Rebecca said...

Peggy~if you have short arms just make sure your camera is zoomed all the way back. Stretch out your arms and lift them up a bit. That just means you get more close-ups...but you know how much I love closeups! (you can also just use the timer more often.) As for macro...I usually work on full manual mode but the close-up mode would work just as well. Someday I would LOVE to get a macro.

Sometimes I do crop a photo in Picasa and they automatically turn bigger. That is a real perk in my book.

Mumofeight~I do hope the suicide bit was said in humor! I firmly believe there is something beautiful about every person and often remind myself (and you ought to too)that I am made in GOD'S IMAGE and so I can't be so hard on myself. I remember realizing one day that whenever I complained about the way I look it was like spitting in God's face and saying "See?! You didn't do half a good a job as I would have done if *I* were making myself." Thinking of it thataway put things in an entirely new light. Besides~with eight children, I'd say you must be more radiant than most!

Bonnie~I am sorry if you can't view the pictures. Do you see ANY? There ought to be seven. I wonder how many other people are dealing with this same problem?? The truth is Bonnie---I have a very VERY successful bad-photo filter called "MY OWN VANITY" that will not allow any unphotogenic photos of myself in blogdom. So trust me honey~you ain't seen NOTHING. ;-)

Dana~thank you for your kind words. Any relaxed/comfortable vibes you are getting are from me taking photos of myself when NO ONE is around. :-) I appreciate your kind comment.

Amos said...

What do I think????

Well, that you look FINE on all your pictures...sheesh, I thought I was picky about shots of myself...I just might have met my match! :)

Thanks for all the tips! I will give it a go! :)

...they call me mommy... said...

Amos is my dh...I always forget to sign him out! HAHAHA! :P


Rebecca said...

Again I need to clarify~any photos I actually BLOG means I like them alright. It's the billions more I hide from everyone that plaque me...

Tracy said...

Rebecca, I'm the same way! I hate photos that others take of me, and so I take them myself. And I take LOTS and then I delete all but about two!

Bonnie said...

They're showing up today!

Miss Breezy Tulip said...

Rebecca dear, RYC: You'll have to wait, but I think you'll like it. Them.



Simply Vintagegirl said...

I do hope to see you in real life one day . . . then I can see what you really look like. ;)

Thanks for playing along and guessing . . . as Bre said, we think you'll really like our project!

And yes, I will be doing A Homemade Christmas again, I'm so glad that you plan to join me! Right now the plan is to have a once-a-month post for October - December. That way it's not overwhelming, but still lots of fun!

Emily Rose

Mom2fur said...

I agree with Bonnie--but I'll print the word you are full of...the stuff that makes grass grow green! (Okay, that's 7 words. You didn't really think I was going to gp-rate your blog, did you?)
With that perfect skin, that sunny hair and those gorgeous blue eyes...you are VERY photogenic!
Besides, those gorgeous kiddies have half their DNA from you, and they don't look like the offspring of the Bride of Frankenstein.

Peggy said...

Oh Emily Rose what is this about A Homemade Christmas??? It sounds so EXCITING!!! And you've gone to the Creation Museum... They opened it after we moved from OH but one day we will make it there. Its just a little bit of a drive right now. (we live in AK)

Wendy said...


Dana said...

You haven't posted in over a week. Everything ok?


Dianne said...

In my opinion, you are definitely photogenic and a lovely young mother! I'm 5'4", now 20+ pounds overweight and definitely NOT photogenic. I think I was in my youth...but then everything, including my face, started falling and it was downhill from there. I will try some of your tips. In the meantime, I'm always behind the camera!