Years ago I decided I wanted to be in all my photos with my pals so some kind orderly can eventually show doddering, 94-year-old me that at one point I had friends. I’m not good at asking for help, so instead of having other people point and shoot for me, I started taking them myself — and fell in love with the composition. For some reason, most folks stand 20 feet away when they’re taking pictures of people. Unless I’m stalking you or are keen to record what you’re wearing, I’m all about clear shots of shining eyes and big, happy smiles.
Thanks to Facebook (and press interviews in which I disconcert many by insisting on taking my own shots), for better or worse I seem to have become known for such photos. In fact, I’m often asked how I get them to turn out so well. Here’s how:
1) Stand next to your subject, heads as close together as possible. You don’t want the camera doesn’t split its focus or focus on a random object behind/between your heads.
2) Hold the camera in one hand, trigger finger positioned to depress the button, and extend your arm out, somewhat elevated, and angled toward what might be the centre point between you and your pal. I’m right handed, so I hold my camera upside down with my thumb on the snap button; doesn’t matter that the flash is thus “upside down” too.
3) Do not lean away from the camera — you’ll give you and your pal double chins. Bad. Instead stand straight and look up at the camera mostly with your eyes rather than tilt your face way up. Or both of you should lean forward a bit, chins slightly out and down.
4) Listen for the camera’s yep-I’m-focussed beep before pressing the button.
5) Take several shots — people are surprisingly patient when they understand you really want them to look fabulous in your photos. (It’s okay to care how you look, too — I have the dorkiest bangs in these photos, and it pains me some that I didn’t think to check ’em.)
I’m tickled that I have actual how-to photos to show you. At a recent shindig, my dear friend Alexis thought it would be fun to take shots of me taking my own shots with friends Tammy and Jacq. Thanks, Alexis — you were right! Fun!