A Personal Challenge

Sunni: Beautiful, Classic Style

I have to admit that I’m in awe of a lot of my fellow bloggers.  The ones who post beautiful outfit posts; whether for MMM or just as finished item reveals.  As you may have already worked out, I’m pretty rubbish at this.

Mela: Vibrant and Happy

The big factor in this is that I’m kinda shy.  I’m not great at putting myself out there unless I’m comfortable in a situation – so I’d be the blogger at a meet up hanging around the periphery wishing she had the nerve to be right in the middle.  At the same time worrying that people thought I was anti-social or standoffish, or as I’ve been accused in the past, when I’ve done more watching than participating, as snobby (this was nothing to do with sewing, may I add.  I know you guys would never come out with something like that.).

Oona: Just Wow!

What really got me analysing the lack of photos for MMM was this gorgeous post by Mela.  Her photos are always gorgeous and she always looks happy and relaxed in front of the camera.  I would much MUCH rather be behind it.  So I asked if she had any tips and she kindly replied.

“It really helps that I am such a ham. I love taking photos! It also helps that my husband is the photographer and I am most relaxed around him.

Don’t laugh, but I do take A LOT of photos playing around with angles. The photos come out well most of the time. But when they don’t it’s often because the lighting is off or we can’t figure out the right camera setting. Lighting is everything. If the light is soft (like on a cloudy day) my face doesn’t come out as harsh and the garments come out better in focus and more vibrant.

Play around in front of the camera. That will help you relax in front of it.”

Scruffy Badger: Photos Full of Personality

This all makes sense.  When I’m taking photos of others I take loads to make sure I get the image I want.  I check the light and try a load of different angles.  Technically I KNOW this stuff and apply it all the time.  What I don’t do is apply it to photos of myself.

Stitch and Witter: Winner of the Brave Photo Award

Being honest, I think Husband is as likely to get involved in a photo shoot for my latest Me-Made as a pig is to soar through the sky.  He only just found out I have a blog (despite being here for over a year – must have a blogiversary party!) and seems to find the whole blog thing funny.  He constantly takes the juice at my blog reader of ‘knitting friends’.  Which hacks me off but as you can guess, I ignore. 

Casey: Always so Elegant

This makes him sound like a complete git, and whilst he has his moments , he truly isn’t.  He uses ‘humour’ to deal with things he doesn’t understand – always has and always will.  He also has strong opinions about ‘quality doing time’ and as he works stupid hours (self employed) I can understand why his free time is precious.  Particularly time he spends with Boy.

Amy: Photos with Wonderful Atmosphere

I could be completely wrong though and doing him a great disservice and he may prove to be a very willing photographer!  As they say, if you don’t ask you don’t get!

Debi: Stunning Scenery and Style

The next step is to take more photos!  Whether Husband or friend is helping or its me and the self-timer or maybe a remote shutter release.  As I’ve already said being photographed is outside of my comfort zone, so I need to work at it until I am comfortable…  Oof, not a comfortable thought at the moment.

Meena: Queen of the Remote Shutter

To do this I’ll have to take the time to do it properly – not in a snatched moment here or there where it’s impossible to think about lighting or angles etc.  It must help to think about the shoot before I do it – try and plan the image I guess.

So, here’s my personal challenge:
1.  Ask husband if he’ll help take my photo for my outfits and finished items.
2.  Take loads more photos so that I become more comfortable.
3.  Take outfit pictures for the rest of May, starting tomorrow.

I don’t know which feels the most daunting at the moment!  But if it means that one day I can share photos like the ones above, I’ll be over the moon!

PS; I hope everyone will forgive me for using their images in this post.  If you would like to see the original article the picture appeared in, please click on it and it’ll take you straight there.  If anyone would like their image removing, please let me know and I’ll remove it.

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32 thoughts on “A Personal Challenge

  1. I was never shy or bashful but I hate posing for photos and it gets worse as I age. Just do it and show off your garments. Start with poses that are more about the garment and less about you. Just do it. you may never meet most of us and if there is ever a sewing get together you will find a shared hobby is a place where you are never aloud to hide in a corner. you might also look for a chapter of a local sewing guild.

  2. “Try and plan the image” Yes, yes, yes. I think my best photos have been the ones I’ve directed. Not to take away from my husband’s photography skills but he and I have different camera eyes. I like photos with different perspectives and he prefers shooting straight-on. You’ll soon get an idea of what you like once you play around with your shoots.

    Relax, pose and shoot! No one will be watching 🙂

  3. Good luck with your challenge! I’m still getting comfortable with taking photos for my blog too, though I am getting more confidence to try and employ a variety of facial expressions!
    Personally I prefer using a tripod and the self timer to take my own photos. My husband does offer but I find that he takes them not at the right level so perspective looks weird, or they are a bit fuzzy. At first you do feel a bit silly posing for no-one but you just have to pretend that the camera is someone you feel comfortable with and you’ll crack it over time, I’m sure. I’ve managed now to narrow down from about 20 self timed photos to just one or two – a big improvement!

  4. I like that you are challenging yourself. It really all comes with time. The more time you spend in front of the camera, the more comfortable you will become. I promise I was just like you not too long ago!

  5. Vicki, I have never enjoyed having my picture taken either – it is my least favorite part of blogging. Hubby is okay at taking pictures, but he mostly just takes the pictures without thinking about anything (except “when will this be over”). I have found that my favorite photos have come from going to interesting places (the woods in the fall throwing leaves about for my Pendrell blouse, standing calf deep in a lake 20 minutes away for a sundress, random gazeebo down the street for my tea blouse).

    Lighting is really important, I recently discovered that I love the way photos look when taken in the evening on our deck.

    I will also point out that some of these images you have highlighted from fellow bloggers are likely to be edited in photoshop or another program. I know for a fact that many of these bloggers play with their photos on a computer before posting them on their blog – which is why they always look so fabulous.

    Lastly, you do take good photos and your work is not rubbish. One of my favorite photoshoots of yours was your circle skirt where you had your son in a few of pictures. You looked very comfortable and happy in these pictures.

    1. Thank you Annabelle! I know Oona loves playing with photoshop, as does lladybird and I can see the merit of re-touching grown out roots 🙂 I guess it’s a comfort and confidence issue that can only be overcome with a bit of bravery to get the ball rolling and then some perseverance… Like you it’s my least favourite part of blogging…

      I didn’t mean to do my work down as I’m often really pleased with the items I make, I was rubbishing my self portrait history and outfit documentation! If I had a dress form it’d be the shinig star of this blog, lol!

      I like the circle skirt photos too, probably because I’d planned it to a certain extent and because I was laughing for a lot of it. Hard not to when boy was ‘racing’ with me against the self timer.

      1. I often edit with Photoshop as well. I don’t color roots or change building colors, but I do use “Actions” that give my photos different feels if you will. Maybe an airy feel one day and a vintage feel another. Lately I’ve been on a kick where I like really vibrant photos. And, I agree, lighting makes photos. I try to always take photos in the soft light in the evening (or morning for MMM).

      2. I definitely edit my photos if they come out too dark, or if the colors get washed out (which happens when there’s little light). But the photo you posted of me on this blog is all due to the lens. If you have a good lens and know your camera settings you often don’t have to tweak photos that much or at all.

  6. wow, can i ever relate to how you feel about being shy and disliking being in photographs. i, too, admire others’ blogs with fabulous and fun pictures, and i wonder how on earth they feel so comfortable in front of the camera. so far, i’m not brave enough to model any of my creations. maybe you’ll inspire me 😉

    1. Maybe we should be photo buddies?! It might be fun to turn it into a game… I’ll keep you posted how I get on though, Fridays photo is already planned with a colleagues help. Still got to sort tomorrow though!

  7. You’re not alone! I find this very difficult and I’m sure many others do as well. It’s so lovely seeing other people’s great outfits, gorgeous interiors and seemingly effortless poses, but then it often feels difficult to match up. I find it awkward to pose and the picture rarely matches my mental image of myself 😦 Like others have said, my husband takes my shots but often it’s difficult to get him to take the picture I want, so I too am thinking about going it alone with a tripod.
    From your last post, I don’t think you live too far from me – we could always get together for some trial photos one day!

    1. That would be seven shades of amazing! I hope your little one is letting you sleep a little? If its any consolation, Boy didn’t sleep during the day either – we figured he just didn’t want to miss anything!

  8. I highly, highly, highly recommend getting a remote trigger for your camera. I linked to the one I have for my Canon last week on my blog. It’s how I take most of my photos, and it really helps me take my time to get comfortable in front of the camera since I don’t have to worry about wasting my husband’s time for quick shots like those for MMM or for super staged shots like the ones for the SWAP contest. I get to see what works and delete everything else! I do drag my husband along for big reveals since it’s fun to get many angles and many backgrounds. The first five minutes of those shoots are usually filled with anxiety though as I try to get comfortable posing with him behind the camera (and often outdoors in public spaces!). I really do think it’s the most awkward part of maintaining a sewing blog. But, I also think it makes a huge difference in the end.

    1. I have to admit that I’m probably going to do that, save the crazy running against the beeper. It always makes me feel flustered and then half of the images aren’t in focus but you can’t really tell until you look at them on the computer monitor. Which is frustrating!

  9. Awww, thank you for writing this! I suffer from the same feeling sometimes. MMM has been a really good chance to push myself though, and figure out how I want to handle photos! It’s easy to look at other people’s inspiring picture and feel lacking… and when I’ve tried to copy their poses or styling, I just feel silly! For me, it’s really helped to have my hubby take the pictures every day, so that we both feel comfortable. He’s figuring out what I’m looking for, and that’s leading to better pics. One thing I really like to use is the infinite tirgger button, which lets you take a lot of frames right after another. The res is lower, but it helps me get a shot where I’m not blinking!

    Good luck! (And for the record, I think your photos are lovely as is!)

    1. Thank you for the compliment regarding my photos so far. I guess that once I’ve found a way of being me in front of the camera, it’ll help with the confidence and I’ll be happier with the final result. Fingers crossed!

  10. There is some good advice in the comments, & I think that shooting lots of photos not only gives you more chance to find one or two that you are happy with, but also gets you less self conscious as you do it more & more.
    I think it is worth finding out the spot in your house where the light is the best as you will also be happier with the end result, afterall it’s not always possible to get outside.
    I tend to goof around to combat my feeling of “presenting” myself as a poser…that’s how I’m self conscious. I use the self timer & a tripod, & one of my cameras has a custom setting which in theory could be set to shoot lots of shots one after the other (I set it for 4). When my man takes them he gets great angles.
    And lastly I use picasa to give the pics a bit of a tweak if the light is still to dark & to get the rounded corners I like. Sometimes I’ll give the colour the slightest boost if it has lost it through the distance & occasionally I’ll mess around with effects for only one of the pics I’m using, but not to the whole set as I want to represent a true picture of what I’ve made. Have fun! Your makes will always look better being worn by you 🙂

    1. Thanks for the wise words! I have to admit I’m finding it really interesting how different people manage to take self portraits and the level of tweaking that people feel comfortable with. I think (limited by what ever the photo programme on my ‘puter cand do) I may only play a little with the exposure and maybe add some interesring borders. I also love how people have different ways of feeling comfortable infront of the camera!

  11. Great plans, Vicki! You’ll be more comfortable with your pictures in no time! My current challenge is self-timed pictures. I have a few friends who do photography as their hobby, and on photo shoots with them it’s pretty easy to get good pics, they just press the button when a pose looks good. With the self timer it’s setting it, running into the picture, running to see if the pose is good, setting it again, trying another one… very annoying!

  12. Oh, I can’t wait to see more photos from you! I can understand how you feel uncomfortable with photos– I sure do! I get really awkward when I’m getting my picture taken, especially when my husband takes it (he likes to make lots of cracks about my outfit or how uncomfortable I look and I just get more and more awkward)! Terrible! I’m going to have to look into a remote trigger myself. 🙂

  13. Hi there! Just found your blog.
    I find this post really interesting. My husband is supportive and even reads my blog. The photos are now turning into a little joint project, which makes it more fun. He actually also checks out blogs I link to and we discuss what we like and think might work. It’s kinda fun and we are starting a list of ‘locations’. It’s stopped my blog being totally self centred and turned it into something he’s also interested in participating in – in an anonymous way!

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