I don’t take a good picture.
I talked about it here in detail so this will surprise no one who reads here with regularity or those who follow me on my personal Facebook.
The only good pictures of me are those in which I took the picture myself or orchestrated the edit.
Meaning I said, LET ME SEE THAT and told the taker of said picture to take another one, delete the old one or just blow the camera to itty bitty pieces.
I am not photogenic and never have been.
When I got married two different times, my biggest fear was not tripping on my veil, getting my period on my wedding day or whether or not the minister would show up.
It was a simple fact that I had to get my picture taken.
Lots of pictures taken of mainly me was my biggest nerve wrack on those two days of my life.
I may have even sarcastically mumbled, “I just can’t wait to weed through picture after picture of me with my eyes closed, my triple chin, my crooked smile. Yay me. Pass the bourbon.”
So when I started writing a blog in 2010, I didn’t even think about pictures because see, WRITING.
It was after a few months of having the obligatory Blogger logo in where my picture should be, that I realized I should probably pop something in there.
I wrote a post about how little I know about blogging a few years ago here and shared how little I also knew about creating a good profile picture.
I used a picture of myself pregnant as my first ever profile picture…….
|I look high. And not off of those good pregnancy hormones either.|
…….two solid years after having the baby.
I don’t even know what to say.
The world’s first view of me as a blogger was eight months pregnant at my cousin’s wedding looking stoned.
I’ve even used a picture of my husband’s amazing chocolate chip cookies as a profile picture in 2011 to get out of showing “you”, “me”.
I WISH I WERE LYING TO YOU.
I was an amateur, yes, but I went to extremes to not take a picture of myself.
I know how I look in everyday life and I am happy with that.
If you would have run into me on the street in 2010, you wouldn’t even have known who I was because at the time, I was two years removed from pregnancy and wasn’t smoking a joint.
I figured I needed people to know exactly who they were reading.
Not some constantly pregnant lady who likes bold prints and ganja.
But I refused to have a professional take my picture because that’s like hiring a calligrapher to write your personal diary.
Plus I didn’t want it to look so much like a headshot, or impersonal because my blog is about being really real.
So I decided to take it into my own hands.
First, having my husband take my pictures for two separate profile pictures then turning to myself to do it because asking him to take 589 pictures was a little much.
Yes, it takes me that many pictures to find one good one.
It’s the least I can do for myself and for you.
It’s a public service, trust me.
This is all you will need to take your own head shot for your blog, your resume, business card or even for yourself because you are one sexy beast and it should be documented.
Your favorite camera
I use my seven-year-old digital camera to take my profile pictures.
I have used my iPhone camera as well as my big girl camera.
But it’s really hard to take a selfie with a big girl camera.
And it takes a lot more work to get the pictures from my iPhone via email to Picasa…..one by one instead of uploaded all together than it does from my good old digital camera, “Joyce”.
I’ve named my digital camera “Joyce” because she is so very underrated.
Much like one Joyce DeWitt of “Three’s Company” fame.
|courtesy of en.wikipedia.org|
Reliable, always there for you, you can always, ALWAYS count on Joyce.
But Joyce in real life and my camera just feels more like a Joyce than a Janet.
Anyway, Joyce’s character was always shadowed by Suzanne Somer’s character.
Just like my “Joyce” is always shadowed by the slutty iPhone.
|the buffalo check behind Ellie is my favorite blanket hung on the refrigerator in my kitchen.|
This could be a cool blanket you love draped over your refrigerator (did this for our Christmas card pictures, see above) or a cool front door you painted two years ago.
I use my green door because I love that damn thing.
I want to be buried with that door.
Slap me on that door and save the money on a pine box.
So I shall be photographed by my green door as long as the green door is in my life.
I also get great light in the front of my house where the green door resides, that is key to taking a great headshot.
|or wear a colorful green necklace to match the backdrop. I LOVE GREEN OKAY.|
Wearing clothing or not, it’s up to you although your blog might get blocked but let me know how that goes for you.
I usually choose dark or neutral colors because my backdrop is a bright green door.
I don’t want to outshine that beautiful door.
But pick something you love to wear or something that if you ran into a reader/friend/pastor at the supermarket that it would be realistic for you to be wearing.
IE- maybe not the time to wear the fur stole or the feather boa.
Unless you rock that every day and to that I say, you are the sh@#.
And I want to be friends with you.
By the way, I totally want to bring back the Glamour Shots of the late ’80s and early ’90s.
Maybe this is the year to do it……..
Below was my first “real” headshot that I took with the help of Joyce:
I picked this apart too…my hair looks fuzzy, I have lines under my eyes……but out of the 600 I took, this was one of three that I liked.
This was before I became best buds with Pic Monkey, though!
Now you can be your own professional photographer/editor with tools like red-eye reducer, teeth whitener, and even a nip and tuck feature to shave off the triple chin!
I haven’t done that yet because if I did, you wouldn’t even recognize me.
In fact, here is the same picture after doing some fun editing:
I have always wanted a purple streak in my hair so with this tool I can!
And so can you!
Pic Monkey will be your best friend in the editing process.
But before you get to the editing, you need to shoot some pictures.
Here are some tips:
– shoot the picture early midday
Not early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
This works out well if you are taking the picture in front of your door because no one is home in my neighborhood around that time.
There is nothing more embarrassing than trying to explain why you are taking 600 selfies in front of your bright green door at 11 in the morning.
Except to have to explain it to the FedEx guy.
|Yes, I have stood on a coffee table to get a better shot. You’d do it too if you looked like Al Capone in pictures.|
– take the picture on a bright day
Cloudy days are okay if you have to but the best days are when the sun is out but not clear blue skies.
This is why I usually take my pictures in the fall because we don’t see the sun much here from November until January.
Then we see it for like two weeks straight but I am coming off the ThanksChristmas food binge and don’t feel so much smiley for the birdie at that point.
So I wait until fall so the bloat is off and the summer glow is still kinda there.
– take a gazillion pictures and don’t keep looking at the camera while taking them
Meaning, check them out some 500 pictures later.
Change your position, look up, down to the side, smile, frown, make goofy faces.
One of them will turn out good, I swear.
I heard once, a long time ago, that before you smile for a picture, you should move your face all around to get the muscles loosened up.
That never worked for me but you give it a try and see how that goes.
The above picture was taken when I was trying to show a friend I had pink eye back in 2012/13.
And I immediately thought OMG I LOOK KIND OF CUTE AND WHIMSICAL IN THIS PICTURE.
So I used it for my blog, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook profile picture for like, a year.
Then my friends were like, “seriously we get it, you had pink eye, it’s creeping us out” and I took it down.
My idea of artsy creative and others are totally different.
If you don’t care what others think GOOD FOR YOU!!!
If you are me, however, ask your personal friends and family to be the sounding board.
But don’t get offended when they say, “what are you looking at?” or “Ummm why are you staring at my cat in the corner of the room”.
So go out there and take your own picture!
Don’t be afraid, I know you can do it!
Or come over to my house and I will take your picture in front of my green door.
I am sure I have some feather boa’s around here somewhere……that sounded a lot worse than it did in my head.