Save your friendships by taking your photos yourself

We all have that friend right? The one who either beheads you in a picture or maims you somehow.

I am super grateful to have friends that get me and are there for me, but sometimes those nice fluffy clouds of friendship blues are covered in red.

I find myself asking with a hint of annoyance “why can’t you just put “me” in the frame? or at least my include my whole head… It is especially annoying when its time to take them a picture and I go out of my way to get them a nice picture despite my own lack of photography skills. And then they gush about how great the picture I snapped them is. Makes me want to kick them to Timbuktu.

Suffice it to say, I realize that some of my darling friends are just a little bit challenged in that area. So I accept them and figure out how best to get my own pictures myself.

Benefits of taking my own pictures

  • I still have friends 🙂
  • My pictures are way better than they used to be
  • I am way more confident posing and taking pictures of myself, by myself
  • If the pictures are bad, I have myself to blame. And I typically don’t blame myself, I just take a lot more pictures
  • Time. I have time to keep taking pictures until I find the shot that I like without bugging someone else
  • I don’t have to wait for a friend to travel with because of pictures, I just pack a bag and leave

My Photography Toolkit

Phone – As I mentioned, I have no photography or fine arts background. What I do have is a “background” in Apple technology with a specialty in Iphones (read that as – I have an iPhone). And that’s it. No big camera (DLSR or SLR).

So I have the iPhone 11. And while it’s not top of the range it still cost me many night outs and shoes. I also skipped getting AppleCare on it, so if anything happens to my phone “I am on my own”.

As a new blogger and iPhone photographer, the first lesson I learned is my phone will fall MANY times. If this sounds like you, please get AppleCare. My phone is about 2 months old and while it’s still near perfect condition, anything can happen. Even though I was being thrifty, I got a Speck Presidio case designed to protect the phone from high impact (13FT) falls. I also got a glass screen protector from the Apple store.

Tripod – In one of my quibbles with a friend over a bad picture, I had framed the picture I wanted, marked where I was going to stand and then told her to come stand “exactly” there. All she had to do was stand with the phone and click… It didn’t still work out.

Anyway, I decided to get a gift for myself to enable me keep these friendships. And my answer was….. A Tripod. Having a tripod just makes everything so easy because you get to set it up the exact way you want it. Amazon has a plethora of equipment but I got two tripods that I describe later on.

Ubeesized Phone Tripod and Arkon Universal Smartphone Tripod

Remote shutter ($9.99) on Amazon has tons of these little Bluetooth remotes to help you capture your pictures. This allows you to take pictures without running up and down to set it up.

The Ubeesized ($29 on Amazon) one extends up to 51 inches but it collapses to about 11 inches. It is super portable. The pictures from my Banff and Lake Louise trip were all taken by the Ubeesized Tripod.

The Akron ($30 on Amazon) one is really small and has bendy legs and I have attached it to trees and branches for a different vantage.

Tripod on a tree branch
Tripod on metal barricade that protects windows
Tripod on the pole of the umbrella
Tripod on one of those black fences

Side note – I have being experimenting iPhone photography with the Halide app and while I cannot say a lot about it yet, I have noticed;

  • Its nice integration with my apple watch and I can actually see the images on my apple watch before I capture them on the watch or with the remote shutter.
  • It gives me an option to shoot in “raw”. That is photography lingo and I don’t know a lot about that yet.

I stumbled on this blog which has been super useful on iPhone photography.

The lesson I learned: Be grateful for friends that are ever willing to keep up with our occasional nagging. If you don’t like the pictures, then figure out how to take them yourself.

How do you take your pictures? Friend or Tripod? Phone or Camera?

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