What is it with boys and pictures? [Part 2]


{From our engagement picture session last year. Taken by our friend Vince Conn.}
When my brother came into town for a visit, I wrote this post about how boys obviously have a problem taking good pictures. (By "good" I just mean a nice, normal pose.) 
Well, this past weekend Jordan and I went on a little anniversary trip, and the issue resurfaced.

One of the most annoying things about being somewhere with only one other person is the lack of opportunity to take a picture that includes both of you. (This is, of course, only annoying if you're like me and carry your camera with you everywhere.) 
In order to take said picture, you're limited to 3 options:
  1. Ask a stranger to take your picture.
  2. Hold your arm out and take your own picture.
  3. Use your camera timer. 
Each of these comes with its own list of concerns: 

Option #1: Ask a stranger to take your picture.
List of concerns: Am I the only one who is secretly afraid the stranger is going to take off with my camera? I'm not even kidding. It crosses my mind every single time, and now that I have a "fancy" camera, I'm even more concerned. The other problem is that 90% of strangers don't know how to take a decent picture. Why is this? I admit that I'm a picture snob most of the time, but seriously. 

Dear strangers, 
All I want is a centered photo that isn't chopping off our heads and doesn't have your finger in the corner from accidentally covering the lens. 
I don't feel like this is too much to ask. Oh, and yes, you can zoom in sometimes. I don't want a photo that's mostly sidewalk from half a mile away. 
Thank you.

Option #2: Hold your arm out and take your own picture.
List of concerns: The cheesy let's-take-our-own-picture thing has already gotten old. Furthermore, this option eliminates any chance of having enough background in the photo to even tell where you are, and every picture looks the same. It's like I have fifty photos of us where it looks like all we did was change shirts. Added to that is the fact that most of the time someone's face gets chopped off or an unsuspecting stranger gets included into the photo on accident (see "what is it with boys and pictures?" part one).

Option #3: Use your camera timer.
List of concerns: Let's be honest. This usually either fails completely or takes no less than five tries, during which time Jordan gets sick of posing and starts complaining. There's also the issue of finding a good spot to place the camera so a) everything is centered and b) your camera won't fall and break into a million tiny pieces.

And so, this trip I added my own creation--Option #4: have each person take a picture of the other person. 

Obviously this is not ideal, but sometimes it's the best you can do. Here's an example of this method in use from our trip to the Oklahoma aquarium this past weekend:

Another reason Option #4 works (at least for us) is the fact that Jordan gets horribly embarrassed by me all the time. Me asking a stranger to take our picture is in the top 5 on his list of "Things Amanda Does to Embarrass Jordan." This way, we don't have to involve strangers in our picture taking. 

But I digress. 

After the aquarium (which will be a post of itself because the pictures are cool), we ate dinner then got ice cream and sat outside on a bench to eat it. At this point, I pulled out my camera for my second attempt at newly created Option #4 (ie. take pictures of each other).

The first shot of me looked like this: 

Not great, I'll admit. 

This is the perfect example of why you need to be conscious of your chin height. Lower your chin. I tell people this all the time, and that's why they make fun of me for being too serious during picture taking.

But, again, I digress. 
This was shot number two:

This one is better. I clearly have the chin problem corrected. But in my opinion I've got too much of a I-am-posing-for-this-picture look, which I didn't like. The smile's obviously fake. Also, okay, not a deal breaker, but this angle is not catering to my good side.

Enter photo number three. The big winner.

If I may, this one's not bad at all. Chin down, cheesy posing smile averted. 
And...my good side!
NOTE: it took me three tries to get a "good" one. Three. 
And even my first two could have passed as a decent shot.

Then it was Jordan's turn, and again I had to ask, 
What is it with boys and pictures? 
I mean come on. This is what I am dealing with:



Even more suspicious???

Creepster stare.

Okay, this one just plain weirds me out. How is he doing that with his eyes?

I finally got this out of him: 

**Please don't forget to note the mutton chops and soul patch. 
And he thinks he's the only one who gets embarrassed?**

To sum up, I'm still debating about whether or not Option #4 is a viable alternative to this two-person-picture-taking dilemma. I've realized that it might just be faster to take my chances with strangers. 

Emily said...

I struggle with this everywhere we go. We have mastered to selfie - but sometimes you're right you want more than a cute head-shot. Strangers usually take a photo of the sidewalk, zoom in so close that it's just disgusting.

I have so many pictures of an uncooperative Steve - except he is the one to ask the stranger and I am the one who gets extremely embarrassed.

JackieShoemaker said...

This is so true! Every time I have a stranger take a picture I think of European Vacation, and how the Griswold's camera was stolen when they asked a stranger to take their picture in the fountain!!

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Ashley Chappell said...

I love it! And it is so true - I have a number of male friends who are completely incapable of smiling naturally for a picture without throwing in a last minute spaz-out. Heaven forbid if there are several of them in it together...

Anonymous said...

This post is HILARIOUS. So hilarious that it spawned a companion post on my blog. Check it out.

On taking your own picture... the part about it looking like all you did was change your shirts cracked me up. And is all too true.

One caution on the chin-lowering technique. You must be sure that the lowering of the chin is not done SO much as to create the double chin. There's a balance. Find the line and toe it!

I love that it took Jordan twice as many times for a decent pic as it took you. But I have to say, the other ones are hilarious enough to save...if for nothing else than your blog readers' amusement.

Great post. I suggest dragging a friend on all outings with you. A friend who does not get to be IN the pictures but is required to take all the pictures. Perhaps your friend Jeff Peerman would be a good candidate for this? Just a thought...

If nothing else, you can have kids and train them to photograph you properly.


Jess said...

Okay, first of all, I agree with Audra...this post is hilarious! I laughed out loud at the Creepster Stare.

Secondly, take it form someone who has been married to a boy for 10 years--it doesn't change!! If anything, it gets worse. Lately, he has been freaking out when I tell him I'm going to ask someone to take our picture. Really?! BUT, I will say that I've learned to laugh more often than I get frustrated over the past few years. I mean, it IS pretty funny when V photo-bombs with his evil chipmunk face. He does far too many other things that irritate me more than being a goofy picture taker. ;)

And, third, we started doing the take-pictures-of-each-other-thing a while back, too! I think pictures of places are boring if people aren't in them. So most of them are me (or me and babies) posing. I have to MAKE him do it if I want him in it. Although, I will say, babies are a good way to make boys take better (cute) pictures. So you have that to eventually look forward to. :)

Amy Nielson said...

haha, at least you got some smiles! pictures with Sam is like PULLING TEETH! i feel your pain.