I thought long and hard about most of the items on my List of Things i would like to do before my next birthday. I wanted to make sure that it was a good list, a list of things I really wanted to do. A couple of items, though, were added on impulse, without much thought. Number 32 was one of those. I added “Take a self-portrait that I like” without too much thought. i don’t usually like portraits of myself and I thought that it might be nice if I could take a picture of myself that I could be proud of.
When I actually tried to take a couple of self-portraits, I started to think that it might have been a mistake to add this to the list. Teens take adorable self-portraits all the time – even with just a camera phone. They seem to just hold up the camera and snap and they have a gorgeous shot to post on Facebook. When I tried to position the camera, it was not so easy. I kept getting only part of my head, or mostly the ceiling. In photos where my face actually showed, I did not like the way I looked. Hmmm, a problem.
One day, John and I went to the Maplewood Rose Garden to take some photos for a scavenger hunt. I had an idea for a self-portrait. I thought that if I could focus on a rose and put myself in the photo, I could use the self-portrait for the clue “Smell.” I could imagine, in my mind, just the picture I wanted. I tried to set up a flower, myself, and my camera just right. I took a couple of shots and had to laugh at the results. Even on my little camera screen, I could tell they were not right. I wondered how the teens take those pictures with themselves nicely centered.
I decided to keep trying. I experimented with different camera positions and finally had a few shots that I thought might work. I was excited to upload them and take a look. When I did, I found one picture that I thought I could work with. I played with the image a bit and ended up keeping the rose pink and making the rest of the photo black and white.
I like it. The pink rose takes the emphasis off of me, but you can still tell that it is me in the photo. I think it looks peaceful and pretty. Hooray. I can cross Number 32 off the list. And I have a nice photo to put on my Facebook page.