My Nonphotographic Ways

I begged my parents for my first camera. Those were the days when you couldn’t tell what photos you had taken—until they got developed. I’m pretty sure 99% of my shots were worthless. In fact, here’s an example of one:

I believe I was trying to capture an interesting insect swimming in the water.

When digital pictures came along, I was so happy. Now I could see exactly what I was taking—and more importantly, delete them. Sadly, my photography skills haven’t improved much over the years, but at least I can delete the telling evidence.

Another photography skill I haven’t quite mastered is the selfie. Maybe it’s because I don’t have very long arms. Or it’s because I can’t remember how to angle the camera or how to execute a flattering pose. Usually, I have to convince a poor bystander to take a photo for me. (Even though I thought they were silly at first, I’ve been slightly tempted to get one of those selfie sticks.)

Let’s see if I can figure out how to use my phone’s camera…

Although I haven’t gotten the hang of a true selfie, I’ve recently turned to taking drinks selfies. That’s right. Instead of pictures of me, I take pictures of what I drink. This has been very handy as I’m approaching the release of Death by Bubble Tea on July 5. For fun advertising purposes, I’ve been taking lovely bubble tea selfies:

The drinks practically photograph themselves!

How would you describe your photography skills?  

36 thoughts on “My Nonphotographic Ways

  1. Looks like you’ve got photography down to a T, Jen!
    We’re not picture people at our house. I was saying to my wife just the other day that I wish we had more family pix. We don’t even have a lot of wedding pix. On vacay, I’d be the photographer, so I’m in almost none of those pix.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Tom.

      We have a bunch of digital family pix but wedding photos are in an album–which we should probably look at more often. (And my husband says the same thing about vacation pics–he’s rarely in any of them.)


    1. Yes, place the blame of the kitties–ha! To be fair, it *is* hard to get cats to stay put. I’m always in awe of these Instagram shots with pets in action and doing the cutest things.


  2. LOVE your drink selfies, Jen!

    I have been an avid (but not great) photographer for most of my adult life. There are storage boxes full of photos from past trips that never made their way into a photo album. Most of those pics are touristy scenic shots. I only started taking yummy foodie photos later on in my travels.

    Thank goodness for digital photos & smartphones. Now I can take so many more (good and bad) photos to my heart’s content while travelling or just walking around Ottawa. But I’m still not great at taking selfies.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Leslie: Yeah, I wish that I could share my food with you IRL instead of virtually. I recently browsed through my first solo Europe trip from 1986. I remember that I ate well but took very few photos of the dishes back then.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Grace, about your photography expertise! I also have storage boxes of photos and even finding the correct type of box (acid-free?) is difficult for me.

      Yay for smartphones–they’re also super portable when you’re traveling! Can’t wait to see more lovely photos from you!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, the years of spending money to develop film, only to discover you’ve got 19 shots of your thumb, one is fuzzy, one is over-developed, and three are okay-ish. Good times.

    My photographic skills are minimal. I’m okay with taking pictures of things or even Koda. So-so at pictures of people. I also have not mastered the selfie. And yes, I’m in very few family vacation photos because I’m always the one behind the camera.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Love your humor, Jen! I got my first camera at age 12 and have been photographing nature ever since. Classes and darkroom work made a big difference in my skills. That was all pre-digital, though, and I can’t take a selfie to save myself! 😦

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Love the drink selfies, Jen! I, too, have countless photos of middling to poor quality in boxes upstairs. These days, I’m okay at best. Though, I’m sure Maria would say that what I need to do is focus on photos of her. 😸

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I loved taking photos as a kid! Photo-Mat, here I come! I agree with Liz. The disappointment in how they turned out was sometimes too much for my 12-year-old heart. I’m not a fabulous selfie taker, but I have the arm length. Sooo?? But I agree with the Chick Gang, I love your drink selfies! I want the last one, please! I just hope I don’t have to fly to LA to get it! LOL! Congrats on the upcoming release. I pre-ordered a while ago, and I’m all bouncy because it’s almost here!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha about flying to LA, Tracy! You’ll have to find more local options–and take your own photos. Hurrah!

      Thanks for the pre-order! Can’t believe it’s almost here. I just got my author copies (or at least that’s what I assume I have a big box of, so I’ll be doing the classic unboxing video soon).


  7. Your drink pics are genius, Jen! Perfect marketing pieces. When my daughter was going to school in London she had a stuffed monkey that she strategically placed and photographed, even getting guards to hold him at times. Then she came home and turned them all into a “Monkey-opoly” game for her brother for Christmas. Very cute. You could do the same with your drinks! As for me, I have so many pics of the inside of my purse that I’m tempted to open a museum.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Monkey-opoly is brilliant! When we were in Taiwan, one of my kiddos kept staging her stuffed animal like a tour guide in all the shots. (I don’t think I have enough energy or intelligence to make up an actual game with all the rules for my drink selfies, though.)

      As for the pics inside your purse, I wouldn’t want to compete against you in those What’s in Your Bag contests.


  8. I got my first Brownie camera when I was about ten and have been a shutterbug ever since, even taking a year of photography classes at my local community college back in the ’90s. I do miss working in the darkroom–the magic of seeing those images spring forth from that photo paper is indescribable–but the convenience of digital photography is pretty darn awesome.

    And I gotta say, Jen, I kinda like that photo of the bug in the swimming pool…

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Jen, your drink photos are awesome! I’ve been noticing them on social media, and I know you’re making everyone thirsty for bubble tea!!! (And your new series–just a few short days to go, yay!!! My photography skills, even with a cell phone, are dismal (I blame it on a sad camera). But this morning I saw there’s a new trend for Gen Z: half-selfies. You just include a tiny portion of yourself. Sounds great to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lisa, I didn’t know I was taking Gen Z selfies. I thought I just had bad aim. Jen, I think your insect pic is artistic!
    As a reporter at a small newspaper I had to take my own photos for stories, so I got pretty good at it. But my husband, a photojournalism major, is a much better photographer than I. So, he usually takes the important pictures for me, like promotional photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, let’s go with “artsy” as the descriptor… 😉

      Oh yes, you must be good if you’re a reporter. So nice to have a photojournalist in your family! I do make hubby take most of the good pictures; he’s got a much better sense of framing and lighting.


  11. I feel like I wrote this article. That’s exactly my experience, including the short arms making selfies really bad, usually.

    Part of it is, I don’t have the patience required to make a good picture. You have to wait until just the right moment. I want to just take one and move on.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Jen, I’m so sorry. I saw your post super early because i couldn’t sleep and responded in my head. But I never got it on paper! I LOVE your boba photos!

    I would describe my photography skills as not bad, but not great. I wish I could learn how to do more but I feel like I have a mental block. Still, every so often I take a great photo. And I’m super proud of myself!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. GREAT pics, Jen!! And I’m so darn excited about Death by Bubble Tea!!!

    I would describe my photography skills as awful bordering on terrible. I’m hopeless at composition, lighting, focus…you know…everything. I think I take after my mom who would without fail cut off her subjects’ heads. (Photographically speaking, of course.)

    Liked by 1 person

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