The Agony of Taking a Self Portrait

A few days ago I wanted to take a picture to show you guys my new mustache scarf. I seriously heart it. No one was home, and I when I upgraded to the Canon 7D (uh, like, three years ago), I never got around to getting a new remote. Which, I don’t know why, because I loved that thing and used it all the time. Nevertheless, I felt certain I could accomplish more than just an Instagram selfie to show off my major crush on this fun scarf.

Here’s how it went down.

The Agony of Taking a Self Portrait

Step one: Need to figure out how to focus on a subject (me) that’s not actually *in* the photo yet.

The Agony of Taking a Self Portrait

Um, no. Not quite.

The Agony of Taking a Self Portrait

Should I stack up pillows? Note to self: Buy a dress form.

The Agony of Taking a Self Portrait

Here’s where I caved and tried to figure out the fancy remote Kevin got me for Christmas. It was never taken out of the box, and surprisingly more complicated than one would think a camera remote should be. When I finally got it all set up, (after reading the manual cover to cover — which was not originally written in English and had some serious translation issues — and after watching a YouTube video) I tried it out for the first time and promptly dropped the brand new fancy-but-complicated remote on the concrete and it smashed into a million pieces.


Needless to say, it never worked right after that.

The Agony of Taking a Self Portrait

Unfazed! I decided to press on. If I have one thing going for me, it’s stubbornness. You can’t beat someone who never gives up. Self portrait you will not beat me!!

The Agony of Taking a Self Portrait

Getting closer! I’m almost in the frame now!

The Agony of Taking a Self Portrait

Once I figured out where to stand, I had to wait between gusts of wind to take each shot. Sometimes it wouldn’t be windy when I pressed the button, but 15 seconds later when the timer when off… surprise gust of wind right before the beep!

Is that hair sticking in my lip gloss?!



The Agony of Taking a Self Portrait

Now might be a good time for a hair brush break.

Hello hair. Can you look like this every day, please?

Gotcha! I’m going inside to lay down on the couch now.

And never get up.

Have a great weekend, friends!

See More Posts About: Photography


Mary Ann Harden July 5, 2013 at 5:24 am

You’re too funny!!!


Maureen July 5, 2013 at 5:54 am

Amanda – these are adorable – your hair is gorgeous!


Anele @ Success Along the Weigh July 5, 2013 at 7:22 am

OMG, I can’t count how many times I’ve done this! I’ve seriously considered getting a pic of my big head on a stick to slap on a wall or for the Mr to hold when I want us both in focus in a timed pic. I can only imagine the looks we’d get in public! Sorry about the remote. Oh yeah and thhbppt is a familiar sound made by all of us glossy gals…rarely good. :-)


Rhonda July 5, 2013 at 7:23 am

Scarf is really cute. I’m interested in shirt,where’d ya find it, so flattering. Ofcourse I feel ya on the self portrait. I tried to do one of me and husband and kids. It was painful but finally got there too.


Amanda July 5, 2013 at 11:26 am

Thank you Rhonda! It’s from Ann Taylor Loft :)

Ali | Gimme Some Oven July 5, 2013 at 8:32 am

Oh my goodness — I love it! I gave up on selfies with my “big girl camera” years ago. Could never get the focus right, so always resorted to Instagram. Now I need to get a remote!!!

More importantly, you look completely beautiful in these photos. And I love that scarf!


Jenny - Luckeyfrog's Lilypad July 5, 2013 at 8:39 am

Oh my goodness. Reading the play-by-play cracked me up, but I can SO relate! I just got a new haircut (over 12 inches cut off for Locks of Love!) and was desperately trying to take a selfie of my new ‘do. Why is it that something that seems so easy is so darn difficult?

Eventually, I gave up and went for the Myspacey mirror shot. Oh well!


Alanna | Toronto Mama July 5, 2013 at 8:43 am

This is so funny! You are too cute, Amanda. I’m still in Instagram selfie mode, so no fancy remotes for me. There are several self-timer apps you can buy for iPhone. They may save you a bit of time!


Amanda July 5, 2013 at 11:27 am

What. I need to know more about this!!

Alanna | Toronto Mama July 5, 2013 at 11:33 am

It’s the self timer by Apimac. Well worth the 99 cents! :)

Amanda July 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Oh, LOL, I thought you meant you could use your iPhone as a remote for the DSLR! :) Wishful thinking!! :)

Heather July 5, 2013 at 8:48 am

You are seriously so pretty, and this post is hilarious! I haven’t tried more than an IG selfie, but I can’t imagine any would turn out this good ;)


Mary Jane July 5, 2013 at 9:01 am

I’m trying to figure out how you can live in AL and make it look like you have no humidity!!!


Liz Ruby July 13, 2013 at 12:18 am

I think she lives in SoCal.

Jeremy Blanton July 5, 2013 at 9:03 am

I was seriously considering the 7D as my next purchase. But, the flip out screen that the t3i has makes me not want anything from now on that doesn’t have that option. Comes in handy so many times when you want to shoot self vids & portraits. At least I know when I’m in the frame with it LOL. Now, to get a remote for focusing.


Cody Doll July 5, 2013 at 9:05 am

Very cute. Don’t worry I don’t have a remote so I have to pretty much that. Click the shutter button run to my spot and wait 10 sec for the camera to go off. Luckily for me my camera has a light on the front that counts down for me so I don’t have to mental do it.


jenny Flake July 5, 2013 at 9:17 am

Oh my gosh I am totally cracking up!! What a cute post and you got a killer photo, great job! Love the scarf and love the cute picture of you! See you soon girl! xoxo


Amanda July 5, 2013 at 11:52 am

Lol! I needed you there to take another photo!! :) I thought I felt like a dork asking you to take that one of me in my maxi dress, but I had no idea what humiliation was until my neighbor came outside and caught me trying to take this one by myself, lol!! :) Can’t wait to see you soon!! :) xoxo

Rachel J July 5, 2013 at 9:31 am

Too cute Amanda! GREAT hair day :)


Rosemary S. July 5, 2013 at 10:01 am

Hilarious!! Now, little amateur-hobbyist-with-the-camera doesn’t feel so bad about her efforts! :)

I’m so sorry to hear that your fancy remote came to such a sad end! I love my little remote, by the way……….but, even though it’s a Canon product, it’s instruction sheet was also written in at least 3 languages, none of them English!

Thanks for providing my Friday-morning-smile! Hope you’re recovered now, from your ordeal. :)

Take care…………..Rosemary


Michelle (The 3AM Teacher) July 5, 2013 at 10:05 am

Okay!! Aside from laughing hysterically…because… I think we have ALL been here before… I couldn’t help but notice how stinkin’ cute your scarf is!! Thanks for the laugh!!!



Amanda July 5, 2013 at 11:54 am

Thank you!! I got it from The Pickleville Playhouse. $21, shipped! :)

Susan July 5, 2013 at 10:28 am

I’m cracking up! Great post!! I’d love to know about the cute, colorful pillows behind you that I can barely see, but KNOW i’m gonna LOVE!!! Those are the colors I use on my patio!!


Amanda July 5, 2013 at 11:55 am

Thank you!! :) I’m planning a porch makeover post soon!! :)

susan July 5, 2013 at 6:15 pm

Great!! I can’t wait to see what you’ve done with the porch!!

Nancy July 5, 2013 at 11:16 am

You are too cute! :) Love the scarf!


Sandy_in_MD July 5, 2013 at 11:19 am

Great post – you final result turned out fantastic. I had a thought about a solution other than a dress form – stick a dowel stick that is your height into a container filled with plaster, then put a close to life size head shot at the same level as your head. Place this where you want to stand. I think this would trick the camera into focusing correctly, plus give an okay check on the lighting too? It would probably be easy to shove this piece aside in time for you to take its’ place. Not sure if it would work, but it popped into my mind as I was reading your post, so I thought I would pass it along.


Jocelyn @BruCrew Life July 5, 2013 at 11:22 am

Oh my goodness…this was too funny! I think because I have been there trying to do that before too! I can never get the focus right and trying to run back to the right spot before the timer goes off is always comical I’m sure! But you got an amazing shot, even if the remote bit the dust! Girl, that scarf is way fun and you are adorable!


Christine July 5, 2013 at 12:24 pm

I placed an order for that scarf! Too cute!! I have a feeling my 13 year old will steal it though…she loves mustaches! I have a 5D mark ii and had a remote for my 40D. I was surprised I was still able to use it on my 5d! I got mine off of Ebay pretty cheap ($20?) several years ago. I don’t take many self portraits, but it’s great for using it on my tripod and needed a slow shutter speed.


Sommer @ ASpicyPerspective July 5, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Love this! Selfies are sooooo hard to do! (and make them look right) Your stubbornness totally paid off! Beautiful photo! :)


Nessa July 5, 2013 at 6:30 pm

I think you look great in the pics!


Lisa July 6, 2013 at 12:25 am

I own a Canon Rebel and found that the inexpensive remote control I bought off Ebay to be extremely handy. No set up required. All you need to do is to ensure that it is compatible with your 7D. Below is a link to one of them, hope this helps.


Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen July 6, 2013 at 7:17 am

Perfect post for me to start my day with a smile! Good for you for hanging in there! Normally when I finally get in the frame and looking good I am hopelessly frustrated and not smiling. :)


Erin July 6, 2013 at 7:55 am

This is adorable. I love a peek into the behind the scenes of staging blog pics. You’re more persistent than I am; after the 3rd out of focus pic, I would have gathered up that scarf over the grill (isn’t that everyone’s staging area?), taken its picture, and called it a day.


Shana Norris July 6, 2013 at 8:53 am

This post cracked me up. I’ve so been there. Thanks for sharing, Amanda. Have a great weekend.


Crystal Williams-Brown July 6, 2013 at 9:10 pm

I feel your pain. Most times I just give up. I need a better photo for my website but every time I consider taking one I think about how it will probably come out horrible. But you encourage me to give it a go. Persistence is key, right?


Teri July 7, 2013 at 9:41 am

The trouble we go to, thanks for sharing everyone’s agonizing moments, to cute.


Ayisha July 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Hi Amanda new follower here. I just want to say that it is good to know that even a “Real” photographer has difficulty taking a selfie. :-)


Julia @ hungryandconfused July 8, 2013 at 12:41 pm

LOVE the scarf. I am no good at taking selfies – I usually end up with my arm in them or it being totally wonky!


Jenn July 8, 2013 at 1:00 pm

Well, you’ve got posing down pat at least. Lookin’ good!


Jelli July 8, 2013 at 10:47 pm

I just got my hands on my first DSLR this weekend and tried my 1st selfie today. So glad to see that the bloggy pros like you even have difficulties sometimes. I encountered that same focal problem this morning, but with no remote never did figure out how to remedy it. If you ever to a tutorial on that, I’m all ears…er, eyes! Thanks for the giggle!


Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking July 10, 2013 at 10:58 am

Haha! You look lovely in every single one of them, Amanda! But seriously. The wind needs to chill the &$#% out sometimes. Doesn’t it know when you’re trying to look PERFECT? Ugh.


Ashley @CenterCutCook July 10, 2013 at 4:34 pm

I am so glad you documented what I’m sure everyone goes through when they try to do a selfie! By the way… cute scarf! :)


Nikki @Seeded at the Table July 10, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Oh my gosh, Amanda, YOU are the cutest! Way to finally snatch a few perfect self-portraits! :)


Liz Ruby July 13, 2013 at 12:21 am

You look great–hair and everything! Cute scarf btw. Greetings to Miley and Howie from Betsy, my Boston Terrier!


Chetana July 13, 2013 at 2:43 am

You are looking awesome Amanda. Nice Clicks. Especially I liked the scarf very much.



Amanda Bumgarner July 16, 2013 at 7:30 pm

I really appreciate this post so much! I have this SAME problem. It’s SO NICE to know that big-time bloggers like yourself have my same issues. Sorry for the all caps, but that’s how excited I am about this post :)


Anne July 26, 2013 at 10:08 pm

I don’t like selfies either…I don’t know how these young girls do it.
I use a tripod and a bright pink post-it on the wall to focus, then use my timer while I jump in front. Not very exciting but has proven to be successful. For a selfie anyway.
I think I will stick to taking pics of food, crafts and my kids….


Eric December 25, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Very nice blog … love the images. I just upgraded to a G12 from a G6. The G12’s LCD can face forward for easy selfies – not that I’m into that.


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