How Often Do You Let the Camera Focus On You?

Me as captured by my husband, Shea Kennedy. 50mm | ISO | f/4.0 | ss 1/400

My camera sat on the table between us, exposure still dialed in from the photo I’d taken of him. He picked it up.  I decided not to protest. No crossed eyes or tongue sticking out or scrunched up face.

I relaxed.

I turned my head and lifted my chin just slightly.

I lightened my hand’s touch on my face to reduce any squish.

I smiled, just slightly, lifting the corners of my crooked smile.

He clicked.

He clicked again.

I looked into the lens.

It doesn’t feel natural yet.

But it felt okay.

It felt good to connect with the angle I ask so many people to take.

Good to know just a hint of what they must feel.

I’ll let the lens turn toward me more often.

But I still want to be the one who edits!


How often do you let the camera lens focus on you? What holds you back from adding your image to your family’s history?


  1. Dalyla is just now starting to pick up the camera (my p&s) and take pictures. I love seeing what she comes up with.

  2. I have been trying to hand the camera over to my partner more when we are out and about to make sure that I am in some photos. I want to have more images of me and my children in our scrapbooks. They won’t be holding my hand forever and I want to capture it while I can. great post!

  3. I echo pretty much what everyone else said. I’ve been thinking a lot about this whole concept of self portraits and wonder why I think it’s so important to document the lives of everyone around me but when it comes to documenting me it feels wrong or at best uncomfortable.

    I am make a conscious effort to get in front of the camera. I even joined a self portrait photo challenge. I might even say it’s getting a bit easier 🙂

  4. Great post. I have a hard time getting in pictures unless I have complete control over my pose and the situation and ultimate veto power over what gets kept and what gets deleted. My husband captured some shots of me over the weekend that I thought were HORRIBLE, but he liked them and told me I wasn’t allowed to delete them. I complied, but I cringe every time I scroll past them on the memory card.

    I think one of the problems of being the family photographer is that I take soo many shots of everyone else, deleting the bad ones as I go, and the sheer number of shots ups the chances that I end up with some really good pictures of everyone else. When I give up my camera to someone else, they usually just grab a couple of quick, unplanned shots with me in them before giving the camera back, and I lose out by not having someone experimenting with the settings, lighting, framing, etc. The photos of me are just not going to be as good unless I allow someone to really take TIME with me like I take time with them to make sure it looks good.

    This isn’t really anyone’s fault but mine, since I’m uncomfortable having someone spend that kind of time with me, and ultimately, I’d rather be behind the lens than in front of it. Maybe I need to make some more camera-happy friends to take shots of me on their own cameras and share them with me.

  5. That’s a great photo! It’s just so dang hard to let others take our photos, isn’t it?

  6. Both of my parents have passed away, and we don’t have many photos of them. My kids know how much this has affected me, so they don’t hesitate in picking up the camera. I don’t necessarily like the photos but hey they are the moments captured by the kids. There memories.

  7. Thank you for this post, Katrina! It’s always me who is behind the camera but I’m trying to change it so my children will have some photos with mommy from their childhood as well. We should make it as a monthly prompt – include at least one photo per month of yourself…

  8. I have recently started handing the point and shoot camera to my 5 year old daughter- I really wanted to see how she sees the world, and sees me! Last time she took some of the cutest self portraits, pictures of me, the sky, the cat, and the dirt. I like how she sees the world. I am using a picture she took for my facebook profile picture I like it so much!

  9. I hate it when someone takes my photo (for so many silly self-conscious reasons) however I let it happen more now than I used to. When my grandchildren look back on family photos I don’t want to be absent (like my grandmother was) so I fight my impulse to edit myself out.


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