getting in the shot

So yesterday was crazy in regards to SnapShops. For those of you that were not able to get a spot, I hate that it happened so fast. Within 90 minutes all four were full! I currently do not have any plans for more in 2011, but that could change. I know a lot of you are waiting for news about an online version. I am still hoping to get that going, my goal is June (maybe posting that will help me get it done!). When that day comes I will share it here and on Facebook. The online version will be a bit different (it is online afterall). One benefit is that more will be able to participate at a time. I’ll let you know….


I’ve been asked about how I get into so many shots, so I thought I’d share on that today. I don’t want to be ‘missing’ from our yearly photo albums, but the reality is Chris isn’t home 24/7 so I have to find other ways to get in the pictures. Here are a few of my methods:

Method 1: Chris

A lot of times I get the camera settings where I want and tell him exactly what I want in the shot. Sometimes he just captures what he wants.

Method 2: Self-timer

To take pictures using the self timer I first decide where I want to be in the photo. Next I place someone or something in that spot, focus on the spot & take a trial picture. If everything looks good I leave the settings alone, turn it to the timer and then jump in the shot.

For this picture I left the sanding block on the floor, focused, set the timer and got back in.

For this one I set the camera on the countertop behind us. She was standing in the chair, so I took one focused on her…set the timer and stepped in.


Method 3: Me

Usually this means shooting on automatic (my focus button is on the back so it is difficult to hold the camera with one hand, focus & shoot). For this photo I just held the camera high over my head. Some of you asked previously what is in this bowl: Greek Plain yogurt, granola, berries, white chocolate chips & honey (thanks Meredith for showing this to me at the frozen yogurt place).


For this one of my niece and I…I held the camera out in front of us and hoped we were in the frame.

I don’t shoot into mirrors very often, but every now and then it works. I’ve also set the timer and shot into a mirror so my face isn’t covered.

Method 4: My kids

My kids are always around and always love to take pictures. I switch everything to automatic (again because my focus button is not the same as my shutter button on Manual, but on Automatic they are both on the same button).

Below my oldest was using my cell phone to take a few pictures. His perspective always makes me smile.

My oldest with my big camera…a little out of focus and on automatic, but it works.


My 3 year old son took this one. He wanted to take a picture with my big camera. He was sitting down, I put it on automatic. He can barely lift it so I just squatted holding FireCracker until I saw my reflection in the lens then I told him to ‘push the button’.

If you are thinking “I don’t want any pictures of myself” or even if you do want to be included…

you should read this post I wrote in 2009.

And along those lines have you seen Emily’s Embrace the Camera? I’m linking up today (since this post just so happens to fit!)

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  • Natalie - Thank you for the advice. I have hardly any pictures with me and my 10 month old twins and I regret that decision already. Look out camera here I come!!!

  • Corrie - Thanks for the reminder. I just asked Kyle the other day to please take a picture of me with the boys :)

  • Amanda D - I stinkin love your posts Ashley!! EVERY SINGLE ONE. I WILL be in more pictures from now on, thanks to you!

  • because love is a lifestlye - Thanks for the tips! I love your blog! It’s my most favorite. I feel like we have a lot common… Thanks for all that you put into it!

  • Danielle J. - Ashley, I stumbled upon your blog some time ago. What is funny is I just moved to the Tulsa area and can’t believe you are in OK. I really have taken this post to heart. I never get in the pictures with my kids. And I now feel horrible. Lesson learned…..I will take more photos of my kids with myself in them. I want them to remember me too and not just their childhood with me behind the camera. Thanks you!

  • Melissa | IS•LY - I remember reading your post about this back in 2009, and quite regularly I think about it. It’s always been so frustrating to get pictures of me with my family, since I’m almost ALWAYS the one behind the camera.

    Thanks for sharing how you get in front of the camera! I made my husband buy me a wireless remote for my birthday. It’s amazing how less stressful taking pics of me has become. Although, embarrassingly enough, it hasn’t changed the amount of pics I get with Penelope (and now Felix). That’s going to change.

    BTW, I’m just noticing, you’ve got the Prophoto 3 theme! I just got it & am in the process of installing it. I LOVE IT so far. Have you liked it?

  • lutachi - Your pictures are amazing. I’ve attempted to take pictures of myself and failed lamentably. Thanks for showing us how you do it. It really helped.

  • Gabrielle - Design Mom - Such a helpful post! Really wonderful. Thank you for taking the time to write it up and teach us. Seriously. Love this!

  • amy - Ashley, A couple of months ago I started reading your blog. I love all of the practical things you write about. I’m a wannabe photographer, homeschool mom of two boys and I recently started my own blog. Your post yesterday about capturing images of us moms with our kids really hit home. I wrote about it today on my own blog and posted a link to your blog at the end. I hope that is ok. I only shared my own thoughts on the matter, encouraged my readers to check out your blog, and issued a challenge for all of us to capture moments with our children. Thanks so much for drawing attention to this matter for all of us! God bless! ~amy

  • Sarah Doerfler - great encouragement! I saw that post by Emily too, and with both of you challenging, I’m in! :) Yay!

  • Kara - Your photos are truly amazing. This is a really helpful post. Thanks for sharing.

  • Carissa - You inspired me to “get in the shots” this coming week! Really, I’m horrible at it and was hardly in our album last year at all. I’m going to do better!

  • amanda - It’s so great to remind mothers how important it is to be in pictures with their children. I read that post you linked from 2009 and the story really moved me. My mother passed away 8 years ago, when I was 13, and I have few treasured pictures of the two of us together. I often wish I had more to remember her by.

  • Laura - Thanks for such a good reminder, Ashley. Love your photography, grateful for your tips and your encouragement. I wrote a little bit at “the given life” about following your advice and linked back to this post.

  • pam heggie - Hi Ashley,
    Another wonderful post!! I am dying to know what the name of the cursive font is that you used on your pictures to say where you placed your camera?? It’s to die for cute…I have a problem getting this excited over a new font, but that’s okay, right?? Oh, and your newest post, with Firecracker’s sad face after you tried to smooth her bangs down made me giggle right out loud!!! I have two cowlicks, and have never been able to have bangs, though my mom certainly attempted a few times! :) Growing bangs out is where it’s at anyways!!!

  • sayonada thomas - I have to say thank you so much for sharing this and your previous post on this topic. I often thing to myself that as the family photographer, I’m not doing enough taking pictures of myself. You’ve inspired me to learn how to use the timer on my camera. Thank YOU!

    On a completely different note, thank you for sharing your beautiful style and family with us! I often read your posts and think to myself that your life — the 3 boys and a girl, the fighting, the chaos, the playing and the treasured joyful moments are JUST what I want to create in my home. I’ve got one little boy and am working on a second child now, and I can’t wait for all of our little adventures!

  • Yolanda @ Miss Refashionista - I wish I lived closer so I can join Snapshots.


  • Marisa - These are fabulous tips! This is one of my goals for the year.

  • AmberLee - this was the best post. i really needed this reminder. i always forget until I go back to find photos that I’m never in them. now I have a strategy.

    p.s. love greek yogurt and berries, can’t wait to throw in white chocolate! mmmm.

  • Jolie - Ashley, this is such a wonderful post, thank you. I have all sorts of (self-imposed) reasons why I don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera – but I am am truly trying…it occurred to me a little while ago that if I died tomorrow (God forbid!) the kids would have memories and quilts and crafts, but no photos of me, nevermind of us together. And memories don’t last forever when you’re 4, and quilts and things wear out. So I really just need to get over my issues – if I have body issues and don’t particularly like what I look like, then I need to do something about that, and for today, well this is me today and I owe it to my kids to record that. So thank you, every post of yours like this feels like a personal reminder for me to forget the vanity and remember the priority – being there with my kids. Thanks!

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  • Dhini - wonderful pictures and thanks for the tips.

  • Learn to Love the Camera | Natural Parents Network - [...] that Ashley Ann writes one of my favorite blogs. She crafts, she parents, she photographs. And this is my favorite post regarding putting yourself in the picture. She also recently posted a quick tutorial on how she got [...]

  • Seed of This Land Photography - Hi Ashley Ann. This is how we get all our shots too. Lots of me thinking “This would love awesome in a photo!” so I set it up and retake it. Thank goodness for autofocus and self-timer!

    Lovely pics, by the way!

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