Your Mobile Phone Camera And You

Ok, look. Facebook finally got me. Like a hungry, persistent mountain lion, it pounced on me, grabbed me by the throat and took me down.


As I’ve been spending more time in the cavernous Facebook labyrinth, and seeing a lot of pages and a lot of faces, I’m starting to notice a trend.

Remember the infamous MySpace pose? That’s the self-photo taken with the camera above you, eyes looking up but chin down. Yeah, I think we’ve all seen plenty of that pose.

But that’s so over now.

The pose I’m seeing a lot of these days is the in-the-car self-photo.

Yup. Hold the phone way out to one side and snap a shot of yourself in the driver’s seat. Post it. Magic.

Look, I fully understand the need to look good in our Facebook profile. An old boyfriend from college might show up or something!

So what’s with the in-the-car profile photo and how can we make it better?

I will now dig into my deep and (not so) closely held secrets of the art of photography and perform a public service.

Ya wanna know why you like that photo of yourself in the car?

Two words: Natural light.

We ALL look better in natural light. When you are in your car, good ol’ fashioned sun comes pouring in through all the windows. Real sunlight makes you look hot.

I’m not kidding.

So assuming you want to have a nice photo of yourself on your Facebook page without your steering wheel in the background, and assuming you are all alone or too shy to ask for help, and assuming you want or need some advice on self portraiture…..

Here’s Karen Fayeth’s tips for a smoking hot profile self-photo:

Either get outside or if you have a nice sunny spot in your house filled with natural light, go there.

Next, what would be a nice background? How about a wall with a fun pattern or a wood fence with character? Sit down and lean back against it. Sit up straight! No slouchy here because we’ll all see it.

Make sure the sun isn’t shining directly in your face. That will make you squinty. Make sure the sun isn’t directly behind you. That will make you halo-y and a dark shadow. It works best if it’s a sunny day but you are in shadow, or the sun isn’t directly on you. An overcast day is even better. That diffused light is majorly hot.

Hold your phone camera out at about eye level and a little off center. If you hold it above your eyes, you’ll get that eyes-up MySpace look. If you hold it below, now you are looking down and no one likes a double chin in their photo.

Keep your chin up but not too high. Keep it at normal level as if you are looking straight forward.

Keep your elbow slightly bent. Don’t straight arm it or you will see your arm in the photo. Here’s an example.

Relax your face. Don’t force the smile. Try thinking about something that makes you laugh or smile naturally. Think about that time your buddy slipped and cartwheeled on the ice. Or think about how much your love your kid/spouse/dog/whatever. Something that tickles your funnybone and makes your eyes twinkle.

Look into the lens. Don’t look off to the side. Don’t look up. Don’t look down. Look that lens square in its little lens eye and snap the shot.

And then another. And another and another and another and another.

Don’t be shy to take A LOT of photos. You are looking for one good one among the many that make you go “uh, no”. It’s every photographer’s little secret. Take lots of shots.

Wait! Don’t just upload that photo you like right from your mobile phone to your Facebook page!!!


Look at it on a bigger screen. Download it or email it to yourself and look on a regular monitor.

Check out the photo and crop it down if you want. Look in the background ALL AROUND you in the photo to be sure there isn’t something weird going on back there. (be especially alert for dogs pooping, kids barfing, etc. Check out This is Photobomb for a sense of what I’m putting down here. Site not totally safe for work.)

Then, if you are happy with the photo, go ahead and make it your profile photo.

And wait for the compliments to roll in.

Oh, and one last piece of advise: Fer chrissakes, no duckface!

No photos in the mirror either.

Sooo many things wrong with this technique. Good light though!

Image found all over the web. If it’s yours I’ll gladly take it down or give credit, at your request. Thanks! I found it here.

Gettin’ Ready!

Hello Lady Readers, just a quick post for you.

Back in April we chatted about about my fandom for Sally Hansen Salon Effects, a fabulous easy to apply nail polish product.

Well, I’m back and I love Salon Effects more than ever.

New in stores, seasonal nail goodness!

I love that I’m wearing this at my stuffy corporate job. Most ladies here have simple buffed and clear polish hands.

Not me! (Ok, to be fair, I did check the calendar and I don’t have any in-person meetings with suppliers or managers until next Tuesday. The ghosties will be stripped off by then…. I do have some sense of decorum…..un poquito….)


Happy Early Halloween!

What the World Sees

Through the course of my life, I look back and with the clarity of hindsight and find those moments that formed my foundation. Lessons with impact that linger in my memory and shape my days.

Today, when I navigated over to my once a week Theme Thursday site, I saw that the word this week is: Face.

Well, this left me stumped. I tucked the word into one of the creases in my brain and thought about it for a while. This is when some of the best ideas hit me, when I’ve planted a seed then forget about it. Something worthwhile often blooms.

What happened is that I had a memory. Just a flash, but enough to remind me.

I was eight, maybe? Perhaps actually younger. I was wearing a black leotard and pink tights. I had ballet class to attend in an hour or two, and so I was ready to go.

While waiting, I was doing what kids do…fiddling around with stuff. I’d somehow acquired a rubber band and that had captured my interest. *sproing, sproing*

I played it like a guitar, stretching and loosening it to get better notes.

I used it like a slingshot to send balls of paper zipping through the sky.

I wrapped it around my thumb, took it off, wrapped it around again.

Then, for some reason I can’t quite explain, I wrapped the rubber band around the end of my nose. Unwrapped it. Wrapped it again, tighter this time. It didn’t hurt and felt sort of weird so I went and looked in the mirror. Laughed, then left it on my nose and walked around.

After a while, I heard my mom calling, it was time to get in the car. I took the rubber band off my nose, left it on my desk, got my stuff and headed out to the car and climbed in.

My mom, with an eagle eye for such things, asked “what happened to your nose?”

I was like, “what?” and touched my nose. All seemed well.

Mom made me look in the visor mirror. Seems that rubber band had left a bruise on the end of my nose. A dark blue bruise in a perfect circle.


So needless to say, the gig was up. I had to explain what I’d done. (confession is good for the soul….or so the parish priest used to tell me.)

My mom gave me one of those looks a parent gives a child when they confess to something like wrapping a rubber band around their nose. Then she gave me a stern lecture. She wasn’t mad. But she had something very firm to impress upon me.

I don’t remember the exact text of what she said, but the gist was….don’t mess with your face. If you are going to monkey around like that with a rubber band, use your elbow or your toe , but not your face. Your face is the first thing people see when they meet you. That’s where people form their first impression. And do you really want the first impression to be a big dark blotch on the end of your nose?

She also warned me that the girls at dance class would likely tease me. I thought “no way, they won’t care.” Well, they cared. They cared a lot. Those snotty girls made comments. And pointed and laughed. And made fun of me mercilessly.

They made fun of me a lot anyway because they were all thin and lithe and had visions of ballet careers in their minds. I was the opposite of thin and lithe and had visions of grilled cheese sandwiches in my mind.

You picking up what I’m putting down?

So I thought about what my mom had said. I initially resisted what she said when the “talking to” came down, but later on, I knew she was right.


The advice stuck with me, and I’ve stuck with it.

So don’t monkey around with your face. For me, that extends to lip tucks and eye brow lifts and injections of all kinds. My face is my calling card, and as it ages, it tells my story.

I Got Girl Hands!

Look away, boys, I’m headed down a girly road today.

While The Good Man is watching James Bond (The Man with the Golden Gun), I am on the other end of the couch doing up my finger nails.

I don’t usually mind painting my own nails with regular polish. It can be messy, but I’m fairly good at it.

Last month while at the hair salon, I got caught up on the latest trashy mags like People, US and Star. In one of them I saw an ad for Sally Hansen Salon Effects and it piqued my curiosity.

This new product is nail polish strips that are applied like stickers to the nail. I was VERY suspicious that I’d be able to apply this product without totally messing it up, but I went to a local CVS to check ’em out.

While there, another woman was looking at the selection and I asked if she’d tried them. She said she had, and what’s more, she told me that after a week (she’s a hairdresser), the nail polish looked as good as ever. She held out her hands to show me.

She also noted that these bad boys were pretty easy to apply, and recommended putting on a top coat just to seal ’em in.

I was convinced, so I dove in and bought a couple boxes. They aren’t cheap, $9 at your local Walgreens or CVS, but that’s still cheaper than a professional manicure.

Last week I tried the “Raise A Glass” champagne color and got many compliments. Through eight days they had nary a chip and stayed on very well. The only reason I took off the color (with regular nail polish remover) was that I was ready to try a new color.

Today I’ve applied “Bling It On” and am quite happy with the glittery pink color. I use a product called Out The Door for a quick dry topcoat (I get it at Target) and all is wonderful.

I gotta say, this is a quick and easy no muss way to apply professional looking nail polish.

Just had to share my new find!

And just to meet the rules of the blogging road, I was not paid for this post, I’m simply very happy with this new product. See my crappy iPhone photo below.

Happy Sunday!

(Note to self, get some lotion on those cuticles!)

An Open Letter To My iPod

Dear Shuffle Function on my iPod Shuffle:

Today, after a really long day at work that started WAY too early this morning and ended WAY too late, I climbed my large and rather tired behind up onto my treadmill and fired up the big machine.

Normally I can rely on you, my long suffering iPod, veteran of many miles, to get me through the agony of exercise.

Not today.

Here’s a hint, little musical device: when I need a little inspiration, how ’bout we avoid every single four bar blues available on the playlist, huh?

Minor chords don’t really scream “get that heartrate up!” Albert King and John Lee Hooker are really better suited to competitive whiskey drinking, not sweating for my health.

And that John Denver song? Yer killin’ me! (yes, I have John Denver on my iPod. No, I’m not ashamed)

Workout time is also not time for Colbie Callat, John Legend, or Coltraine.

Damn, iPod Shuffle, that skip function got more of a workout today than I did!

That said, dropping a “Stayin’ Alive” on me near the end of the hour? That was inspired.

Occasionally, you still got it, Shuffle.

Sad iPod cross stitch from benjibot‘s Flickr photostream.