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Tuesday, 10 April 2018


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Yes, it’s surprisingly difficult.
Usually I give up on getting the phone out of the frame.

A tip re smiles: I find that if I grin *briefly* and snap that and repeat, I can find a natural looking one.

I can see we need to take you in hand, Mike. Your profile picture must include Butters. It's a rule.

Oh, I forgot, I actually did one today, to make fun of the fact that I’d bought a ladies’ purse:


Mike, I believe that you've got the self-deprecating thing down cold.

This is a positive. No one likes someone who's stuck on himself. (We'll see if the next election proves that idea.) It's like sincerity: If you can fake that, you've got it made.

And by the way, you aren't really old until it seems EVERYBODY holds doors open for you. Ask me how I know.

> I knew I was getting old when ...

... the centerfold is younger than you.

[You also know you're old when you know what "centerfold" refers to. lol --Mike]

Jim has it right but he left out the last part, "I wonder if she is single?" (the mom that is.)

Just another old guy.

I'm not even going to try. Our bathroom mirror is old and smallish. It would look like me in the bathroom with the toilet behind me.

Good luck with the dating, however you manage it. But I'd stick to the tried and true tripod and timer and a prefocused distance (I imagine you have, and that this was an exercise).

Wow, pretty damn manly there! Yes, taking selfies are pretty much like the joke about a lawyer defending themselves... Heck, even shooting from the hip w/o the help of any viewfinder is a Hail Mary at best!

Oh yeah, I recently replied to my wife, "No, he's an old guy- like fifty." Which is, errr... just a tad younger than I. A year ago back in my old stomping grounds in NYC, I was feeling pretty spry looking at all the... sights, until I caught a reflection of myself in a showroom window- talk about a rapid change of perspective...

I do mirror portraits occasionally. This


is the most recent. I forgot to flip it though.

You know phones have a front camera and a mirror is not required. I always wonder why people use a phone in a mirror to take a selfie. A camera in a mirror, I can understand, it may not have a 360 screen, but a phone seems silly.
I also think the front facing camera is designed for selfies. Because what else do you photography with a front facing camera.

The first thing they told me when I foolishly tried to post some pictures on a photography "sharing" site was to watch my horizon lines. But if you made the window level, wouldn't you be crooked? And how could that be true? Perhaps they lied to me.

You know that your phone has a "selfie camera" don't you?

I used mine once to show myself in front of a museum. It's hard. Everything is backwards or something.

no no no, you know you're old when you ask the bartender if she went to your high school, as if you might have known her from that time. she's 32 and you're 61. i realized i was an idiot as i asked her the question. one day i'll learn.

I have five friends who sold their houses without a realtor. I took beautiful (if I do say so myself) interior and exterior photographs of their houses and they posted them on Zillow. All had buyers within a week. Prior to my involvement they all sat online in want of potential buyers.

Perhaps your last paragraph should have said" you wouldn't sell your house without a good photographer, would you"?

And no, I didn't use a cell phone. Put smiley face emoji here.


Interesting experiment. Dumb question, does this mean you should now get a loaner selfie-stick (wand of narcissism) to see if that improves the experimental results :-)

Kind of strange but Peter Lorre looks like James Spader in that photo. And someone once told me I resembled Spader. So it could be worse.

Mike, it's obvious you worked really hard on this, I can hardly recognize you (GD&R). You should give lessons, but then, what will happen when they meet up?

Better to do it the old way, using a ‘real’ camera on a tripod with timer or remote release (or these days via phone app if you insist). Or as many photographers have done through the years, by holding a camera in full view and reflected in a mirror or glass. A visible camera in hand would suit you, maybe even make you smile and relax, and increase the odds that you hear from women open to camera critique.

Framing a selfie is easier if you use the front facing camera and use the screen to frame. I do think part of the problem using phone cameras for this particular portrait assignment is how unflattering the wide angle optics make a close photo.
That said, I met my wife on a dating site. One of her photos was a poorly made travel cliche standing in front of a famous landmark. I ignored it.

I guess my point such as it is, is maybe we care more than most people.


OK try this.......
Have the REAL camera facing you, not the selfie camera
Get a good backdrop behind you - pin up a sheet or something
Hold the phone flat against the mirror at nose height
look at the mirror just above the phone's lens
When happy with your "look" squeeze the volume button and look at the lens
It will be a tight shot but it should be good

BTW, I remember chasing after women, I just can't remember why

From too much time spent around RNs/Nurse Practitioners I've met many Pilipinas who are very smart, very nice and very good-looking.

Try shooting your self-portrait with a DSLR or Mirrorless that you are familiar with. A 28/35mm FFE works well. I started doing selfies in the 1990s using a Canon SLR.

Here's how you do it. Sun over camera's shoulder (per the Kodak film instruction sheet).. Look at your reflection in the lens/filter. Turn head slightly to the side. Rotate eyes back to lens.

Nice, but I say smile a little. And crop -- unless you are showing off your vest. :)

I met my wife twenty one years ago on an AOL dating site that did not have pictures, words only.

Here we are early in the relationship at "Nifty Fifty's Diner" in Philadelphia.

Camera Contax T2 self timer.


Why not put the phone on a tripod, set a rather wide view, use the timer and crop in editing? Wouldn't that also produce a "selfie"?

[Of course, and that's how I do it. But she used a cellphone in a mirror, and I was trying to see how hard it is to do it that way. --Mike]

In “middle age” You really only need two pictures to truly understand your potential partner. One of the contents of their refrigerator and the other of their medicine cabinet. A picture of their collection of shoes would be a bonus.

Most people like those awful selfies exactly because they can’t see anything of themselves in them

Aren’t internet bloggers supposed to dispense life style advice rather than receive it? Perhaps the person you are looking for doesn’t realise they are looking. You need to cast your net wider. I seem to recall you have some spells of teaching in your resume - perhaps there is a local community organisation or library through which you can run workshops on say phone photography. Even if it doesn’t achieve your primary aim, it may have the unfortunate side effect of generating a new income stream for you.

I've realised that I find women attractive that I'd not have found attractive 20-30 years ago. (I'm 65.) Upon considering that, I've realised that it is simply their fresh vibrant youth that is so appealing. At first that made me feel old, but then that turned into a joyful appreciation of youth in general, which ultimately put a spring into my step and a smile on my face as I go about my people-watching habits.

What lens do you suggest will best control the flare coming off the top of my head?

I have a friend who spent a year meeting women on eHarmony. The biggest complaint he had were their pictures. They were either ones taken ten years ago, or so badly done that one couldn't tell what they looked like. He was about to give up and met one last woman who seemed really interesting. Well, she was out of his league but relented and I was best man at their wedding, 5 years ago.

Hey Mike I got you covered......there is a big nurse down the street and I showed her your snap and she said "bring him on". Lovely healthcare right there in your own hut.....what better!

I did sell my home without a realtor. It was worth the effort. But I've never taken a selfie. Wouldn't even try.

....when "girl" is anything under 40.

Interesting; my libido seems to be increasing as I age, and I notice the young things much more than I did when I was their age. I am not alone: I remember a much older friend of mine saying the same thing 20 years ago and he was expressing surprise. It isn't really all that surprising. Young folks don't want to think about "old" people and sex, but there is plenty of evidence to say that the sex drive does not necessary shrivel as time passes.

Sometimes I wish I could be duplicated as to be able to photograph myself. Nowadays for me it's a PITA scheduling up with people plus there's not the same synergy (maybe it's a more selfabsorbed antisocial part of me).

I'm young, 23, but somehow haven't treaded dating sites or apps, in a serious way. I've seen them work however. Two points hit me: Scary (data) and Time consuming.

The non-response is sadly very widespread, specially across the young. There's a term for it: "Ghosting".

Curiously I've had much more ghosting from a thick share of prospective employers, that's job dating though, hah! Not fun back then though. Having had that experience through job seeking, I say no thanks to adding another layer that creates anxiety and dopamine kicks.

Here's a long anecdote about data, precluding the Cambridge Analytica scandal:

I did try making friends online through a listing site, and ended up with quite an experiment.
There was this guy that seemed quite interesting and had a bit of a fluid conversation. Wanted to check his identity and with only the phone number, name, age and rough location (region) I got ahold of his social media (FB & IG) and ended up with quite an experiment knowing quite a bit about the person. Family, Friends, Adress, hobbies, etc. Think, if you can do that with public released data... Then FB, Google & co hold much more! Scary.
Called him up, hearing a tired young person and despite making up a plan he just ended ghosting...

Also, as Neil Tyson said "What they'd have thought about back when GPS was invented about how we are using it" Think Tinder, the location based dated game app.
I feel shrivers, it's window shopping in a way.

BTW, heard many kids use Instagram as a way to dating. Think of it, by posting a lot of info, there's a good thread there.
I sort of use it that way, but for Photographer networking! Got a few photography friends out of it.

At the end it's not about the camera, but the photogra... eh, not about the site, but the people!

Still single though, hah.

Enough with the PHONES!

Your beard has returned! Looks much better.
And how's the "injured by the physician" appendage?

I work on a college campus and what Jim Hamstra said is SPOT. ON. It's one of the secret perks of going to commencement exercises! Haha!

When actors smile, they have to decide what is making them smile. Otherwise, you end up looking like a politician or a nutcase. Neither is good.

So, set your camera on a tripod with the intervalometer, listen to something on youtube that makes you smile, and just let the camera snap away.

Two of my cameras had self timers that were very useful for selfies.

You know you're getting old when you can remember being at a Playboy centerfold shoot 30 years ago, and you were older than the model even back then.

Not entirely relevant to the dating-photo conversation, but if you're at the age when you're starting to wrinkle, turn your cell phone camera so it's front-facing, then hold it beneath your face, bend over so you're looking *down* at the lens, relax your face and look at your image. (You don't actually have to shoot the photo; in fact, I would recommend that you don't.) When all that flaccid skin folds forward, you have a whole different view of yourself and your age -- perhaps the view that a young child gets when you look down at him/her. Scary.

I knew I was old and/or fat, when I became nigh invisible in public. No one notices me, sort of like Vivian Maier, to my advantage on the street.

It seems that many photographers are not the best at self-portraits; maybe because they're more comfortable on the other side of the lens?

FWIW, here's my most recent mirror self-portrait, taken, well into my cups, at my Aunt Darlene's wake:

Self Portrait, December 01, 2017

Leica: solving the "smile problem" for over 100 years!

nice photo

I also have a grim look, even when I am in a good mood. Often get remarks about it. My reply always is: "Sorry about that, but this is my zero position."

Install the free iOS app Voice Enabled Camera

Select back camera.
Enable mike.
Put the camera in a breast pocket, noting which way you may need to lean.
Say "Take"

Done, except it will take a couple of tries to aim correctly. I had to put something in the bottom of the pocket to make the camera peek over the top.

Did I mess with it? Sure, rotate, crop, brighten, correct perspective distortion (I'm not a pinhead). If I needed it for a dating site, I'd lose the pens, trim mustache, and so on.

The Car Guys had a good take on the "were we at high school together" line - the response is "Were you one of the teachers?"

You should set up a Facebook page and Youtube video on doing dating site photos and let folks come to you. Much less creepy.


Thanks for posting and sharing a photo of yourself.

Assuming that I have the rare privilege of being your photographer, I would ask you to smile a wee bit. Just a wee bit only and not too much so that you will make many pretty women's hearts fluttering, and their dog's tails wagging.

Just sayin'

Dan K.

I met my wife on a web-based site more than 20 years ago. I was trolling a website dedicated to folks from a certain country on a bet I could get a date.

The bet was with a coworker from that country, who told me it would never happen. He was nearly right as most bailed the minute they confirmed I was not of the correct origin. (This puzzled as I made no pretense of being from that country.)

The miracle was that I found a woman who was fed up with men from her country and who lived within 60 miles of me.

We met, dated for a year and then married. She later told me the characteristic that appealed to her most was my self-deprecating humor, which was the exact opposite of what she was used to hearing.

The website did not include photos, which is probably why my hit rate was as good as it was.


I realize this was just an exercise, but I'm not a fan of mirror portraits in genera, however , this one made me smile, your expression made me think that you just got a nasty letter from the IRS....
You don't look like your normal Handsome and Affable self.

The demise of professional portrait photography is evident on today's obituary page, where grieving family members not only have to write the obit but illustrate it with whatever's available.
Before I retired from newspapers, I laid out the obit page and very few of deceased were pictured with anything but a family favorite snapshot. Some families were reduced to using driver's license photos.
I see some today dig out high school photos, which is the last time I sat for a portrait, back around 1970.

My friend showed me a picture of a women on match.com – it was a picture of a refrigerator – no joke! (When you went into her profile, then you could see her, standing next to the fridge! )
I too, think a smile in the top picture would boost your online dating ratings! Like the adorable smile in the bathroom picture!
(I would definitely date you!)
BTW, probably 70% of the men on dating sites have poorly done selfies! Either photography is becoming a lost art – or most men on dating sites care little about how they look!

I hate making photos of myself, and the anger it induces always shows.

Then there’s the issue of fact versus truth, the Fundamental Problem of journalistic photography.

I’m just grateful my wife saw deeper than mere fact.

I got bored and stopped doing selfies about fifteen years ago, before they were called selfies.

On dating sites, it's what they don't show you that's important...

I like your mirror selfie - not least because you are smiling, but also because there are 'contextual things' in the background - all the better to give info about you to your prospectives.

Wait until they ask you for more intimate photos... foreshortening!

"or most men on dating sites care little about how they look!"

Which, with confidence that this applies not at all to our gracious host, may be one of the reasons.

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