Open Letter to People I Ask to Take My Picture

Dear people of the world,

hi. My name is Elina. I take pictures of myself and put them on the internet. A true child of the millenia, wouldn’t you say. I am also a strong independent woman who needs no photographer to follow her around (but low-key kinda do, interested Instagram hubbies hmu) since I take most of my pictures myself. I like to set up my tripod or, because of the lazy kind of fucker that I am, I usually just precariously balance my camera on top of something that’s more or less the right height. (Disclaimer: not the best game plan. I almost smashed my poor Olympus when it fell down a chair I was using to get a visa picture for Myanmar. This is why I shouldn’t have nice things.)

But sometimes I don’t have my tripod with me, or there is nothing precarious enough to put my camera on, or it’s just not possible to selfie my way out of a situation. That’s when I turn to you for help.

Sometimes you’re a friend who’s getting dragged around a selected city / mountain with me, and I’m probably either complaining about being hungry, eating something or Instagramming whatever it is I’m trying to eat. So you know, I get it, I’m not easy to work with. So I appreciate it so much when you do take the camera when I ask and take them photos. That’s so nice! I really, really appreciate it.

And let’s not forget the kind strangers who are equally willing to help out a damsel in distress. Rarely has any one of you been too busy to snap a few quick shots when I’ve asked nicely. You’re making my social media life so much easier, guys.


(You knew there was gonna be a but, didn’t you?)

I just have some questions.


showing all that matters: me and dat floor. Lviv, Ukraine

I know it’s exciting to play the photographer for a moment so you might feel like your artistic direction is the best way to go. What do I even know, maybe you direct photoshoots for a living in a chic New York basement somewhere.

But do we really need to be focusing on the floor right now?

There are balloons above my head. Fairy lights. A whole wide open sky. For all that I know, there might be birds flying around that will now never be insta-famous. Will you think of the birds, Brenda.

And you know, it’s really incredible that a whole Volswagen Beetle in its entirety fits on a roof terrace but not in a photo.


might be fighting shadow monsters because apparently I’m in the upside down now. Sintra, Portugal

I can see you tilting the camera. Why are you tilting the camera? I’m worried. You do know that there are two generally accepted dimensions for photographs, right? I’m sure you really liked Inception, but the whole wonky walls thing really works much better with moving picture.

Or are you just thinking of that time when all of us were trying to look hot for Myspace and took mirror selfies with  compact cameras and always tilted them slightly to make us look… You know what, I don’t even know what we were trying to achieve there. It’s literally the same picture, just at a 45 degree angle. If it wasn’t cool to pull crap like this in 2008, it isn’t now either, Nancy.


my face when you only click once. also note the excellent use of the 45 degree angle. Tallinn, Estonia

You must be so busy, and I totally get that! I wouldn’t want to waste more of your day than I have to, and I appreciate that you stopped your sightseeing to take my picture. It’s very nice of you.

But how you gonna just take one pic and be done with it?

Look, it’s not your fault. My face just does this thing where it doesn’t do The Thing. Trust me, my friends are always yelling at me for blinking in photos. And don’t even get me started on the triple chins I was pulling while I was trying to get my dress in order! But this is exactly why one picture just won’t cut it. The probability of me getting a great picture on the first time is about as high as me winning the lottery, and I never play the lottery, and if I could have those probabilities I think I’d actually rather have the money one come true, please and thank you.

Just one photo of the Loch Ness monster would be enough, but I don’t secretly live in a Scottish lake and I’m the complete opposite of rare and elusive, so please, just press the damn button another time.

You are absolutely right, the floor is so much more interesting than the THOUSAND YEAR OLD TEMPLE BEHIND ME. Bagan. Myanmar


Did you see me hand out the camera to you? Then you must’ve seen that I had the thing wrapped around my neck when I went to hand you the camera. So why you gotta hold onto my it like it’s a beat and you’re about to drop it? Just put the thing around your neck, please.

You are stressing me out, Karen.


*ariana grande voice* fo-fo-focus on me… Also I had to frame out a literal naked child on the background (#justvietnamthings) so nice job framing the shot BUDDY. Sapa, Vietnam


Look, you really have no excuse for this one. I was told that if I wanted someone to take my picture, I should ask someone with one of those nice DSLRs since they would know how to use a camera for sure. But wouldn’t you know it, as soon as it’s not yours, it’s impossible to use. Like what is this??? camera?? what do??

I’m sure you’ve heard of focus and framing before. You don’t have to be a professional. But I also just showed you how to use the focus on my camera, and I also just showed you a picture that I wanted you to take, just with me in it. You should return that brain to the poor goldfish you took it from because how else do you suppose you just forgot everything a) I told you b) you ever knew?

You paid 800 euros for that camera Greg, get your shit together.

(Unrelated note: I don’t even know why, but Greg is possibly the funniest name that exists. Bless all Gregs of this world.)

I’m sorry, I’m not great at feet, could I interest you in a butt instead? Prague, Czech republic


OK, maybe you just didn’t want to be one of those guys who seem too much in love with the floor for their own good. But you can’t just completely ignore it, it’s there for a reason. It’s good for putting up furniture and standing on and stuff, you know. But here I am, looking at a picture of myself with my feet cut off, and I have to wonder if I ever even had feet or was it some sort of a crazy dream I had.

My best friend dubbed these kind of pictures ‘mum pictures’ because mums always take photos where the strangest parts of you are cropped off. Like yea, mum, didn’t need the top of my head anyway, wasn’t using it all that much. (About a week later, that same friend took a picture of me. I had been raving about my new awesome shoes all day. Guess who didn’t have feet that day?)

me: hey, take a picture of me walking in this cool forest my sister: lol what forest *zooms in as close to me as possible* Iisalmi, Finland

Honestly, I like you all so much for giving me your time, and this is so awkward for me. I just checked the picture that you took of me and my eyes are closed, I’m out of focus and somehow a portal to hell just opened on the background. But I already told you that ‘I’m sure they’re fine’, and now I gotta hang around and wait for you to leave so that I can ask someone else for a photo because I don’t want you to see me with my new photographer because I just don’t want to hurt you, you know? What we had was good, but I need to move on. This dude can actually hold the camera horizontally.


your average white Insta girl


ps. I’m sorry. It’s not your fault if I look weird in pictures. At this point I have to suspect that it’s just my face. Have you seen my selfie skills? (Or lack thereof.) Head over to my Instagram stories to see me shame myself for a change!

2 thoughts on “Open Letter to People I Ask to Take My Picture

  1. Samoja ongelmia noiden muiden ottamien kuvien kanssa. Lattia on ykköskuvauskohde ja niitä kuvia ei oteta kuin se yksi, jossa on silmät puoliksi kiinni ja tarkennus epäonnistunut 😀 Monesti teen niin että otan sellaisen kuvan miten haluan että se rajataan, näytän sen kuvan ottajalle ja toivon parasta. Silti puolet kuvasta on lattiaa ja takana oleva ihana kirsikkapuu rajautuu keskeltä poikki.

    1. Jooo mikä siinä on että vaikka näyttäis tarkasti rajatun kuvan niin silti se luova johto ottaa vallan ja sieltä tuleekin jotain ihan muuta 😀 😀

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