Coming to England has made us realize that we are pretty awful photographers. On our first few trips, we took photos only of the beautiful scenery and buildings. That’s great—but you wouldn’t even know we’ve been to Dove Cottage or the Lake District from our photos. After looking back on those stunning yet Micah-and-Sianna-less pictures, we’ve gotten better at taking photos with us actually in them. Actually making sure we are in the photos is important for a few reasons, the most important of which is that our mothers like for us to prove that we are having a good time.
Sometimes we take photos with just one of us in them, and on rare occasions we have asked a stranger to snap a pic. But this is obviously leaving out one of our generation’s favorite types of photos—the selfie. As we have come to realize, selfies are actually NOT easy to take. Our hats are off to you, Kim Kardashian.
Since we don’t particularly enjoy talking to strangers (or handing over our iPhones in a foreign country) we are mostly left with the selfie option if we both want to be in a photo. Turns out, we are not super great at selfies. For starters, we don’t have a great history of taking selfies—if you have a crush on one of us (not recommended) and stalk our Facebook and Instagrams (even less recommended), you will be sorely disappointed by the lack of cute selfies with pristine backgrounds and catchy captions. You will be rewarded with lots of food, animal, trash can, and family pictures though.
Several of our early attempts at selfies involved limbs and heads being cut out of the photos. Once we finally managed to get both of us in the photo, we often cut out the scenery or important monument we were trying to capture. This could be particularly frustrating as others in our group easily captured selfies of groups of five or more, with a mountain or castle in the background. Like, how?
The answer is still unknown to us, but with each visit to a historical site and every spotting of a distinctly British landscape, our selfie skills are being put to the test. Every once and awhile we even break out the selfie stick, a truly innovative device designed to aid in the creation of selfie art—if one remembers to actually pack it on a day trip. So, generally, we’re still taking selfies the old-fashioned way: one arm outstretched, wearing a funny face, and with a deep hope that all that needs to be in the shot is actually in the shot (i.e., the right half of Sianna’s face).
Fortunately for our social media reputations, sometimes the light shines just right or we find that perfect angle for both of us, and the selfie turns out Instagram worthy. This isn’t often, as evidenced by the vast number of landscape photos we’ve posted lately, but sometimes we get lucky. Sometimes even a couple of aesthetically-undeveloped travelers like us can be considered on fleek #nofilter.
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