Photo Diary: Selfie Life in San Francisco & How I Learned to Be My Own Photo Team

I usually go to San Francisco with full intention to load up my photo stock. Due to much more pleasant weather in late winter versus NYC, I can compile several photo stories with lighter outfits for spring. San Francisco is by no means southern California with warm vibes and beaches around this time of year, but it still allows me to shed my winter coat.

This time around, I went in with my new camera, a collapsible tripod, and my remote control. In the past, I would just try to find a stable surface to prop my camera on, manual focus, set the automatic self-timer to 7 seconds, run to my marker as quickly as I could, then cross my fingers that my focusing job was good enough, and the photo came out clear. Obviously, this is a highly time-consuming process.

My life is a thousand times easier with a tripod and a remote. I frame my shot, take note of a marker on the screen (i.e. in the beach shots, it was a little mound of sand), and press the remote “2s” button to automatically autofocus and give myself a 2-second buffer to pose and hide the remote. It totally beats a selfie stick and gets the attention of plenty of strangers who are fascinated by the selfie setup.

One of the biggest questions I get is whether I get self-conscious taking pictures of myself in public. Yes, at first, I did. I felt a little silly. Then again, I feel stupid taking a selfie with my phone too, so that doesn’t say much. It doesn’t take long to get over the initial hurdle of self-consciousness (after the first set-up, it gets much easier). I find that most people are more impressed by the set-up than they are judging the situation. Not everyone can pull off being a single photo production team and strangers approach the situation with curiosity.

I think I get too wrapped up in the process of location discovery at new travel destinations to pay attention to what everyone is doing around me too. All these photos are from one day of walking around and exploring San Francisco. I think I logged about 17 miles that day if I remember correctly (my average was about 12 miles a day). Thanks, SF, for the buns of steel.

I upload all my photos at the end of the day, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I edit them all at the end of the day. I wind up with about 200-300 photos daily, so it requires substantial chunks of time to sit down, edit and then post-process. All my editing is done first via Lightroom and then tweaked in Photoshop. Biggest tip is to set up actions for routine processes such as image toning and resizing for the web. Made my life so much easier!

 Shop the Look:

Nina Ricci Bow Detail Cat Eye Acetate Sunglasses, Black // Chelsea Crossbody Pebble Grain //T by Alexander Wang Pocket Tee //Mes Dames Julia Midi Pencil Skirt //10 Crosby Derek Lam Ainslee







Nataliya Ogle


Nataliya Ogle likes making sure others live to their full potential. She publishes articles on her primary website and works as a freelance writer for other women's interest sites. Her physical body is in New York but her presence can almost always be found online. The internet is her first love.


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