Top Ten Things Not to Do in the Presence of a Camera

Here is the 51st installment of Ten Top Lists of What Not to Do by Marie Ann Bailey of 1WriteWay at and John W. Howell of Fiction Favorites at These lists are simu-published on our blogs each Monday. We hope you enjoy.

a camera

Top Ten Things Not To Do When in the Presence of a Camera

10. If you are tempted to take a selfie (why, we don’t know) to show your friends your new tan lines, do not send the picture to anyone. If you do, at best, you may show too much line. At worst, your picture may make the internet rounds for the next million years.

9. If you are with friends and a picture is being taken, do not stick out your tongue as if you are Miley Cyrus. If you do, at best, you will look as graceful as Miley Cyrus. At worst, like your mom said, “Your face may stick that way.”

8. If you are tempted to take a selfie in the bathroom, do not take a picture until you check the background. If you do, at best, there may be some stray clothes lying around. At worst, that shot of the commode may be enough to get an unexpected visit from the health department and possibly a letter from a concerned citizen about the lid being in the up position.

7.  If you are tempted to take a selfie, try to make an expression that does not resemble a duck. If you don’t, at best, you will look like any one of a million selfies. At worst, your lips may be entered in the most obviously botched category at the Botox convention by a well-meaning friend and win.

6.  If you are in charge of taking pictures of a friends’ get-together, do not ask everyone to say cheese. If you do, at best, you will have different group photos that look the same. At worst, you will have walking dead expressions and your outing will resemble the before shots at the orthodontist.

5.  When posing for a group picture, do not put up two fingers behind the head of the person next to you. If you do, at best, you will ruin what could have been a nice picture. At worst, everyone in the photo will be able to attest that those two fingers represent the number of drinks that it takes to get you blotto.

4.  If you have had too much to drink, do not show up in each picture with your red solo cup. If you do, at best, you will have a chronicle of your behavior. At worst, you will document your own downfall and will have to face the inevitable slide show every time you and your friends get together.

3.  When taking pictures of the scenic wonders of America, do not take photos from a moving vehicle. If you do, at best, you might catch a tree or two in the blur. At worst, you will have lovely landscape colors that resemble finger paints to show, as a result, of your trip.

2.  When trying to capture the romantic nature of the moonlight over the lake, do not use a cell phone camera. If you do, at best, you might get what appears to be a pin head in the night. At worst, you will have a close up view of your fingerprint that can be used as a new form of identification.

1.  When taking pictures of pets, children, or anything on the ground, do not stand as tall as you are and take the shot. If you do, at best, you will get shots of little frightened beings resembling something out of The Hobbit. At worst, since you are not down at their level, your angle of attack will produce nothing but tops of the innocent little heads.


  1. I want to add a bonus item: If you’re the one behind the camera, don’t make your friends and family pose endlessly with fake smiles while you take the same photo repeatedly using every single available exposure setting on your camera. At best, all your subjects are going to be grumpy at you for the rest of the day. At worst, one of them is going to lose it any day now and reduce your expensive camera into an assorted jumble of broken glass, plastic chips and shattered circuit boards.

    #3 – my wife has actually managed a few beautiful photos using this technique, some of them even featured on my blog.

    1. Thanks for the great add. She obviously knows what she is doing. Taking pictures from a moving vehicle is the hardest.

      1. As long as the foreground is clear and lighting is good so you can use a very fast shutter speed it comes out okay. The biggest risk is catching your own reflection in the window 😉

  2. In regards to #9, what about sticking your tongue out like Gene Simmons? Is that acceptable or would it result in the same thing? Guess it would only work if you had the proper tongue though.

    1. I think a nice tattoo on the tongue would be reason to stick it out. You know, one that says “Hi my name is John. What’s yours?”

      1. ‘Nice to Meet You!’ 😛

  3. Good morning, John. Great list! I think you covered all the reasons why I tend to be camera-shy … so much can go wrong 😉 I’m always surprised when a candid shot comes out good.

    1. I know what you mean. I can’t figure out where all the wrinkles come from in a picture. Looking in the mirror is never as bad.(especially with the lights off)

      1. I have a friend who had soft pink lights in her bathroom because the lighting made her look younger. Only problem was when she would go to the ladies room at work … she’d practically have a heart-attack seeing herself under fluorescent lights 😉

      2. I have had the same issue. Look up from the sink and EEEEK (too vain maybe?)

      3. I think we imagine ourselves to look different, no matter our age. I still think of myself as having dark hair so seeing the gray in a photo or mirror can be a shock 🙂

  4. I always like to stand next to people bigger than me. It makes me look thinner.

    1. I get that. I even like to stand behind them.

  5. I like clutter in the background of my selfies, but you’re right: I always try to make sure it isn’t embarrassing clutter.

    1. Should look hard at the nightstand before the old goodmorning selfie

  6. […] And in “Making Monday’s Fun” News, John and Marie have a lovely “Top 10 What Not To Do” involving the camera. A should take […]

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