Self Timer Fails

Until my trip to Nelson and Golden Bay (the top of the South Island) with Andy in two weeks, I won’t have a whole lot of new material. I thought this would be a good opportunity to share a compilation of photos that illustrate the trials and tribulations of using the camera’s self timer setting. I’ve had my fair share of outtakes while traveling New Zealand alone. When I want to be in the photo and there’s no one around to take it for me, I have to get creative with the setup, especially when my tripod isn’t on hand.

I didn’t think to save these outtakes until part-way through my time here. The idea came to me when I was in the Bay of Islands. I had the camera set to take three pictures in a row, but then some people came around the corner and I immediately felt silly. It’s hard to stand stock still, grinning widely, while a group walks by, probably thinking I’m nuts for a few seconds before they see the camera.

This was the result.




Awkward, yet amusing.

I knew that I had to save this sequence, and soon enough, I had some more to add to the collection.

This next bunch came on the very same island as the first three. I was much too busy posing for the shot to notice the encroaching tide.




You can easily read my disappointment at the sensation of two shoes full of seawater in my posture, but here are some closeups to really bring home that delightful soggy sock sensation.




That smile quickly became a grimace.

Even the squishy walk back across the island couldn’t deter me from using the self timer, though. I was determined to prove I was indeed in these places that I had so many people-free shots of.

Next up, the classic headless (or torsoless) shots that seem to crop up pretty often. Either I don’t prop the camera up at enough of an angle, or it slowly repositions itself while I walk off to get in frame.




As you can see, you’re getting progressively less of me as we go on, until I’m just a pair of legs hiking some trails above Wellington.

The wind often has a part to play in these self timer shenanigans. Once, I thoughtlessly balanced the camera on top of my backpack to get a shot on the cliffs off Wellington’s south coast. Just as I got ready to pose, a strong southerly gust toppled my backpack and I couldn’t reach it in time to stop my camera from toppling as well. Luckily, there was no serious damage, but I learned my lesson.

That doesn’t mean that the wind doesn’t knock me off balance now and then, though. Up above Akaroa, I quickly set my camera up in a safe, stable nook in the rocks to get some pictures before finding a less absurdly windy spot.

The first one came out fine.


But then a gust of wind came, and this happened…


I managed to catch myself and prevent injury, but just LOOK at that troll hair. Impressive.

Other times, I’m trying to prevent hair styles like that, but the camera catches me before I can compose myself.


My camera even has a 20-second timer setting, which is great when I want to climb rocks or get up in a tree for a shot. Turns out, sometimes even 20 seconds isn’t long enough when you’re struggling.



That’s why I always make sure to set the camera for at least three shots so I can recover and pretend it was all easy. Now you know the truth.

There are no limits when it comes to the self timer making a fool of you, and it’s just as happy to do its worst when more than one person is involved. Maybe this is just what Melissa and I get for attempting to take a classic-but-overdone jumping shot using a timer.




Now that I have a travel buddy (well, two), these fails may be few and far between, but there’s still potential with group shots to get some hilarious outcomes, especially when dogs are involved (and you forget to tell the other person that three shots are being taken).


What fun are mistakes if you can’t laugh at them afterwards and then post them on your blog for everyone to see?

6 thoughts on “Self Timer Fails

  1. Hilarious, Kelsey! Thanks for putting aside your embarrassment and making this crazy post.


    1. Glad you liked it 🙂 My sense of shame decreases with age.


  2. These are priceless, Kelsey. Good on ya for sharing your hilarious mistakes.


    1. Thanks, Dad. Had to make use of the unintentional comedy of it all.


  3. I am sharing this on twitter haha this is awesome! I miss you so much!! Love to see your smile in these 🙂 (and your troll hair…)


    1. Aw, thanks Jen! Knew you’d appreciate it 🙂 One of the many reasons we’re friends – because we’re giant goofballs.


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