Take a Picture

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"Take a Picture"
Single by Filter
from the album Title of Record
Released November 16, 1999 (1999-11-16)
Format CD

6:03 (album version)
4:20 (video version)

3:41 (radio edit)
Label Reprise
Writer(s) Richard Patrick
  • Ben Grosse
  • Richard Patrick
  • Geno Lenardo
  • Rae DiLeo
Filter singles chronology
"Welcome to the Fold"
"Take a Picture"
"The Best Things"

"Take a Picture" is a song by American alternative rock group Filter. It was released in November 1999 as the second single from their second album Title of Record. The song became a major hit during the start of 2000. It was the band's first departure from industrial rock.

Lyrical content[edit]

Filter's frontman, and founding member Richard Patrick has said that the song is about him getting drunk on an airplane and taking off all of his clothes.[1] Patrick expanded in greater detail in a 2008 retrospective interview:

"When I wrote the chorus to "Take a Picture" – 'Could you take my picture/’Cuz I won’t remember' – it was just after my friend was like, 'Do you remember anything you did last night?' And I was like, 'What are you talking about?' She said, “My god, you were throwing beer bottles out of a cab window at a cop car. Do you remember that?' And I said, 'Good lord, could you take my picture, ‘cuz I won’t remember.' And that line just kinda stuck. Weeks later, I had another drunken experience – being on a plane and being blacked out and not feeling good and taking my shirt off, half in and out of consciousness – and I’m in the back of a paddy wagon. I’m thinking, 'Oh my god, what is my dad gonna think of this s**t?' Y’know, ‘Dad, what do you think about your son now?’ So, the song is this amazing thing for me to look back on now."[2]

Patrick's father was offended by this line, but Patrick explained to his father that each time he sings the line it has a different meaning because Patrick changes the tone in which he delivers the line each time it's sung.[3]

The song was intended as a tribute to the Was (Not Was) song, "Dad, I'm In Jail", from their album What Up, Dog?. [4]

Music video[edit]

A music video, directed by David Meyers, featured the band in a dreamlike sequence taking place in five different main scenes: a crashed and burning jet airplane in the middle of the ocean, underwater below it without scuba gear on, on a tiny search boat rowboat in the middle of the ocean, a room in a house being flooded by water, and on the roof of this flooding house.[5]

Filter appeared two years in a row at popular Washington, D.C./Baltimore radio station 99.1 HFStival. The first year's performance in September 1999 did not include the song. Mass requests and increasing popularity (as stated all day during the second year's performance in May 2000) resulted in the song being played as their closer.


The song crossed over to Top 40 radio (it reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 on February 5, 2000, after reaching the Top 40 on December 14, 1999). It hit #1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart on February 5, 2000.[6] Remixes were provided by Club 69. The song was also a Top 5 hit on the Mainstream Rock Tracks at #4 and the Modern Rock Tracks at #3 beating their previous hit, Hey Man, Nice Shot. It was also a Top 10 hit on the Adult Top 40 at #7 and a Top 20 hit on the pop charts at #15 making their 1st and only song to chart on the 2 latter charts.

The song peaked at #8 on the New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart on February 28, 2000.[7] Despite not reaching the #1 spot, Take A Picture was nevertheless the most played rock song on New Zealand radio that year, and it remains popular as of 2012.

The song has been featured in numerous motion pictures, including The Girl Next Door, Saving Grace, Little Nicky and Pay It Forward.

The song was re-recorded for use in the 2009 music video game Band Hero, where it is a playable track. This recording is based on the live arrangements of the song, which features a more present drum track and slightly different vocals.


  1. Take A Picture
  2. Take A Picture (Hybrid Mix)
  3. Take A Picture (Club 69 Trans Mix)
  4. Take A Picture (Rennie Pilgrem Mix)
  5. Take A Picture (H & H Mix)

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1999-00) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[8] 32
Canada Top Singles (RPM) 3
Canada Canadian Rock/Alternative chart (RPM) 1
Germany (Official German Charts)[9] 98
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[10] 8
US Billboard Hot 100 12
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play 1
US Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks 7
US Billboard Top 40 Mainstream 15
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 4
US Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks 3

See also[edit]

Preceded by
"That Sound" by Michael Moog
Billboard Hot Dance Club Play number-one single
February 5, 2000
Succeeded by
"Temperamental" by Everything but the Girl
Preceded by
Learn to Fly by Foo Fighters (first run)
Canadian RPM Rock/Alternative 30 number-one single
January 10, 2000 (first run)
January 31 - March 6, 2000 (second run)
Succeeded by
"Learn to Fly" by Foo Fighters (second run)
"Load Me Up" by Matthew Good Band


External links[edit]