Selfie – what is it good for??

Selfie (noun) – A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media 1 

Max and Maddy Selfie

Some would say that photography has taken a serious hit with the invasion of the “Selfie”. The selfie is truly rampant and most would agree, here to stay. When you go to a restaurant look around and you will see diners taking selfies with their dessert or entree. Everyone at a birthday party takes out their phone and wants to take a selfie with the birthday boy or girl. When you go to a concert, everyone is taking multiple selfies and ignoring the band.

selfie of Maddy

Visit a tourist site or famous landmark and there are friends and family groups taking selfies all day and night. Recently I was in Montreal and people were taking selfies some using selfie sticks in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral. I thought if you stood there with a selfie stick and offered it to tourists at $10.00 a selfie, you would make some serious money.

I have two teenage daughters so I am intimately familiar with the selfie. I am also fascinated by the selfie culture and the creative ways that celebrities and others seek fame with an outrageous selfie post. I am particularly amused by pet selfies taken their owners.

Here are some interesting facts about selfies that will give you the whole picture so to speak.

  1. Just search selfie on Pinterest and you will get thousands of boards about selfies. Here is a selfie board where you can post your selfie. The board reads   “Comment to join. Post as many selfies as you want no judgement:)” https://www.pinterest.com/amsweber/selfie-board/ 
  2. There are businesses built around selfies where you can go and put on costumes with crazy backdrops. https://www.facebook.com/selfiesca?fref=ts
  3. The term “selfie” was first coined by photographer, Jim Krauss and Buzz Aldrin took the first selfie in space in 1966 according to Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selfie
  4. We can’t talk about selfies without including Twitter and #selfiesaturday
  5. If you search selfie on Instagram there are 299,599,777 posts using #selfie.
  6. Selfies are not headshots (I had to put that one in there).

So what are selfies good for – fun! Some would say that selfies are an art form and I tend to agree. There are some incredible and creative selfie shots out there. Photography can’t ignore the selfie and the selfie has learned a lot from photography. The best selfies are the ones that use interesting angles, good composition and a good balance of light and shadow – the same is true of the best photographs. I must admit that Buzz Aldrin is a tough selfie act to follow.


1. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/learner/selfie


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