Selfies, so much more than self indulgence

selfie is a genre of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone.   They are often casual, are typically taken either with a camera held at arm’s length or in a mirror, and typically include either only the photographer, or the photographer and up to three other people. Selfies taken that involve multiple people are known as “group selfies”.  Wikipedia

There we were, two lifelong friends waiting to board a plane.  Embarking on an adventure.  Four days away to be reunited with our mutual friend as she travels Australia.

We were filling in time, fiddling on our phones, when I spoke these crazy  words “Have a look at the funny selfies I took of myself the other day?”

I heard her gasp, then hold her breath, a massive smile spreading across her face.  “What’s wrong?” I said, still oblivious to the humour in what I just said.   Through her fits of laughter she managed to blurt out, “Who else would you take a selfie of?”

That was it, it was all we needed to establish a fun under current for the next four days. The running joke was to call out, “Just hang on I am taking a selfie of myself”, “Look a selfie of me”, on and on it went.  Giving us all permission to unashamedly take countless selfies.  We took selfies of each other taking selfies, we took group selfies, selfies of feet, selfies everywhere we went.

Those four days we captured our friendship, our fun and our laughter in a unique and unusual way.

I remember the first time I saw a selfie,  it was Demi Moore taking a shot of herself in the mirror while wearing a bikini.  A full body selfie.  I remember thinking then, why would you do that?

Selfies have since become a global phenomenon.  Opinions are still very divided, often associated with words such as embarrassing, narcissistic, self-absorbed and vain.

There is also the inspiring work of photographers like Vivienne Mcmaster and her website,  Be Your Own Beloved.  Vivienne runs courses and writes a blog encouraging people to see themselves with kindness through the lens of the camera.  She views self portraiture as a self care practice and a way to see yourself in a new light.


I considered my own attitude toward selfies and my albeit short history of taking them.

I have not always been comfortable with seeing photos of myself. More about my story here. I wanted to be in them, then once I saw the result I wished I wasn’t.  Countless times I stood, awkward and unsure, in pain almost, waiting for the click of the shutter.   To be free from the agony of posing and the worry of how I may look.

When I take selfies l am relaxed, natural and gutsy.

I particularly enjoy group selfies. They have become a fun, artistic and a clever way to be seen with my family in more photos.  I am often the photographer in the group, which translates to – absent from the photos.  The group selfie has got me back in the picture.  Capturing my involvement in the lives of my loved ones, preserving images to enjoy for years to come.  Leaning into photos with friends, snapping away and commemorate fun days out.

When I take selfies I aim for artistic memorabilia, a photo I am proud to share and one that has captured a moment, a feeling an event. Sorry no bikinis in the bathroom for me, although wedding dresses in the middle of the day are okay.

Something deep and powerful happens when I stare at my own image, taken by me just for me.  An image I love for reasons that may only be obvious to me.

I decided to make this video as a celebration of an art form.  One I have come to enjoy and one I hope can bring fun and frivolity to your memory making.

Selfies from Karen Main on Vimeo.

Think you may be missing from the picture.  Grab your phone and take some group selfies.   Visit Mum and take a selfie, hug the kids and take a selfie, hug your significant other and take a selfie, grab the dog, the cat, hold them up and take a selfie, grab a coffee with a friend and take a selfie.  Then when your ready take one of you, just for you.

Signature large photo Signaturelarge_zps82b3ad36.png


  1. Annette says

    So honored to have made your selfies video. Those were a fun 4 days, a gift from both you and Linda I will never forget.
    I love your selfies. Thanks for sharing. You make the whole concept respectably creative.

  2. says

    I am so inspired, not only at how nice your site has turned out, but by your post about selfies. I have not liked my picture being taken for most of my life and I realize how many memories have not been captured because of my silly insecurities. I started taking selfies a few months ago and have actually grown to enjoy it for many of the reasons you share here. I just might have to write a blog post about my experiences as well :) Loved your video! Thank you for sharing.

  3. Linda says

    I still have fits of giggles when I remember that “selfie” comment at the airport….Wow….I just loved those 4 days… was certainly good for the heart and soul xo

  4. says

    I live selfies! Not because I live taking pictures of myself (!) but because I love being able to be in the moment I want to capture! I take a lot of group selfies with my family and it really does show the fun we are having – it’s a different kind of photo that tells a very real story! Stopping by from SITS!

    • says

      And that is it…….being able to be in the moment you want to capture. So thrilled you stopped by and hope to see you again.

  5. says

    Loved this post. As someone who is starting to join the Selfie revolution and see the fun in it, I can totally releate. :) Great video. Stopping by from Sits!

    • says

      Hi Angie, I had a lot of fun making this video, I am overjoyed to have a weeny increase in my audience for it. The selfie revolution is a lot of fun and I want to share that fun with others. Would love you to stop by again.

  6. says

    It is really interesting to think about selfies. I typically don’t like having photos taken of me so it’s funny that I am willing to take selfies. Actually, my selfies are typically yoga photos (on Instagram, as part of some yoga challenges). That’s become an incredible way for me to focus on my yoga practice as well as to be creative with photography. And yes, it’s also helped me feel more confident too.

    • says

      Hi Christine my blog is very new and I get so excited when a new reader comments. I headed over to your blog and just love it. I was wondering about the old School Blogging posts they seem like fun to write, is it something you promote for others to join in on?
      Once again thanks enormously for stopping by and sharing your views on selfies.

  7. says

    While I am never fond of photos of myself, most especially the selfie, I’m a huge fan of selfies of myself and my boys. I have hundreds of those.

    I love that you and your friends embarked upon this selfie challenge.

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