A 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.
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.