Selfies: The Old, The Brave, The Strange

Posted by Viktoria Michaelis on January 29, 2016 in Photography |

They’re not going to disappear, the self-shots or selfies. No matter how much photographers may wish it, no matter how silly, outrageous or narcissistic, society, young and old, is fascinated by images of themselves in all situations. Social history, in the form of a self-portrait caught on the spur of the moment, is being re-written by ordinary people.

Brixton Selfie

Photo Source: Ulysess Thirty OneCreative Commons

And, let’s be honest, some of the images we get to see, uploaded to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or wherever, tell a story many of us would love to hear, even if we don’t necessarily wish to experience the moment ourselves.

What was happening in Brixton, London, as this young man captured himself and his surroundings? A peaceful demonstration? Market day in the suburbs?

Cheap Wedding Photographer

Photo Source: Dave BloggsCreative Commons

Why did this couple decide to take the cheap way out and save on their wedding photographer?

Selfie-Stick Seller

Photo Source: Michele M.F.Creative Commons

And who is he? Someone on the prowl to take selfies for those without their own cell phone? They used to offer food for the pigeons but, now that feeding has been banned in many cities in Europe, other means of earning a living have to be found. Why not offer yourself as a professional selfie-photographer?

Self-taken, 1926

Photo Source: Alan CleaverCreative Commons

But for those who criticize this new trend, this stretching and craning and pouting at a small lens held as far away as possible to get just the right shot, a glimpse back to years gone by. Not the first selfie by any means, but a reminder that there is nothing new under the sun, and these could be the grandparents of someone today, standing in their garden, capturing themselves for future generations.

  • Viktoria Michaelis.

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