I’ve always been a little critical of selfies. Not in the rabid outspoken you are evil if you take selfies way some people are, but a bit critical none the less. I often think: Do we have to see a picture of you WITH that object? Won’t a picture of the thing itself do? I can believe you were there if you just post pictures of the location. That photo of you looks terrible! Seriously, how do you think you can take a good photo of yourself? However, I remind myself that most of these people aren’t serious photographers, and even I have on occasion just taken photos for the record. In fact, now that I think of it, I’ve been taking selfies of various kinds for years.
In the beginning, they were more what you would think of as selfies. Thanks to the lack of Facebook in my high school days and my quite personality, the photos of my weekly Saturday hair creations never made it past my photo albums. They were taken with my little old film point-and-shoot, hand-held at first, then later with self-timer and the camera sitting on furniture. They were also quickly covered with my hand when showing old photos to my sister’s boyfriend. (Oops, sorry I forgot about those. )
My first serious “selfies” were taken for a self-portrait assignment my sophomore year of college. A year later, I redid the project just to see if I could do better. I did. Since I was not as pretty as many other young women in my major, people did not ask to use me as a model, nor did I think it appropriate to ask. So I also took pictures of myself for artist statement and online profile purposes. After college, I had some trouble getting other people to photograph, so I took to photographing and retouching myself for practice. Of course, I use tripod, a DSLR, and flash for all of these photos, as well as retouching in Photoshop. Do they actually look like me? Some more than others. What is the quality? Better than your average selfie, although focus can be an issue. Below are two of my more recent selfies.
This is more of a commercial style shot of me as a nerd girl. It was intended for stock, and actually accepted by one site before I heard of people having trouble after images of them were used for sensitive subjects and pulled it from my portfolio. My aim was to present a more realistic nerd girl, not a model in funny glasses making a stupid face. (I actually never had the glasses in the photo. They were just cheap reading glasses that “read” nerd but didn’t look ridiculous.) In hindsight, some of the retouch may have made it too stylistic.
This one was taken last fall for a LinkedIn profile photo. It is more realistic, taken to be an honest, post new glasses, photo of myself where I looked more like a creative person than an accountant, but hopefully still professional and grown-up. I’m sure I’ll probably upgrade my idea of what it should be and replace it in the next few months, now that I finally retouched it and posted it this week.
Next Time: Indoor Gardens or Black on Black is Back