In Defense of Selfies

I’ve been thinking a lot about self-portraits lately.

When I see an Instagram feed full of selfies, I immediately get sad. I feel like they might not have anyone in their life to photograph their life experience. On the other hand – When I see an instagram feed full of self-portraits, I think that person is honing a skill.

Before digital cameras were a thing, I would take self-portraits with my Minolta or Canon using film. This meant being careful, planning a bit, and not knowing if I got the shot until I get the film developed at my local Wolf Camera (shout out – Wolf Camera).

I took these self-portraits, because I wanted to get better at taking portraits. Using myself as a model kept me from disappointing volunteers who maybe thought I’d get it right even though I was learning. As a result, I have a series of images of myself spanning from my late teens to now.

So, what’s the difference between taking self-portraits and selfies?

To my mind, a selfie is duck face, face-tuning, stickers, etc. Self-portraits are composition and natural (or natural-ish) posing.

I am not entirely sure that one is better than the other down the board. I know my taste lean more toward self-portraits, but those are just my tastes.

I do get judgmental about selfies. Like I said, I immediately think a person is lonely when I see a feed full of selfies. I think I feel this way, because the people in my life aren’t exactly camera or documentary photography enthusiasts like me. This means, I am documenting everything, but am hardly documented.

I should be more diligent about projecting my feelings. This is an area in which I need to grow as a person. Maybe, selfies are just fun! Maybe, the person with a full feed of duck face selfies is just having the time of their life making cute pictures, because they love themselves.

Yeah, I can do better. I won’t be making a duck face at a camera anytime soon, but I can certainly work on my immediate judgement of those who do.

Good talk, friends. Good talk.

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Barbara Burgess is a writer which is made apparent by the text in this box and the box above. She is best known for being a multi-genre/multi-writing voice author who throws caution to the wind when describing her writing career - "Oh, I write children's books, holiday romance, and sci-fi. Why? What do you do? Just one thing?" In addition to being a writer of all the things, she is the founder of Pilgrim Fowl Press and a writing facilitator bringing permission to write to the masses via Skillshare and Udemy. The only social media she frequents is Instagram (@hellothisisbarbara). Her desert island movie is Stargate (the original with James Spader), and she has been taking daily mug shots of her morning coffee since before Instagram was even a thing.

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