They might call us the selfie generation. First it was flip-phones in bathroom mirrors; now it’s front-facing cameras and selfie sticks.
Every day I see some article about how selfies make us narcissistic, immature, or self-conscious. We are too self-absorbed by taking photos of ourselves and carefully curating those images for our online presence.
My phone’s camera is absolute shit. I rely on my Canon for everything, including selfies. I don’t know whether the time I put into staging each shot- setting manual focus to the right depth, pressing the 10 second timer, getting into position is more or less narcissistic than a quick button tap on my phone. Does enough time put into it make it art, or pathetic?
Sometimes, selfies are about memory. I traveled alone so much this summer that I usually didn’t have someone who could take a picture for me. I’d set my manual focus, and prop the camera up on the bumper of a truck or the dash of a mini van.
Sometimes, the reflective surfaces around you offer too much of a fun challenge to resist taking a self-portrait
Sometimes, it’s only about preserving who you are in a moment, because our identity and our mood are constantly shifting. It’s about telling a story about yourself in that point of time.
Ultimately, there’s an art and process to taking selfies with a DSLR. You have to put in some time and energy to figure out what pose works, because you don’t have immediate feedback. It ends up being some quiet ritual to finding how you want to remember yourself.
I genuinely like seeing all selfies my friends post for that reason. They chose to share something that makes them feel good about themselves, and that’s pretty damn great.