For the past 3 months I’ve undertaken a project to explore the medium of selfies.
Through Facebook I’ve sourced over 40 selfies.
Each selfie is accompanied by two quotes from the subject of the selfie, responses to the following questions;
- What does your selfie say about you?
- What does your selfie fail to say about you?
These selfies were then curated publicly on Instagram, and tagged appropriately.
The only specifications given regarding the selfie was that it had to be a photo of you, taken by you.
This led to some interesting interpretations.
The majority of selfies sourced were taken by women. This reflects similar, global-scale studies on the selfie.
Most selfies submitted showed the selfie-taker at their most photogenic. There were a few notable examples though which seem to be trying to appeal through humour.
Taking a selfie with an animal was not uncommon, a trend which appears to be global. Several ‘animal selfie’ trends have circulated online in recent months such as quokka selfies.
Taking selfies with animals, domesticated or exotic, ties in with how people also appeared to like taking selfies when they were doing something out of the ordinary.
In regards to the question What does your selfie say about you?, responses were fairly descriptive of the content of the selfie. Respondents described their image, sometimes with explanation as to why they look that way.
More interesting however were the responses to the question What does your selfie fail to say about you? Often this revealed that the person in the selfie was not as confident or content in their life as the image may make them appear.
People, especially young people, genuinely enjoy taking selfies. The medium is used as a way to document their life, from the places they visit, to the people they meet and the experiences they have.
Most of the time people want a selfie that shows them at their best, though for some this may mean taking a humorous shot. Selfies capture a moment in a person’s life that can be read as documenting them as they were at a particular place and time.
But it is important to remember what selfies cannot document. Selfies–documenting us at our best–fail to communicate the inevitable troubles faced by everyone.Therefore selfies can be seen as a tool of photojournalism by the self, a way of creating and controlling your image in an increasingly online world