I love taking pictures of people taking pictures. And when people take pictures of me taking selfies. For me, it is a meta moment where I am capturing someone capturing another moment. This moment is just as valuable for the photographer as it is for the thing being photographed.
On that note, I also love getting caught in the selfie act. Although the narcissism of selfies is widely discussed, capturing someone in the selfie act allows us to observe the act itself, not just the outcome. The traditional selfie tropes (e.g., duckface, “sleeping” selfies, see others at knowyourmeme.com) are even more hilarious when the individual is caught in the process of such facial and bodily contortions.
The best photographs of photographers are candid. The selfies captured below were done so without my knowledge, thus demanding a greater understanding of the photo being taken. In the first selfie at Joshua Tree in 2011, I was excited about the scenery, the weather, and the overall trip. The second one, also captured in 2011, was just a quick duckface on a good hair day, but by capturing that seemingly narcissistic and gratuitous moment, the friend photographing my selfie reminds me that it is not a throwaway moment, but rather a great afternoon with friends that deserves just as much value and attention as a camping trip to a national park.
- #TBTSelfie Part 1: My Earliest Selfie
- #TBTSelfie Part 2: Sticker Pictures
- #TBTSelfie Part 4: Color of Selfie
TEDxSyracuse University: Friday, April 17, 2015 at 5pm
Livestream Available at http://tedx.syr.edu/livestream.html