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Something's About a Selfie

Updated on September 23, 2015
LuisEGonzalez profile image

I enjoy photography and have been doing so professionally and independently for over 30 years.

Public Domain
Public Domain | Source


CC BY-SA 2.0
CC BY-SA 2.0 | Source

A large majority of selfies are done with the intent of attracting attention to a profile; a person. This is probably a new take on publicity stunts when actors and actresses let slip an "embarrassing" photo or video or news about "something less than wholesome."

Whatever the reason one has to think that many of these self portraits are a simple and effective method of self advertising and for the moment, it seems to be working just fine.

What is more interesting is that many men are doing what girls had been doing for some time. The worrisome aspect of this new wave of exposure is that younger crowds are following in the footsteps of many adults, often with less than cordial consequences.

There seems to be a recent craze (OK maybe not that recent) by beautiful women of taking self portraits often in front of a mirror and almost always showing lots of skin or even full nudity.

But have you ever wondered if all of these photographs are really self portraits or clever portraits taken by a photographer for a commercial purpose? Or maybe even a true selfie but taken with a commercial interest in mind,like gaining popularity.

The idea of taking a self picture in front of a mirror may be new but people have been taken self portrait as early as the 1900 with the cheap cameras introduced by Kodak way back then.

Granted the majority are true self portraits and for whatever the purpose only the model or girl and her camera are there.

First and foremost, the photos used here as illustrations do not in any way signify or imply that they were used to self advertise or gain anything or for any purpose whatsoever other than what their creators intended or openly stated. They are simply used just to illustrate some typical selfies's styles and poses.

These self portraits are also called selfies: "A selfie is a type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone. In August 2013, the term selfie also made its debut in Oxford Dictionaries Online's quarterly update where it is defined as "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website." Selfies are often associated with social networking and photo sharing services such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat where they are commonly posted or sent. They are often casual, are typically taken either with a camera held at arm's length or in a mirror, and typically include either only the photographer, or the photographer and as many people as can be in focus. Selfies taken that involve multiple people are known as "group selfies". In August 2013 the Guardian produced a film series titled Thinkfluencer exploring selfie exposure in the UK.:"Wikipedia

Even then many of these self mirror portraits are done for a commercial purpose like catching attention and directing viewers to a web site or to another commercial product and some artists have also turned to this type of self portrait as a way of guiding views to their site for exposure or perhaps making a sale, even just to attract publicity.

Take for example many of the photographs that are easily found on the net that show a beautiful Asian looking young lady in what appears to be a self portrait. Once you click on the image it will then take directly to the web site for a massage parlor in California and no I am not posting the link here.

There is no nudity or anything indecent about these images, but many visitors (probably all men by the way) will click on the pictures hoping to see something else.

This is a clever way of advertising a product or service because as the old advertising adage says "sex sells."

What is clear is that many of these selfies are not really selfies at all but posed models made to look as if they were taking their own photographs.

CC BY 2.0
CC BY 2.0 | Source

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If you are going to do a photo project like this one, make sure to choose models who are attractive enough and also plan the pose. It is better to hint than to show full nudity.

Besides, showing everything will limit the amount of exposure that your images will get.

Try to use the images with a catchy slogan and in a way to let the viewers know that you are trying to direct them somewhere else. It is not gratifying to click on an image only to see and ad for stereos or auto parts.

Don't lie just let readers know where their clicks will take them.

CC BY 3.0
CC BY 3.0 | Source

It would be remiss of me not to mention one of the most popular uses for selfies; de-motivational posters are some of the biggest users of these self portraits and not to forget some greeting cards publishers as well.

However the majority of these images are mostly taken in order to be used in websites, self promotion and personal use.

With the money that can be made when an image goes viral or is featured in a publication or web site, no wonder many are taking on this photo theme in order to gain fame, money or both.

Although many are truly self portraits, there are still quite a large number of them that are posed and count with the skills of a professional photographer, especially when used by the de-motivational poster industry.

© 2013 Luis E Gonzalez


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    • LuisEGonzalez profile image

      Luis E Gonzalez 4 years ago from Miami, Florida

      MarleneB: Thank you

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 4 years ago from USA

      Not so long ago, I snapped a photo of me in my new hairdo and posted it on Facebook. It was just for fun and sharing an update with friends. Little did I know that act was labeled as a "selfie". Thank you for providing more fascinating insight into this trendy activity.