I think selfies have corrupted the true nature of a picture. We used to have thousands of pictures of memories we cherished and places we visited, but now we have millions of pictures of ourselves standing in front of the camera – It`s rude to disturb a good photograph of a beautiful mountain view and caption it with “Throw back Thursday”, “Outfit on fleek” or any other nonsense irrelevant to the photo.
Looking at childhood photos, I would see little windows of time captured for eternity. The background (not being completely significant, hence its called “the background”) describing the atmosphere of the picture. The ‘what was happening’, the ‘why they took it’ and 100% of the time I could tell it was because they felt a magic in the moment and wanted to immortalize it. They wanted to keep those little big moments in their lives then share them with people, because – something I feel is fundamental to photographs is that – they tell a story. “A picture says a thousand words” the famous expression goes.
Imagine you and a small group of close friends decide to jump into a car one day and explore the country side. You go to unique places you’ve never been to before, you see a number of breath-taking views and you make some timeless memories along the way. 20 or so years down the line you pull out an album of photos, containing pictures from that experience, wishing to share, and relive that journey with your kids or nephews and nieces. Now those photos could be either pictures of you in front the camera each time, blocking the view and looking like an idiot flashing signs with your hand for no reason or those photos could be of the places you went, the things you did and the little moments that make the journey, like how all of you fell asleep in the car then someone woke up and took a picture of it. Which version of pictures do you think would be more worth reliving after 20 or so years?
The concept of a selfie is strange to say the least: why do I need to take a picture of myself day in and day out? Am I afraid I’m going forget what I look like? Am I afraid people will forget what I look like? Having a camera does not make me a model or a photographer! I dare imagine I may one day spend a great deal of time “taking a selfie”, at the expense of losing out on the really good time that’s right in front of me – or better things I could be doing in general! I don’t need that many pictures of myself, honestly. I would rather take a picture of a flower I stumbled across today, the sunset that caught me off-guard or anything that says a more than “I am vain”. I would be overcome with joy to see selfies go extinct so we can have real photos back.