Self-portraiture and Selfies

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So if we have another look at this, an ideal way to explore this relationship is the self-portrait really. An automatic connection between the photographer and the photographed in a beautiful harmony, even if it may be fraught with the awkwardness of self representation and a Freudian battle of Ego and Super-ego. As a trained photographer, there is an understanding of the equipment, what it means, what it does, it’s significance in our lives, often the camera has shaped who we are, therefore it does already feel like a part of us, an extra limb, another eye, or even a safety blanket to comfort ourselves with – it’s seen us at our best and our worst.

This lead me to ask how to we as photographers feel about self-portraits and selfies? I don’t think any of our group have done a self portraiture project – please do correct me if i’m wrong. The key in this question is Self -Portraits and Selfies – what is the difference?

Self- portraits are far from new, artists have been painting themselves for centuries and representing ourselves through images for thousands of years. But the Selfie has caught so much attention recently as Oxford Dictionaries proclaimed it ‘word of the year, 2013’. It has therefore been 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.

So do these 3 components makes a selfie? 1. Yourself 2. a smartphone 3. Social media outcome? Remove one of those components and is it still a selfie?

Navneet Alang –

“Snapchat and Instagram, also use the selfie as a form of visual communication”

Sarah Nicole Prickett

Posting pictures of yourself is also a way to control your image in a life of ongoing documentation.”

On self representation ” It’s built into who we are, because our selves are never simply inside us.”

Navneet Alang

“The Selfie is thus a symbol of a slightly shifting sense of the self, one that is more aware of how we always function in at least two modes at once, the private and the public, the internal and the external”

“Our self image and our selfie-image.”

So is a self-portrait an image that is created of oneself in quiet reflection, does this mean it should not have any social media comment or sharing? Is a self-portrait an expression of your ‘self’, for the purpose of exploring the ‘self’ for one’s own development? It is not a rushed, jovial construction of an image we wish to use to show that we belong to a group, a society, club or fashion; but a thoughtful, provocative exploration of the inner and outer self in a critical analysis?

Therefore can we ever have a self-portrait on social media or are they all selfies?….see next post



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