ABOUT SELFIES (2015)

FRAME BY FRAME ANIMATION LOOP + SALVAGED SMARTPHONE + SELFIE STICK | 0m18s | SILENT | JULIO M. ROMERO | 2015

In November 2014 the word selfie was officially added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, months earlier that year the trend was also being discussed within photography programs in colleges all over the US, the debate was centered on whether or not selfies belong in the art world and on defining their purpose. (i.e. the 2014 Summer Symposium at the San Francisco Art Institute titled:  “Face It: Photography, Ethics, and Identity in the Age of the Selfie”)

In October 2014, the video of a young girl contorting her body while struggling to create a selfie shot in public went viral.  Though I personally dislike selfies, it is a trend that I find really interesting, this video caught my attention because I find it as evidence of how thanks to a combination of this trend plus the proliferation of high-quality-easy-to-use cameras, people are quickly learning the skills and techniques that used to be the most guarded trade secrets of professional photographers —posing, quality of light, and post-production techniques—.

I interpret all of this as the full democratization of the medium and makes me ask questions regarding the future of photography, or to be more accurate, about the future of photographers.

What is the purpose of photographers in the age of the selfie?