With the importance of social media in our lives, some things that were not that big of a deal when I was a teenager now are for my own daughters.
Things like self-portraits that morphed into selfies. Because I need to say it: these are not the same and interchangeable. Nope.
But what’s the difference?
A self-portrait is a representation of yourself, taken by yourself.
A selfie is the same but is meant to be shared publicly. That’s where the difference lies. All selfies are self-portraits, but not all self-portraits will become a selfie.
Self-portraiture as a confidence builder
I have always been obsessed with photography. When I was a teenager (pre-teen, even), I used to take a lot of pictures, of everything and anything.
Then, with my girlfriends, we had fun taking self-portraits of ourselves. It was always thrilling to take them and having to wait for them to be developed to see how they turned out. I actually miss using an argentic camera but that is another story… I cherish these photos not because I think I was prettier then blablabla, but because they remind me of the moment of shared friendship, of the laughter that happened.
As I grew older and my life changed, I now use self-portraits to stop time. I capture who I am at a very precise moment.
Sometimes, I just feel like “grab you phone, now, don’t stage anything and snap a picture”. Does it happen to you too?).
Self-portraits do not have to show your face. I often capture part of myself, not the wholeness of it.
For example, I have several photos of my collar bone. Why? Because it is one of my most intense trigger point for my fibromyalgia. When it starts to burn, I know it announces the beginning of a flare-up.
I also take photos of the parts of me that need more love. I do it to help me accept my body for what it is.
This practice is one of my go-to healing rituals.
Self-portraiture is a form of art
Self-portraiture is a form of photography.
Intention is very important when I take a self-portrait. I edit them with care, using filters and stuff that will convey the emotion.
Some will be shared publicly but most will stay private. Just for me. And I edit them just the same, whereas they are self-portraits or selfies. Because I do it for me, not for people to see.
When working on something by using self-portraiture, I go several ways…
- I use my phone. When I do that, I set up a timer, put it on self-portrait mode so I can see myself, and go to town. Then I will play within different apps to apply filters and use a juxtaposition of symbols and texture.
- I use an instant camera. I have an obsession (yes, one more!) for instant cameras. I have several of them, most from Fujifilm and one is a vintage Polaroid that belonged to my Grand-Father and had the chance to inherit (and it still works even though the photos come out… strange). Using it is trickier than using my phone but so much fun! I had happy accidents with them but would love to learn how to use them better…
⭐️What about you? Are you a selfie addict? What is your go-to ritual to feel better about yourself or to freeze a moment in time?