A few years ago I challenged myself to take a photos daily. By the end of the year, I had a wonderfully huge collection of beautiful family moments. There were photos of the every day moments, holidays, my kids laughing with their dad, hanging out with their grandmother. Hundreds of beautiful memories. There was was only one problem. I was only in about 10 of them. This is something that comes up in Momtography Club – the struggle to get mom in the photo. It is a common problem. Everyone has their own blocks around being in pictures – feeling awkward, not liking how they look, not having someone else to take the photos.
But one block that doesn’t get discussed much is our own thoughts and feelings around the selfie.
My solution to get mom in the photo more is to embrace the selfie.
It is easy to make fun of the selfie.
What is the difference between a selfie & a self-portrait?
According to the Miriam Webster online dictionary a selfie is defined as “an image that includes oneself (often with another person or as part of a group) and is taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks”
A selfie IS a self-portrait.
It’s easy to dismiss the selfie as some random photo people take to show off but I’m starting to embrace the selfie as it’s own art form. And I certainly can relate to the idea of focusing on your intention before you snap the photo.
What makes a selfie a selfie? and not a self portrait?
We all instinctively know what a selfie looks like but there are some compositional considerations to making a selfie a selfie. They are usually taken at arms length or directly into a mirror. Because of that, they are taken from a certain perspective & will include arms or hands. There’s an awareness that the person is holding the camera & taking their own picture.
What’s the motivation behind getting mom in the photo?
Selfies are considered as being more spontaneous and give us a peek into their life. Like hey, look at this fun thing I’m doing. But there an also be a lot of planning that goes into a selfie. Yes, self portraits may be a bit more planned out, or look a bit more formal but when I’m taking a photo about #momlife, I certainly don’t go with the first photo I take.
Like I said earlier, I think many dismiss the selfie as this whatever photo that doesn’t really mean anything. But it gives us an insight into peoples’ lives. Through a selfie I can see what my friends are doing, where they are, what their life is like.
Selfies have made self portaits accesible to anyone. People who are not artists and don’t have the means to get their portrait taken are making images of themselves.
Embrace the Selfie
It’s a glimpse into MANY peoples lives, that they are in charge of, not just the ones who have the means and access to the arts. The people making the selfie, or self portrait, get to decide how they want to represent themselves and if they want to share it. Which I think is a really cool thing.
Don’t discredit yourself or your photos if your main camera of choice is a phone. Selfie or not, you can still make incredible images of yourself and tell your life story as you see it.
Think about how you feel today.
Tired, hopeful, out and about or staying at home?
Take a photo of yourself that expresses how you’re feeling.
Get in the photo Mom!
Celebrate the Selfie!
Share your selfies on Instagram using #momtogselfie
Hi I’m Jen Doolittle (she/her), the Momtography® & Teentography™ Community Director. I’m a parent, photographer and mental health advocate who whole heartedly believes in the healing power of creativity. Photography is an outlet to express myself and gives me the space to process and appreciate life as it is. Beyond photography I enjoy doing art projects with my two girls, baking, journaling and making wire wrap jewelry. Hope to see you in “The Club” with us soon!