The Selfie

by Brittany on July 29, 2013

in Musings, Travel

Sometimes I think the front facing camera is the best invention of the 21st century. Probably even better than the segway or Bruno Mars.

It’s a girl’s best friend.

We know our angles and have patience with ourselves as we try to figure out how to aim the camera so our eyebrows are even and our boobs look the same size.

House of Harlow

I don’t even try to be sneaky about it anymore. I feel pretty today fuckers, I’m capturing the moment.

Perfect system. The wrench in the works comes when you are on vacation with your kids and you’re about to take a totally cute selfie with one of them in front of the NYC skyline, and some random good Samaritan comes along all, here, let me take the photo for you. You know, like a favor. Except it’s almost always totally not.

Because first, why are they even asking? I watch a good 40 hours a week of Law & Order, and assume everyone is looking to commit a sex crime, but more importantly, I thought we weren’t even doing nice things for others anymore. Wait…. is UpWorthy finally working? Is that what is happening right now, because everyone knows taking pictures for strangers is awkward and annoying.

In fact, I avoid eye contact with all old people struggling with cameras at Disney World because I have anxiety about being in charge of their memories. My resting bitch face is no deterrent.

Second, don’t even get me started on the “how does your iphone work” dance. Because the people who offer to take the picture for you are the people who have flip phones without texting plans.

Do I just push this button?

Yes, the button with a camera picture on it.

How do I zoom?

You don’t need to zoom, it’s fine.

I pushed it but nothing happened.

Did it make a noise?

Like a flash going off?

No like a clicky camera noise?

I didn’t see a giant flash or anything.

Well it doesn’t run on flash powder, there will be no smoke plume.

Let me try again.

Ok, great.

I keep pushing it but I don’t think anything is happening. 

That’s okay, thanks I’ll just take-

Wait! I think I got it. Here let me take another because I think you were talking when the camera finally went off.

Lemme Take Your Picture Collage

Capturing the moment? Nailed it.

Emily July 29, 2013 at 9:36 am

so, you feel pretty enough to take a pic while driving? is that the interstate in your glasses? not trying to be snarky, but not cool, man.

Brittany July 29, 2013 at 9:37 am

I’m in the passenger seat. So, the other side of the car.

Emily July 29, 2013 at 9:39 am

glad to hear, and my mistake. my biggest pet peeve currently is seeing all these instagrams of people taking pictures while driving and it’s infuriating. my bad :)

Brittany July 29, 2013 at 9:41 am

Totally fine. And for the record, I almost NEVER drive. I’m admittedly a nervous and horrible driver. My career aspiration used to be “ANYTHING THAT WOULD PROVIDE ME WITH A DRIVER OR ACCESS TO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.”

sally July 29, 2013 at 9:39 am

looks like she’s in the passenger seat to me, but way to snaply judge, yo.

Viv July 29, 2013 at 11:41 am

my thoughts exactly….

Becky July 29, 2013 at 9:39 am

Tough crowd….

E July 29, 2013 at 9:43 am

Looks to me like the windows/door are on her right. So unless she’s driving in another country, I’d say someone else is driving.

Emily July 29, 2013 at 9:49 am

that’s been cleared up above :) shouldn’t have jumped to that conclusion, it’s just rampant on instagram and i have not had my coffee yet. once again, sorry brittany

Heather July 29, 2013 at 10:12 am

Pretty sure she wasn’t driving…

Becky (Princess Mikkimoto) July 29, 2013 at 9:38 am

Hilarious! My husband and I have this “thing” where we have a collection of selfies which are often ruined by that person. “Here! I’ll take it.” I always grimace because I can’t say out loud “If YOU take it I’ll have a triple chin. If I take it, I’ll look 50 lb thinner…”

jessica July 29, 2013 at 9:42 am

Pretty sure there is a door next to her. Which clues us in that she is in the passenger seat.

Amy July 29, 2013 at 9:42 am

I had the same thing happen to me in DC. I wanted a pic of me with the washington monument in the background. I asked a nice little Asian girl to take the picture of me and the result was a picture of the monument sticking straight out of the top of my head. Later photo attempts where just as bad.

But I am totally the person who offers to take photos of other people because I know how to use a camera. Its really not that hard.

Lisa July 29, 2013 at 12:06 pm

Me, too! I will offer to take your picture because I KNOW HOW.

Jen W. July 29, 2013 at 9:43 am

So spot on! I’m always paranoid someone’s going to run off with my phone or something, so also am leery of the Samaritan for that reason.

Emily, it looks to me like she’s on the passenger side of the car.

Brittany July 29, 2013 at 9:45 am

It never even occurred to me until someone told me that’s a “thing” now. People offering to take photos then stealing your phone. Like I need MORE paranoia.

Miss-E July 29, 2013 at 9:47 am

Man. I think these pictures are gold.

But yes, I cannot stand when people offer to take pictures.

OHmommy July 29, 2013 at 9:49 am

So true! And the last couple of photos? Hysterical! I know what you mean. XO

Theresa July 29, 2013 at 9:51 am

OMG you have put in words what I could have never made sense lol I can take my own pictures way better than anyone else! We just came back from vacation and the pictures that I have of me from there are HORRIBLE of course my husband is like you are beautiful just the way you are….well I know that and every body else would know too if I could have just taken my own pictures sigh such is life!

Kristi July 29, 2013 at 9:52 am

Why is it that whenever someone helpful comes along and wants to take your picture, they always assume you want to be shot from head to toe? My face is up here, thanks. I don’t really need to remember whether I had a recent pedicure or not.

Amy July 30, 2013 at 9:21 am

Yes! I would rather see more of the background than my entire body and grass in front of me. I kind of like that disney now has professional photographers that will either take your picture for you with your camera or they will take it with theirs, give you a card with a serial number, and then you can download their photo online (for a price, I’m sure). Its much better than asking random people to take pics for you.

Kristin Zilke July 29, 2013 at 10:09 am

Haaahaaa! So true! I HATE this! On our last family vacation, my husband was attempting to take the whole “go go Gadget arm extended” photo of our family of four when we were approached by an older woman who offered to take our picture. In my head I thought “perfectly captured moment ruined” and I couldn’t have been more right! Not only did she not know how to use an iPhone or the camera, but proceeded to activate the front facing camera and take THREE selfies of her awkward “trying to figure the camera out” expression and double chin…after laughing uncontrollably when we went to check out our family photo (that wasn’t)….I deleted them because I was so annoyed. In hindsight, we probably should have kept them because it was hilarious (yet annoying)!

Jen July 29, 2013 at 10:42 am

Kristin – they are still on your phone. Click on your ‘photo’ button, the one with the flower, then click on photo stream and they are all on there. :)

Ron Morse July 29, 2013 at 10:11 am

Awesome! Just flat out freaking awesome!!!

Keely July 29, 2013 at 10:11 am

A few weeks ago I was asked to take a couples pic downtown because (I assume) they saw me taking a selfie. They handed me an old, tiny little camera with buttons that stuck and I was the moron who took 4 weird photos and asked tons of questions. It was a bummer.

Nikki J. July 29, 2013 at 10:30 am

Went on a mini vacay to the beach this weekend with the partner and turned down quite a few…”oh hey! Do you want me to take a picture of you two?”.

First off, no stranger lady I don’t want you in charge of how I look in my swim suit on the beach. In the end my partner will think I look fine (when I don’t) and try to post it to Facebook and I’ll want to kick him. So…I want to be in control.

Second, stop asking to take pics of us when we are clearly trying to take scenery shots that don’t even involve us! That happened twice and makes no sense to me. Clearly I want a great shot of those sailboats or seagulls or whatever…not us.

JenniferA July 29, 2013 at 10:43 am

My mother is the worst at taking pictures with an iPhone. She always gets some weird angle or cuts my head off.

Angela July 29, 2013 at 10:49 am

that last pic needs to be blown up and put on the wall or something. i love it!

Jamie July 29, 2013 at 10:58 am

I completely agree – that’s probably my favorite, lol.

Kristin July 29, 2013 at 10:57 am

Omg! Your faces in the last shot make me pee! I’m dying of laughter! That one is frame-worthy for sure!!

Jess July 29, 2013 at 11:05 am

My mom offered to take one once…then dropped my phone and cracked the case and screen. So yeah…never again. At least it was my mom so she paid for a new one but a stranger wouldn’t be so nice

Emylee July 29, 2013 at 11:12 am

Brittany, you should just travel with your own photographer. :-) That is what my friends do…I guess that is one way to get a free photoshoot from a photographer, just invite them everywhere. Well, I better go and reply to all those invites. Keep it hot girly!

Jennnn July 29, 2013 at 11:18 am

Problem solved – let a stranger’s kid take the photo for you. Kids are pros. Never hand the phone to an adult or, God-forbid, grandma or grandpa. They’re faster at writing checks.

Amanda July 29, 2013 at 12:29 pm

I’m dyng to know if these were actually taken by a stranger!

Brittany July 29, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Oh yes! These are the pics. There were two more, but basically the same thing.

And I got ZERO picture with Wyatt after, because he melted dowwwwwwwnnnnnnn.

Michael Lombardi July 29, 2013 at 1:07 pm

My mind is blown. I totally thought the pics at the end were a “dramatization” as they say on tv.

Michael Lombardi July 29, 2013 at 1:17 pm

So you have a large audience and no one visits my blog or replies to me on twitter so I’m going to try to use the crowd here. As a guy are selfies a thing? I know the abs showing isn’t a good idea, but trust me, I don’t have abs anyway. If so, what does a proper selfie of a guy look like? What if he, uh-humm, isn’t all that attractive (and not in a just hide your snaggletooth kind of way)?

Okay, on to more specifically what you talk about. I offer to take pictures of people if I see they’re working on a group shot or taking a selfie. My wife and I have become very good at selfies with real cameras over our years together. And then when someone takes the picture, even if they know what they’re doing, it usually sucks. I do on occasion ask someone to help out, but if I do I set up the shot with my wife in the frame and then hand them the camera tell them where the button is and just jump in next to my wife.

The best is when a stranger asks my wife to take the picture, even though I’m the one with the camera. I assume it’s because I look like a grumpasaurus rex. Bitchy resting face is not a new phenomenon for me. My wife says I’m scary… to people who don’t know me. Anyway, I look like a grumpapotamus but have the camera so my wife is always just, “I’ll let my husband do it, he’s much better at taking pictures.” And yes, that is the only thing I do better than her.

Matt July 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Selifes for the sake of selfies are a no-go for guys, but there are certain exceptions.: 1) Look at this beer I’m drinking. 2) Look at this cigar I’m smoking. 3) I’m literally inches away from the Stanley Cup.

Karen Ferguson July 30, 2013 at 10:25 pm

Haha, my husband has taken only one selfie of himself and it was when he actually was inches away from the Stanley Cup. It was when he saw it in Salt Lake City when he were changing planes at the airport. It was adorable.

Ally July 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm

To aid in the Crowd Opinion Survery: Yes. Guy Selfies are most definitely A Thing. But not A Thing you should necessarily do.

There seems to be a general kind of Selfie Person on these sites (commonly Facebook). The general formula seems to be that Selfie Girls are just any girl trying to take attractive pictures of themselves, since (as Brittany said) “we know our angles.” Where as Selfie Guys tend to be these denegrated jocks…they were always popular, always paid attention to, always crushed upon. And even now, as they’ve aged more or less gracefully than they should have, they need that constant boost. I guess they figure there’s a bunch of girls on the other end of the computer screen, fawning over their hotness, and a bunch of guys seeing them and wishing they could be half as cool. Almost every Selfie Guy I’ve seen consists of guy in the following poses:
- Guy with cigar/fancy car/expensive watch (fedora/shades may be included for extra points)
- Guy fisting bottles of various alcohol (extra points awarded to VIP club tables in background)
- Guy with at least 1 scantily clad female (extra points for additional females)
- Guy taking those instagram collage shots of his various Weightlifting Competion poses and/or actually working out in the gym (extra points if you caption it with words like “protein powder”, “pre-workout”, or “VASCULARITY!!!!”—which I read in that Roid Rage Hulk Hogan voice.)

I have yet to see a Selfie Guy take a normal selfie, one that doesn’t fit the above. I’ve seen a lot. Maybe it’s the age of the guys, the ones I’ve viewed are predominantly mid-to-late 20-somethings. And, I gotta say, for the most part, every single one of the shots just looks more douchey than the last. Most of my female friends laugh at them. So general consensus: Selfie Guys = DON’T.

Michael Lombardi July 29, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Thanks for the detailed response. I do >>occasionally<< take the selfie of me dripping in sweat just so I can prove that even though i'm fat, I do try to exercise every once in a while.

A local venue was holding a father's day contest for pictures of dads with their daughters and when I said it's just the two of us when we go out, they said take more selfies.

I am not nor have I have been cool or a jock.
I don't smoke or even drink.
Indianapolis doesn't even have an NHL team and the connection between my name and another sport's championship trophy is overly obvious for fans.
I don't own anything fancy.
I would never be in the vicinity of scantily clad females (1 or more).
My sweaty shots are never of me in beast mode. Just looking exhausted and drenched.

Here's the one self I took where I tried to take a picture of myself that didn't look like I was cheesing for the camera.
http://instagram.com/p/bKjPENv85C/
Don't tell me if you don't like it. :-P I mean, it would be nice if people enjoyed seeing pictures of me.

Thoughts, Brittany?

Tawny July 29, 2013 at 1:40 pm

What do you mean no smoke plume? Mine totally has a smoke plume. I think you have the wrong model.

; )

Elizabeth July 29, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Hilarious! Have you found a way to nicely tell a complete stranger that you would prefer if they didn’t take your picture?? My husband wants to get me one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Xshot-XSP1-Pocket-Extendable-Monopod/dp/B0031R2WQO I think that might just do the trick, although then it might keep everyone away and not just super-excitable stranger photographers…

BrerMatt July 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Are they considered selfies if it’s you and your child? Because I take those all the time.

The other selfie moments are for “Look where I am, and you’re not!”
If I’m ever a tribute in the Hunger Games, I’m taking selfies when I’m tied up in a tree to sleep, and when I use my camouflage makeup skills to make myself look like a rock.

I must admit that I am one of the strange people who offers to take pictures for people. Mickey Mouse trained me to do it. I try to take good ones!

Katie July 29, 2013 at 3:57 pm

ok ok, I rarely, if ever comment. BUT I HAD TO, today.

DYINGGGGGG. This is just a post I have to say, “YES” to. HAHA. amazing.

Lovelyn July 29, 2013 at 5:14 pm

I am that person who doesn’t own a smartphone, but somehow always gets asked to take someone’s picture. I have no idea what I’m doing. It’s so embarrassing.

Caryl July 29, 2013 at 10:12 pm

My professional wildlife photographer father-in-law took a picture of us while he was SITTING DOWN. Hellooooooooo, nobody wants the quadruple chin that shit provides, yo! Stick to deer!

Cheers,
Caryl

DeltaJuliet August 7, 2013 at 11:42 am

My former professional portrait photographer father insists on taking all pictures of me from a kneeling position. And usually an entire body shot. I mean, what the hell? And he used to be so good. Now I have a bunch of pictures of me looking all distorted, chunky and looking at the ground. Thanks dad.

Susan Hayden July 30, 2013 at 2:39 am

Hey Brittany

just wanted to tell you that it’s because of your funny, fabulous blog that I finally pulled finger and started one myself. I posted a piece yesterday called ‘Why Married People Start Sounding Like Rainman’ (www.discopantsblog.com), and I thought of you throughout. You inspired me to find the humour in these mad domestic moments.

Thanks for always telling it like it is – it’s so cool what you do!

Melissa July 30, 2013 at 8:39 am

AMAZING. Thanks for the laugh. The pictures are classic.

Elisa July 30, 2013 at 8:56 am

Ok, I am visiting my parents in Italy and I literally just translated this whole post into Italian for them while reading. My father, a photography enthusiast, is your newest Italian fan! I don’t know about the Good Samaritan, but you certainly nailed it :-)

Ann Harrison July 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I don’t offer to take pictures but, if I’m asked, that’s not a problem. As long as I don’t see any more “Fish Face” or “Duck Lips” I’m happy to see everyone’s “Selfies”. ( I just learned that term a month ago. Who comes up with these terms?!?)

Christi July 30, 2013 at 4:23 pm

I LOVE taking pictures!! I will walk out of my way to run and ask someone if they want me to take the picture when I see one person from the group that is out of the picture or a couple trying to get the selfie!! Oops!! I’ll have to start scoping out the situation from now on!!!

Meredith Elyse July 31, 2013 at 7:47 am

I was in Central Park the other day with my cousin and we asked a sweet older couple to take our pic. (we took theirs after, too). Well the husband took the pictures, his wife told him to take 2 just in case. The first one came out cute, but the second? It was totally zoomed in to pretty much our faces. Awful, but super cute that he wanted to give us variety.

Catherine July 31, 2013 at 9:26 am

I have a love hate relationship with the front facing camera. I find an angle that looks good and I love it…until it flips it. I apparently only like myself in reverse.

DeltaJuliet August 7, 2013 at 11:44 am

Yeah why does it do that? Apparently I hate my mirror image too.

Lauren Brewer July 31, 2013 at 10:06 am

Nothing wrong with a shameless selfie!
PS: I LOVE the sunglasses you’re wearing. Where are they from!?

Hilary July 31, 2013 at 8:14 pm

Okay, are you as obsessed with “Inside Amy Schumer” on Comedy Central as I am? Because this totally reminded me of the sketch where she’s trying to take a sexy selfie to send to her boyfriend. It is HILARIOUS. See the Youtube clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQMMOvD1Bp8

Anna July 31, 2013 at 11:15 pm

That’s a little piece of art right there.

Carla August 1, 2013 at 11:23 pm

Cracked my shit UP!

meleah rebeccah August 4, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Totally hilarious! And yes, the front facing camera is the best invention ever.

Emma August 5, 2013 at 7:09 pm

I always have a stupid look on my face when I do a selfie.

Michela August 8, 2013 at 12:47 pm

There are those times when I am trying to take a picture of *something else* then hit the button on the camera that changes the camera to front facing when I am NOT expecting it. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD……I panic a little bit….

sidhesadie September 2, 2013 at 1:02 am

I always just say “no, thank you!” when strangers ask this…I swear it goes ok! Just say no!

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