Photography

I was a #selfie pioneer

I took my first selfie in 1981. It was a time barren of instant photo sharing, but I pressed on with my crappy Instamatic anyway just to see what would happen. I learned immediately that the flashcube would leave me seeing spots for twenty minutes. It took another two weeks to finish the roll and another week to wait for the film to be developed to learn that the flash would also wash out my face. And of course my simple camera couldn’t focus that close. Such was the state of the selfie art.

1981

Thanks to my short memory, I tried again a couple years later and got the same result. Now I want to go back in time and try to talk my young self out of those glasses and that hairstyle — and thank my mom for painting my room. Those mustard-yellow walls were oppressive.

1983

I even tried to be artistic with my selfies. I failed.

1985

I finally learned to hold the camera as far from my face as I could. I still temporarily blinded myself, but at least my face wasn’t as washed out. And I had grown out of my awkward years at last!

1986b

That was the end of my selfie explorations…until I got a smartphone 26 years later. Then the game was on, because everybody on Facebook needs to see the look-my-hair-is-sort-of-long-and-by-the-way-I’m-running-on-three-hours-of-sleep selfie!

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And my online friends were trembling in anticipation to see the OMFG-what-a-terrible-day selfie.

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And of course there’s the does-this-shirt-go-with-these-pants? selfie. (The consensus? Yes, but c’mon, dude, be more adventurous with your wardrobe.)

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And then there’s the classic hey-everyone-don’t-I-rock-this-suit? selfie. When I posted this to Facebook, the joint just blew up. “OMG!” everybody said. OMG, indeed.

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But most of my selfies are private, showing my life’s inner workings. Today, for the first time, I’m going to share some of these intimate moments with the whole Internet. Here’s the hey-girlfriend-I-picked-up-the-rental-minivan-for-our-trip selfie.

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Then there’s the sorry-this-is-out-of-focus-but-here-I-am-wearing-the-shirt-you-got-me-for-my-birthday selfie.

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And how can I forget the hey-Mom-I’m-home-sick-but-my-Doctor-Who-shirt-makes-me-feel-better selfie?

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But my favorite selfie happened totally by mistake. It’s actually a video selfie! My iPhone’s camera was set to front-camera video mode when I wanted it on back-camera photo mode. I was not amused.

I took a still of this, converted it to black and white, and made it my Facebook profile photo. “You look badass!” was the first comment. Score!! Because isn’t ego inflation what the modern selfie is all about? And to think I was among the first.

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10 thoughts on “I was a #selfie pioneer

  1. Lone Primate says:

    The suit selfie makes me wish you were running for mayor of Toronto. Given the current incumbent, I suppose I need to stress that I mean that in a good way. :)

    I didn’t realize that monochrome shot of yourself in the sunglasses was a still from a video. I’ve always liked it. It makes you look like Fred Schneider from The B-52s. Again, I mean that in a good way. :)

    Like

    • And to think that I was accused yesterday on Facebook of looking like John Stamos. Being compared to Fred Schneider is a long way to fall, baby. And I think the biggest difference between me and Rob Ford is that all of my skeletons are still in the closet.

      Like

  2. hmunro says:

    YAY, JIM! I love everything about this post: Seeing your vintage selfies, the hilarious “mmmf” you emit in your video, and finally the admission that scotch was heavily involved in the making of this blog post. Thank you for today’s big LOL.

    PS: You look mahvelous. :)

    Like

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