Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Self Portrait or Simply a Selfie

I read this great write up here and it got me thinking...What IS the difference between a "self portrait" and all these "selfies"?
It seems everywhere you look online you can find a girl looking in a mirror, or with her arm extended, making a duck face. Although the duck thing probably warrants a post unto itself, for now I am more interested in distinguishing between classic portraiture, and the now commonplace selfie.
 From what I can gather, the distinction can be made between convenience and artistic intent. Selfies are intended to capture something quick. Spontaneous. What you are wearing. What you are eating. Who you are with (the group selfie). Often taken with our smartphones and uploaded instantly to social media, these photos often document our life in a more "as it is" .
Whereas self portraits generally focus more on composition, lighting, or conveying an emotion. Maybe not always as "honest" as a selfie, self portraits ask us to go deeper and express a vulnerability that is often lacking in a quick snapshot.
Either fast or meticulous, posed or captured, we have the ability to document ourselves as never before. And there is value in both. Giving the masses a camera in their hands at. all. times. IS generating some silly things, but also beautiful and artistic expression.

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