The inclusion of digital cameras in handheld cellular telephones brought about this same swift and nearly complete change in the portrait genre. Even introducing us to a brand new globally recognized word: the selfie.
The selfie is a self-portrait, usually made with a camera, to record a spontaneous moment in time. It can also be used to record and share ourselves in our most plain and boring moments. The ease of camera phone self-portraits allows a person to photograph themselves without the interference or influences of another person in the room. With the invention of the selfie-stick, a hand-held mini-boom designed to hold the phone steady, the tripod is no longer necessary for self portraits.
The popularity of this type of photograph has led to the launch of careers of globally recognized celebrities. And it has brought into the light those who normally find themselves alone and in the shadows. It has enabled shy persons to share with the world the joys, confidences and achievements that previously only they knew. And the small size of the phone camera allows us to take self portraits in places and situations never before attempted. The selfie has become an important form of visual communication and critical to the psychological well-being of many.
A note on the image: I’ve been handling Augustus for the past 21 years. I can read his body language like I can read English and he trusts me completely. He’s safe, supported, comfortable and calm in this position. He’s trying to bite my nail because he hates when I wear red.