This is the name for the shots that people take of themselves to post on social media. I didn’t know that until the other week, by the way. I hadn’t had a flat white either until today. I am pretty slow. Anyway, these new-fangled smartphones have cameras that will can swivel to face you so, in theory, you see what kind of a shot you will get if you are brave enough to push the button and capture the moment.
I only discovered that my camera can do this trick by accident, and then I was so shocked to see a middle-aged woman looking back at me on my giant ‘phablet’ (phone/tablet) screen that I screeched, ‘yikes’ and turned it back to its usual setting as fast as I could. Which was not very fast because I didn’t know how it had switched round in the first place.
This is a slightly longer than I intended preamble to say: I don’t do selfies.
Which is actually a lie. What I mean to say is, I don’t really take a good photo, so I don’t take selfies because I have no need of them. Yesterday I had a go. I had a go because needs seemed to must. I have been asked to submit biography with a photo and when I looked at the few photos that I had, they were all wrong. Now I’ve tried the selfie approach, I might go back and review that earlier creative decision. They may have been all wrong, but they weren’t as wrong as yesterday’s…
Firstly, you can only take from a distance as long as your arm. That’s obvious if you think about it. I had not thought about. Now that I have, I wish I had one longer arm at least. Secondly, if you shoot away from the sun the sun will be in your face – which is inclined to make my serious having-a-photo-taken face into a squinting-into-the-sun face whilst trying-not-to-do-either face. And remember it’s all uncomfortably close up, because my arm is too short… The upshot is I look both alarmingly wrinkled in the forehead department and unequivocally cross. Then there was the fierce wind. Into the sun at least blew the hair away from my face, the other way round made me resemble Cousin It. But into the sun made me look shiny. And awful. I thought profile might be less unappealing and would allow for landscape in the background. It also allowed for a hawthorn to grow out of the back of my head and hair tendrils to whip round under my chin like a misplaced goatee.
I suppose you want to see the result now. Well, I might let it go into the public domain at some point, but I doubt it. I just look too furious. And I seem to have borrowed someone else’s nose. Here’s one I like only a smidge more. I don’t suppose they want one of me I accidentally took when I woke up in a tent in the Arctic Circle last month, but they might. I think my actual favourite ever is of me with a certain black labrador, when half my face is missing. You see, I have a theory here: if you look a bit shit in your publicity shots, or if your fizzog is severely cropped, no-one will be disappointed by a close-up 3D encounter.
I nearly put it in thumbnail too, but that would be taking the piss…