The Selfie Effect

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Frankly, I could write a 100 page research paper on how social media has effected photography and the business of photography. However, I just want to point out something I’ve noticed in my recent photo shoots with young people.

When I got my senior portraits done, it was before the popularity of social media sites such as MySpace and Facebook. My mother took me to Jostens Studio, which was where the majority of my Chaparral classmates went to have their senior portraits. My shoot included a couple studio shots and a couple outdoor shots. It was nothing too special or original. The photos weren’t terrible, but it was obvious that I was so unaccustomed to being in front of the camera that the photographer had to tell me how to tilt my head and place my hands.

Lately, I have been photographing seniors, and one of the things I’ve noticed is that, not only are they typically more comfortable in front of the camera, but they know how to pose. Many things can be said about the surge of selfies populating the internet. But here is one thing that I’ve noticed: young people are finding ways to create their own unique presence. That means they’re spending hours trying out different looks and angles to see what works best for them. I always come prepared with ideas for poses and facial expressions, but with many of these young people, they’re the ones giving me ideas for the shoot. Personally, I love it. I like my photo shoots to be collaborative because that’s when great ideas are born.

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