Can A Selfie Be Used As A Formal Self-Portrait?

Submitted By Tony-Ethan
Words: 1418
Pages: 6

Title of paper: Can a selfie be used as a formal self-portrait?
Writer’s name: Lim Tong Yee (Ethan)
Title of course: ESL 1800 Advanced
Instructor’s name: Olivia Knott
Date: June 23, 2014

We are born in an age that constantly revitalizes itself and evolves in a fast-paced environment and culture. We live in an environment where we are pressured to keep up with the current trends. If not, we fear the consequences of being left out as an outcast in the modern society. So, we will always ask people what is the current news and trends? As member of society, we simply do not wish to be left out of the mainstream. However, communication and news sharing has started to evolve. Now, people will constantly share and update their news through social media with their own selfies to inform people what they are doing at the moment. This paper discusses the behavior and the usage of self-portrait in this contemporary era. It also discusses the idea of a selfie being used in a formal self-portrait circumstance.

First, the most comment people would be notifying is the types of genres follow by the framing composition. In the excerpt, Art at Arm’s length: A History of the Selfie (2014), Jerry Saltz asserts that there is a unique structural autonomy consists in selfies.1 He argues that there might come to a situation that a selfie with a seascape that crossover genres. There is a question arose can selfie still used as a formal self-portrait? He also claims that unlike self-portrait, selfie framing and technique are quite different from photographic self-portrait. They are more spontaneous and casually capture subjects with compositions that are within an arm’s length. He points out due to bad camera angles that are always off-center which cause the subjects and their hands pop up, which gives a three dimension perspective. Saltz claims that technically as long as both hands are in the picture and does not look like is a mirror shot. We can call it as a portrait and it is not a selfie.2 These indirectly answer questions asserted above, and answer is yes, we can call a selfie a self-portrait. For example, a fashion design student includes her selfie on her resume for her internship application. In this situation, it is reasonable that we use our selfies for a fashion job interview. This is because it matches the occasion and helps us show our personality in order to get the job. Moreover, in terms of cost and efficiency, it is faster and saves money.

Today, with variety of choice available that provides to let people to choose in the commercial world. Sometime it just makes people have hard time to make decision. In the excerpt Depicting Identities: the clusters, in Convergences, 2002 Robert Atwan asserts that the choice of a portrait represents one’s identity.3 Firstly, Atwan mentions the complicated relationship in between one’s struggle to truly present oneself in front of a photo and in real life. In the following paragraph, he also brings up the question if we would choose a staged photo that has been produced by a professional photographer into a heavily produced photo, or if we would choose a conventional cheesy posed photo to represent us. Atwan also argues about the naturalness and the contrived awkwardness that paradoxically a professional photography and family vacation snapshot. While, according to Dr. Ellen self-portrait are not just clicking on the shutter button but is a larger communication process that a photographer went thru exploring process then reveal their work to the world. She also asserts self-portrait is a kind of act of self-revelation of the photographer. She admits that the more brave the photographer their photography wills shows their innate personhood. She also add that self-discover is a way to develop an artist and which a lot of people don’t really self- aware of themselves.4 These can conclude that, only if one is self-aware may have a more nature self-portrait. This is because the image