Anatomy of a Selfie

Anatomy of a Selfie

According to Wikipedia, the first usage of the word “selfie” to describe a photograph of oneself taken by oneself was in 2002 on an Australian internet forum. Not surprisingly, it was a photo from a drunken 21st birthday party.

Robert Cornelius Selfie

Robert Cornelius’ 1839 selfie. I assume he was drinking at a party when he took this.

However, the selfie has been around as long as the camera itself. In 1839, Robert Cornelius took both the first selfie as well as one of the first photographs of a person.

Our trusty Panasonic Lumix camera has been a trooper on our travels over the last few years. It’s predecessor, a Canon Powershot, met an untimely death in 2012 in the waves of the Pacific Ocean in Troncones, Mexico. All of our cameras have captured many a selfie: Eugene Saturday Market in 2006; Wrigley Field in 2010; Washington DC in 2011…

But these selfies aren’t just the perfect final shots we share on Facebook. There’s a lot of effort, planning and multiple takes to get that perfect shot. With our dignity set aside in the name of transparency and science (Science? Sure, why not…), I present “The Anatomy of a Selfie.”

Anatomy of a Selfie

The many stages of the ubiquitous selfie


  • Reply KronWeld November 21, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Very interesting. Have you seen the monkey selfie? It is almost as cute as yours.

    • Reply Cascadian Abroad November 21, 2014 at 10:04 pm

      I have now, which also led me to read about the Infinite Monkey Theorem.

    Join the Conversation