Awkward Laughter

Because most things in life are humorous, even when they shouldn't be

Paris Selfie

By Self or By Stranger: Photos While Flying Solo


Selfies, selfies, selfies (cue my best Jan Brady impression). They were everywhere I turned this past week.

They were the inspiration for the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge. Lots of wonderful examples of artistic selfies.

They were the focus of a PicMonkey infographic based on its survey of American adults. It turns out men in my age group are the worst offenders. I can attest to that based on the abhorrent profile pics I’ve seen on eHarmony. For Pete’s sake, men, get some friends and have them take your picture!

PicMonkey Selfie Infographic

They were the topic of a Freshly Pressed story titled “Selfie Bingo.” I’m three tiles closer to winning her game based on comments I’ve made: “I do not take selfies” (a lie), “Stop pulling that face/doing whatever in selfies,” and “Selfies are narcissistic.”

All of this selfie-ness seemed fitting given the fact that I was finally taking time to wade through  pictures from a recent trip overseas. I was traveling solo, which meant I had three photographic options:

  • Take a landmark-only photo
  • Suck it up and take a selfie
  • Ask a passerby for help

These demonstrate my experience with all three in 30 minutes.

My Thoughts on Each

Landmark-only: Congratulations, Kim, you’ve managed to capture a crappy photo of one of the most iconic symbols in the world. If you’re not going to be in the picture, then visit a tourist shop tomorrow and buy a well-done one.

Selfie: Hello, Kim, why the wide face? Even with an arm span that would make a monkey proud, I couldn’t seem to balance keeping myself in focus, tilting my right hand just right, and preventing my head from looking misshapen. After my sixth attempt, I gave up. (p.s. I do have an abnormally large noggin.)

Passerby pic: The man who took this stopped mid-jog and offered assistance after seeing my selfie struggles. My inner 5-year-old screamed “stranger danger,” but quickly sizing him up, I figured that I could chase him down in my boots if he tried to abscond with my iPhone.

He was kind but clearly not a great at framing. The end result portrays me with an Eiffel Tower dunce cap, or what I’d like to think a Parisian Marge Simpson would look like.

Adjusting My Selfie Thoughts

At the end of my solo visit, I walked away with a mixture of all three styles of photos. Some of the landmark ones came out nicely, as did the stranger-taken versions. Most of the selfies, not so much.

But what I learned along the way is that selfies can be a great way to be self-deprecating. I snapped this one and uploaded it to my personal Facebook account after catching a glimpse of myself in a store-front window.

Me as Tuppence Lady

Facebook caption: Cold ears and no hat=creativity with my scarf= I look like the tuppence lady from Mary Poppins. Whatev, I’m still eating well!

Quick selfie tip: Never miss an opportunity to make fun of yourself. A spoonful (or shot full) of tequila can help the embarrassment go down.

What are your thoughts? Are you a selfie lover, hater or somewhere in between?

6 thoughts on “By Self or By Stranger: Photos While Flying Solo

  1. This is amazing!

    I’m somewhere in between…I am not one of those people taking a selfie of myself every single day…but I don’t hate it either. I’m not one to wear makeup or put any real effort into my appearance, so normally those are the days I will take a selfie—when I’m getting dolled up to go out to dinner with my husband, or maybe out for the night with girlfriends. Most of the time, I take “selfies” with my friends…which, are those still considered selfies? Groupsies? Ahhh, even at age almost-27, the lingo somewhat escapes even me.

    Great post, thanks!! 🙂


    • I’m not sure what they’re called, but I’m definitely guilty of “groupsies.” Most of the time, we can find someone to snap our photo, but when we can’t, we don’t let that stop us.


  2. I’m not into selfies but after I read your post, thinking of it now as a challenge, challenge accepted! ^_^


  3. Hmmm… not sure when they first became so popular, as I’ve done “selfies” for at least 10 years… with a regular camera … usually when there’s no one else around to take my picture, and I don’t have either a tripod, or a flat enough surface handy to use the timer. I guess for a moderately short / old geezer I have arms like an orangutan. (but I DON’T do the Duck Face!!! )


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