In today’s selfie culture, young people are no stranger to posting images of themselves online. Using selfies as a starting point, we will begin the exploration into self, and the importance of looking at yourself through another’s eyes. As they examine a variety of ways to capture their portrait, they will review the importance of a portrait, basic technical skills with photography, and how photography can speak and be tool in sharing your voice.



Our goal is to examine the pressure of modern culture that encourages people to share 1-Dimensional images of themselves for public validation (likes). We want to shift the conversation and help you make a statement based on WHO you are versus HOW you look. This is an opportunity to shape how you are perceived based on more profound qualities.


I. Examine yourself as an individual. What does it mean to be you?
II. What groups do you belong to? (identities--gender, race, class, region, etc.)


To accomplish these goals we have created a number of activities below to help raise your awareness of the selfie phenomenon and some of the issues it raises. As part of this ACT you will create your own selfies to tell your own story, both as an individual with unique experiences and as an individual who is a member of larger communities. Our goal is to better shape how the world sees us, and how we see ourselves. You will use your phones/cameras to complete the short photo assignments below.



In today’s selfie culture, there are over 1 million selfies posted daily. Selfies are not something totally new though. Capturing images of who we are through self portraits goes back to the 1800s. We have always been interested the exploration of self, and  looking at yourself through a camera's lens. One thing to keep in mind when we take our selfies, is what part of ourselves are we truly sharing. Are we sharing a snapshot of how we look on the exterior any particular day or are we telling a deeper story of who we are? 


First we will take a look at the following infographic and examine how the selfie has risen to its current popularity. 



Click the image below to start the video and learn about some of the challenges related to the popularity of selfies


Now that we have begun to explore some of the unspoken realities behind selfies it is time to figure out how we can create meaningful selfies that tell our authentic stories that go beyond the surface. 


Take your own selfie in response to the question posed above: "Is how you look, who you are?" Feel free to get creative with your by adding your own filters and effects to your images to share your individuality, personality and mood.

We recommend that you use to edit your pictures, which is a free site but feel free to use the app or tool you like best. Get creative using shot distance, background, shot angle, and lighting, as it relates to conveying mood and telling a story with your image. 



As young people living in an imperfect world we are oftentimes judged by the way we look and the communities to which we belong. Take a look at the brave young people below and their pictures.   


Think about the larger communities you belong to (racial, gender, neighborhood, class, orientation or religion), how are misperceived by peers, adults and society. Share a story or experience that will highlight this by writing it down clearly on a blank sheet of paper. Add your own #hashtag if you want. Have a classmate or friend take your (UN)selfie. Feel free to edit your picture in or on your device and upload it below. 

Name *
In 3-5 Sentences reflect on this learning experience about selfies. What new understanding were you able to make? What thoughts or attitudes were supported or changed? How can you as an individual and us as a community change the way we are perceived by the world we live in?