Another word for taking pictures

Another word for taking pictures DEFAULT

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To take and develop photographs - thesaurus

Related words



formal to arrange the parts of something such as a photograph or a painting in order to get a particulareffect



to allow light to reach the film in a camera so that you can take a photograph



to use a filter on an image



to use chemicals on something so that its colours do not change or disappear, for example on a photograph



to turn a part on a camera, telescope, microscope etc until you can see something clearly



informal to take a photograph of a famousperson that you are following in order to sell it to a newspaper or magazine



to take a photograph of someone or something



to make photographs from film by treating it with chemicals



to photograph or record something again because it was not satisfactory



to make film for photographs sensitive to light



to take photographs, or to make a film or video



informal to take a photograph of someone or something



to take the film out of a camera



if something such as a camerazooms somewhere, or if you zoom it somewhere, it moves so that it makes something seem much closer or further away

  1. 2 kings 11:12
  2. Ez spa total care
  3. 2015 infiniti q50 lug pattern
  4. 1 timothy 6 12 esv

Meaning of photograph in English

There is something placed about his people, as if he had asked them to stand still and hold their pose while he photographed them.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

We next corrected the large-scale variation in brightness found in most fundus photographs.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

Copies of interesting x-rays or photographs can be kept, thus further increasing learning resources.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

Could the upper-storey openings revealed in the 1920 photographs be ancient passages between adjoining bays of the 1550s construction?

From the Cambridge English Corpus

The visibility levels in these photographs were later converted to deciviews for the current analysis.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

Given the scarcity of buildings selected for publication, the magazine essentially relied for its images on drawings and photographs of models.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

The central aim of the work reported here was to present images that were indistinguishable from photographs of the completed project.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

He does his conceptualizing with watercolour sketches and with models photographed under anticipated lighting conditions.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

Most books on architecture present buildings by means of photographs and drawings and then there is written comment.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

In historical research this can be any primary source material, from actual text to photographs, transcripts, and artefacts from the past.

From the Cambridge English Corpus

See all examples of photograph

These examples are from corpora and from sources on the web. Any opinions in the examples do not represent the opinion of the Cambridge Dictionary editors or of Cambridge University Press or its licensors.

Pronoun - Another word for a noun - words with pictures


This shows grade level based on the word's complexity.

[ pik-cher ]

/ ˈpɪk tʃər /


a visual representation of a person, object, or scene, as a painting, drawing, photograph, etc.: I carry a picture of my grandchild in my wallet.

any visible image, however produced: pictures reflected in a pool of water.

a mental image: a clear picture of how he had looked that day.

a particular image or reality as portrayed in an account or description; depiction; version.

a tableau, as in theatrical representation.

  1. a movie: He signed a three-picture deal to star in the new franchise.
  2. pictures,Older Use.movies collectively, as an art; cinema: So, you want to be in pictures?

a person, thing, group, or scene regarded as resembling a work of pictorial art in beauty, fineness of appearance, etc.: She was a picture in her new blue dress.

the image or perfect likeness of someone else: He is the picture of his father.

a visible or concrete embodiment of some quality or condition: the picture of health.

a situation or set of circumstances: the economic picture.

the image on a computer monitor, the viewing screen of a television set, or a motion-picture screen.

verb (used with object),pic·tured,pic·tur·ing.

to represent in a picture or pictorially, as by painting or drawing.

to form a mental picture of; imagine: He couldn't picture himself doing such a thing.

to depict in words; describe graphically: He pictured Rome so vividly that you half-believed you were there.

to present or create as a setting; portray: His book pictured the world of the future.



We could talk until we're blue in the face about this quiz on words for the color "blue," but we think you should take the quiz and find out if you're a whiz at these colorful terms.

Question 1 of 8

Which of the following words describes “sky blue”?

Origin of picture

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English, from Latin pictūra “the act of painting, a painting,” equivalent to pict(us) (past participle of pingere “to paint” ) + -ūra noun suffix; see paint, -ure



mis·pic·ture,verb (used with object),mis·pic·tured,mis·pic·tur·ing.self-pic·tured,adjectiveun·pic·tured,adjective


picture , pitcher

Words nearby picture

pictography, Pictor, pictorial, pictorialism, pictorialize, picture, picture book, picture card, picture disc, picturegoer, picture hat Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


Where does picture come from?

A picture, as they say, is worth a thousand words. But what about the word picture? We’re not going to write a thousand words on picture—although we could. Believe us when we say we could. So, here’s a briefer word picture (see what we did there?) on the origin of this versatile word.

In its most general sense, a picture is a visual representation of something, especially in the form of a painting, drawing, photograph, or the like. A picture can also refer to a mental image, among other senses. One meaning of picture, as a verb, is “to represent something in a picture or pictorially”—pictorial being a related adjective form variously used to refer to pictures.

The word picture entered English around 1375–1425, borrowed directly from the Latin word pictūra, “the act of painting, a painting.” The word is based on pict(us), the past participle of the verb pingere, meaning “to paint.” The verb could also mean “to draw, embroider, represent,” among other senses. The second part of pictūra is -ūra, a noun suffix represented as -ure in English. See our entry at –ure to learn more about this suffix.

Dig deeper

The meaning of the word picture has been very stable in English. Just as it originally did in the late 1300s, a picture can still refer to a drawing or painting— whether it’s your kid’s crayon-scrawled family portrait on your fridge or Leonardo DaVinci’s Mona Lisa in the Louvre. Both are masterpieces, as far as we’re concerned. Please note, though, that when referring to formal or professional works, we often use the name of the medium (painting, photograph, film), with picture referring to more informal or amateur creations.

But picture has also been remarkably adaptable, readily lending itself to images created by new technologies: photography, cinema, TV, and all the pictures we take on our smartphones and post on social media.

The word movie—it’s easy to forget in an age of Netflix streaming and viral TikTok videos—is shortened from the phrase moving picture. And what are digital images composed of? Tiny pixels. That word is based on pix, a variant of pics, a common shortening of picture. A picture, we might say today, is worth (many) thousands of pixels.

Did you know ... ?

As we noted in the previous section, picture ultimately comes from the Latin verb pingere. Picture is not the only word English gets from this root, however.

Pingere evolved into the Old French peindre, whose past participle was peint, source of the English paint and related forms. That means a painting, etymologically speaking, is a picture.

Did you know these words are also rooted in the Latin pingere, “to paint”?

Words related to picture

impression, photograph, copy, art, description, figure, image, account, sketch, cartoon, depiction, report, statue, portrayal, print, portrait, piece, painting, drawing, icon

How to use picture in a sentence

  • Those pictures can really boost your memory of this material.

    Top 10 tips on how to study smarter, not longer|Kathiann Kowalski|September 9, 2020|Science News For Students

  • The same picture emerges from middle class men in the U.S., Canada, and the Nordic countries.

    How Good Dads Can Change the World|Gary Barker, PhD, Michael Kaufman|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • That was accomplished by cops such as the one whose picture was clutched so tightly by his widow on Sunday.

    Funeral Protest Is Too Much for NYPD Union Boss|Michael Daly|January 5, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • There is just no way of selling this picture with an innocent defense like, “she just asked for a snap.”

    Buckingham Palace Disputes Sex Allegations Against Prince ‘Randy Andy’|Tom Sykes|January 4, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • I noticed a picture of her daughter, who was my classmate, and out of curiosity visited her page.

    50 Shades of Iran: The Mullahs’ Kinky Fantasies about Sex in the West|IranWire, Shima Sharabi|January 1, 2015|DAILY BEAST

  • We want to give the families and the other cops, too, as clear a picture as we can.

    Exclusive: Inside a Cop-Killer’s Final Hours|Michael Daly|December 31, 2014|DAILY BEAST

  • She looked from the picture to her daughter, with a frightful glare, in their before mild aspect.

    The Pastor's Fire-side Vol. 3 of 4|Jane Porter

  • Each picture bore a label, giving a true description of the once-honoured gem.

    The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills

  • And sure enough when Sunday came, and the pencil was restored to him, he promptly showed nurse his picture.

    Children's Ways|James Sully

  • Mr. Agnew saw the picture, recognised its merit, and wrote a cheque for the full amount asked.

    Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 107, November 3, 1894|Various

  • A furious controversy concerning this picture had arisen among art critics.

    The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3)|Charles James Wills

British Dictionary definitions for picture


  1. a visual representation of something, such as a person or scene, produced on a surface, as in a photograph, painting, etc
  2. (as modifier)picture gallery; picture postcard Related adjective: pictorial

a mental image or impressiona clear picture of events

a verbal description, esp one that is vivid

a situation considered as an observable scenethe political picture

a person or thing that bears a close resemblance to anotherhe was the picture of his father

a person, scene, etc, considered as typifying a particular state or qualitythe picture of despair

a beautiful person or sceneyou'll look a picture

a complete image on a television screen, comprising two interlaced fields

  1. a motion picture; film
  2. (as modifier)picture theatre

the picturesmainlyBritish and Australiana cinema or film show

another name for tableau vivant

get the pictureinformalto understand a situation

in the pictureinformed about a given situation


to visualize or imagine

to describe or depict, esp vividly

(often passive)to put in a picture or make a picture ofthey were pictured sitting on the rocks

Word Origin for picture

C15: from Latin pictūra painting, from pingere to paint

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with picture

In addition to the idiom beginning with picture

  • picture is worth a thousand words, one

also see:

  • get the message (picture)
  • in the picture
  • pretty as a picture
  • take a picture
  • the picture

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.


Word for pictures another taking

1. photograph

noun. ['ˈfoʊtəˌgræf'] a representation of a person or scene in the form of a print or transparent slide; recorded by a camera on light-sensitive material.

  • vignette
  • wedding picture
  • photographic print
  • blueprint
  • glossy
  • stereo
  • microdot
  • snapshot
  • stereoscopic photograph
  • closeup
  • scene
  • spectrograph
  • mosaic
  • stereoscopic picture
  • picture
  • exposure
  • monochrome
  • headshot
  • mug shot
  • arial mosaic
  • pic
  • frame
  • longshot
  • photocopy
  • black and white
  • blowup
  • shadowgraph
  • representation
  • still
  • magnification
  • shot
  • spectrogram
  • time exposure
  • skiagraph
  • mugshot
  • cheesecake
  • daguerreotype
  • hologram
  • radiograph
  • holograph
  • enlargement
  • telephotograph
  • photo
  • print
  • skiagram
  • telephoto
  • radiogram
  • photomicrograph
  • photomosaic
  • beefcake
  • stand still
  • open
  • dull
  • unglazed
  • -graph (English)
  • photo- (English)

Words that Rhyme with Photograph

  • allograph
  • autograph
  • choreograph
  • echograph
  • hectograph
  • intergraph
  • lithograph
  • mimeograph
  • monograph
  • paragraph
  • paragraph
  • pendergraph
  • phonograph
  • polygraph
  • reprograph
  • riffraff
  • spectrograph
  • telegraph

Example sentences of the word photograph

1. Noun, singular or mass
Place the photograph and the mat in a picture frame after the party for display.

2. Verb, 3rd person singular present
Make a note of any unusual markings and photograph the marks you find on the bottom of your china.

3. Verb, non-3rd person singular present
You can climb one of the Teton mountains, photograph the scenic valley or spot wildlife with binoculars.

4. Preposition or subordinating conjunction
Wedding photographers, for example, travel to wedding venues to determine how to most attractively photograph the couple.

Quotes containing the word photograph

1. You don't take a photograph, you make it.
- Ansel Adams

2. When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone - it's possible. But creatively, it's more like painting: you can't just use the same colours in every painting. It's just not an option. You can't take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.
- Ben Harper

3. However spontaneous I hope a photograph will look, I always put a lot of thought into how I can make it happen. The very best pictures are the most relaxed, so a lot of fussing around technically can completely break the spell, and everyone freezes up with nerves.
- Mario Testino

2. photograph

verb. ['ˈfoʊtəˌgræf'] record on photographic film.

  • snap
  • film
  • enter
  • shoot
  • x-ray
  • put down
  • retake
  • take
  • monaural
  • invulnerability
  • safety
  • uncolored
  • -graph (English)
  • photo- (English)
The Macarons Project (Cover) - Fly Me To The Moon (Lyrics)


This article is about self-photographs. For other uses, see Selfie (disambiguation).

Photographic self-portrait

A selfie ()[1] is a self-portraitphotograph, typically taken with a digital camera or smartphone, which may be held in the hand or supported by a selfie stick. Selfies are often shared on social media, via social networking services such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.

Selfie in a mirror in a window.

They are often casual in nature (or made to appear casual). A "Selfie" typically refers to self-portrait photos that are taken with the camera held at arm's length, as opposed to those taken by using a self-timer or remote. A selfie, however, may include multiple subjects however; as long as the photo is being taken by one of the subjects featured, it is considered a selfie. However, some other terms for selfies with multiple people include usie, groufie, and wefie.


"Selfie" is an example of hypocorism – a type of word formation that is popular in Australia[2] where it was in general use before gaining wider acceptance.[3]

The first known use of the word selfie in any paper or electronic medium appeared in an Australian internet forum on 13 September 2002 – Karl Kruszelnicki's 'Dr Karl Self-Serve Science Forum' – in a post by Nathan Hope.[4][5] Although Hope later dismissed the notion that he coined the term, describing it as "something that was just common slang at the time, used to describe a picture of yourself", he wrote the following: "Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie."

By 2013, the word "selfie" had become commonplace enough to be monitored for inclusion in the online version of the Oxford English Dictionary, which announced it as the "word of the year" in November and gave it an Australian origin.[6][7][8]

In August 2014, "selfie" was officially accepted for use in the word game Scrabble.[9][10]

Early history

See also: Self-portrait

Unidentified woman self-portrait

Unidentified woman taking her picture in a mirror, c. 1900

Crewman of a German, World War 1, DFW C.V aircraft takes a picture with a camera attached to a wing-strut, 1916–1918

In 1839, Robert Cornelius, an American pioneer in photography, produced a daguerreotype of himself which ended up as one of the first photographs of a person. Because the process was slow, he was able to uncover the lens, run into the shot for a minute or more, and then replace the lens cap.[11] He recorded on the back "The first light picture ever taken. 1839."[11][12] A copy of his "first selfie" graces his tombstone at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In 1900, the debut of the portable Kodak Browniebox camera led to photographic self-portraiture becoming a more widespread technique. The method was usually by mirror and stabilizing the camera either on a nearby object or on a tripod while framing via a viewfinder at the top of the box.[13]Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, at the age of 13, was one of the first teenagers to take her own picture using a mirror to send to a friend in 1914. In the letter that accompanied the photograph, she wrote, "I took this picture of myself looking at the mirror. It was very hard as my hands were trembling."[14] In 1934, a Swedish couple used a wooden stick to take the photo of themselves, which The New York Times called "the original selfie stick".[15]

During the 1970s, photographic self-portraiture flourished when affordable instant cameras birthed a new medium of self-expression, capturing uncharacteristically personal insight into otherwise conservative individuals[16] and allowing amateurs to learn photography with immediate results.[17] This practice transitioned naturally across to digital cameras as they supplanted film cameras around the turn of the millennium.

Origins and development of selfie-taking

Japanese selfie culture

See also: Japanese mobile phone culture and Purikura

The modern selfie has origins in Japanese kawaii (cute) culture, which involves an obsession with beautifying self-representation in photographic forms, particularly among females.[18] By the 1990s, self-photography developed into a major preoccupation among Japanese schoolgirls, who took photos with friends and exchanged copies that could be pasted into kawaii albums. This inspired a young photographer, Hiromix (Hiromi Toshikawa), to publish a photo diary album called Seventeen Girl Days, which included a number of self-posing photos. One of these was a pioneering selfie that was shot while holding the camera in front of herself. She rose to fame in Japan when her album received recognition from camera manufacturer Canon in 1995.[19]

The 1983 Minolta Disc-7 camera had a convex mirror on its front to allow the composition of self-portraits, and its packaging showed the camera mounted on a stick while used for such a purpose.[20] A "telescopic extender" for compact handheld cameras was patented by Ueda Hiroshi and Mima Yujiro in 1983,[21] and a selfie stick was featured in a 1995 book of 101 Un-Useless Japanese Inventions. While dismissed as a "useless invention" at the time, the selfie stick later gained global popularity in the early 21st century.[22]

A pen-sensitive touchscreen for decorating selfie photos inside a purikura booth in Fukushima City.

The digital selfie originates from the purikura (Japanese shorthand for "print club"), which are Japanese photo sticker booths,[18][23] introduced by the Japanese video gamearcade industry in the mid-1990s.[19] It was conceived in 1994 by Sasaki Miho, inspired by the popularity of girl photo culture and photo stickers in 1990s Japan. She worked for a game company, Atlus, where she suggested the idea, but it was initially rejected by her male bosses.[24] Atlus eventually decided to pursue Miho's idea,[24] and developed it with the help of a leading Japanese video game company, Sega,[25] which later became the owner of Atlus.[19] Sega and Atlus introduced the Print Club (Purinto Kurabu), the first purikura,[19] in February 1995, initially at game arcades, before expanding to other popular culture locations such as fast food shops, train stations, karaoke establishments, and bowling alleys.[25] The success of the original Sega-Atlus machine led to other Japanese arcade game companies producing their own purikura, including SNK's Neo Print in 1996 and Konami's Puri Puri Campus (Print Print Campus) in 1997.[19]

Purikura produced what would later be called selfies.[18][19] A purikura is essentially a cross between a traditional license/passport photo booth and an arcade video game, with a computer that is connected to a colour video camera and colour printer,[25] and which allows the manipulation of digital images.[23] It involves users posing in front of a camera within the compact booth, having their images taken, and then printing the photos with various effects designed to look kawaii.[18] It presents a series of choices, such as desired backdrops, borders, insertable decorations, icons, text writing options, hair extensions, twinkling diamond tiaras,[19] tenderized light effects, and predesigned decorative margins.[18] Purikura became a popular form of entertainment among youths in Japan, and then across East Asia, in the 1990s.[18] These photographic filters were similar to the Snapchat filters that later appeared in the 2010s.[26] Photographic features in purikura were later adopted by smartphone apps such as Instagram and Snapchat, including scribbling graffiti or typing text over selfies, adding features that beautify the image, and photo editing options such as cat whiskers or bunny ears.[27]

A Japanese couple taking a selfie together, 1920s

Perhaps the first front-facing camera on a hand-held device was the Game Boy Camera, released in Japan in February 1998. The Game Boy Camera was an attachment for Game Boy. The 180°-swivel camera was specifically marketed to allow users to take self-portraits.[28]

To capitalize on the purikura phenomenon in East Asia, Japanese mobile phones began including a front-facing camera, which facilitated the creation of selfies.[18][29] The first front-facing camera phone was the Kyocera Visual Phone VP-210, released in Japan in May 1999.[30] It was called a "mobile videophone" at the time.[31] It stored up to 20 JPEG images, which could be sent over e-mail, or the phone could send up to two images per second over Japan's Personal Handy-phone System (PHS) wirelesscellular network.[30] This led to a transition in Japanese selfie culture from purikura to mobile phones.[18]

International popularity

Selfie culture became popular in Japan and then other East Asian countries in the 1990s, starting with purikura booths and then front-facingcamera phones. However, it was not until the 2000s that selfie culture was popularized outside of East Asia.[18]

Outside of East Asia, the concept of uploading group self-taken photographs to the Internet, albeit with a disposable camera instead of a smartphone, dates back to a webpage created by Australians in September 2001, including photos taken in the late 1990s (captured by the Internet Archive in April 2004).[32][33][34]

In the early 2000s, before Facebook became the dominant online social network, self-taken photographs were particularly common on MySpace. However, writer Kate Losse recounts that between 2006 and 2009 (when Facebook became more popular than MySpace), the "MySpace pic" (typically "an amateurish, flash-blinded self-portrait, often taken in front of a bathroom mirror") became an indication of bad taste for users of the newer Facebook social network. In 2009 in the image hosting and video hosting website Flickr, Flickr users used 'selfies' to describe seemingly endless self-portraits posted by teenagers.[35] According to Losse, improvements in design—especially the front-facing camera of the iPhone 4 (2010), mobile photo apps such as Instagram and Snapchat led to the resurgence of selfies in the early 2010s.[36]

The Sony Ericsson Z1010mobile phone, released in late 2003, introduced to Western markets the concept of a front-facing camera, which could be used for selfies and video calls.[37] These cameras became common on mobile devices, such as the iPhone 4 (2010).[7] The iPhone 4, which adopted the front-facing camera feature from earlier Japanese and Korean phones, helped popularize the selfie internationally, outside of East Asia.[18]

In 2011, the Instagram photo-sharing and social networking service introduced auto filters, allowing users to easily alter their photos.[7]Initially popular with young people, selfies gained wider popularity over time.[38][39] Life and business coach Jennifer Lee, in January 2011, was the first person to coin it as a hashtag on Instagram.[40][41] By the end of 2012, Time magazine considered selfie one of the "top 10 buzzwords" of that year; although selfies had existed long before, it was in 2012 that the term "really hit the big time".[42] According to a 2013 survey, two-thirds of Australian women age 18–35 take selfies—the most common purpose for which is posting on Facebook.[39] A poll commissioned by smartphone and camera maker Samsung found that selfies make up 30% of the photos taken by people aged 18–24.[43]

Selfies have also been taken beyond Earth. Selfies taken in space include those by astronauts,[46] an image by NASA's Curiosity rover of itself on Mars,[47] and images created by an indirect method, where a self-portrait photograph taken on Earth is displayed on a screen on a satellite, and captured by a camera.[48]

In 2011, a crested black macaque pressed a trigger on a wildlife photographer's camera, set up in an Indonesian jungle for that specific purpose; when the camera was later recovered it was found to contain hundreds of selfies, including one of a grinning female macaque. This incident set off an unusual debate about copyright.[49] In April 2013, the Wikipedia's Selfie page started. In 2016, a federal judge ruled that the monkey cannot own the copyright to the images.[50]

In October 2013, Imagist Labs released an iOS app called Selfie, which allows users to upload photos only from their front-facing smartphone camera.[51] The app shows a feed of public photos of everyone's selfies and from the people they follow. The app does not allow users to comment and users can only respond with selfies. The app soon gained popularity among teenagers.

In describing the popularity of the "foot selfie", a photograph taken of one's feet while sunbathing at exotic locations, The Hollywood Reporter said that it could be "2014's social media pose to beat".[52]

In January 2014, during the Sochi Winter Olympics, a "Selfie Olympics" meme was popular on Twitter, where users took self-portraits in unusual situations.[53] The spread of the meme took place with the usage of the hashtags#selfiegame and #selfieolympics.[54]

In April 2014, the advertising agency iStrategyLabs produced a two-way mirror capable of automatically posting selfies to Twitter, using facial recognition software.[55]

Social media popularity

Social media apps like Instagram and Snapchat encourage people to take selfies with features like Geofilters, hashtag linking of related topics, and picture stories. Geofilters allow people to take selfies with overlays that can be comedic, altering your selfie image with the ability to show where you are located. In September 2017, Instagram boasted 500 million daily active users of its self-promotion, selfie-sharing app and 800 million monthly active users.[56][57] Snapchat reports 178 million daily active users of its service. As of July 2017, in order of popularity, the four most popular social networking services are Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Snapchat.[58]

Selfies have been popular on social media.[59] Instagram has over 53 million photos tagged with the hashtag #selfie. The word "selfie" was mentioned in Facebook status updates over 368,000 times during a one-week period in October 2013. During the same period on Twitter, the hashtag #selfie was used in more than 150,000 tweets.


Taking selfies is common at wedding ceremonies.

The appeal of selfies comes from how easy they are to create and share, and the control they give people over how they present themselves. Many selfies are intended to present a flattering image of the person, especially to friends whom the photographer expects to be supportive.[38][39] Those selfies would be taken on trips, during activities that are considered interesting or as a group selfie with interesting or attractive people. However, a 2013 study of Facebook users found that posting photos of oneself correlates with lower levels of social support from and intimacy with Facebook friends (except for those marked as Close Friends).[60] The lead author of the study suggests that "those who frequently post photographs on Facebook risk damaging real-life relationships."[61] The photo messaging application Snapchat is also largely used to send selfies. Some users of Snapchat choose to send intentionally-unattractive selfies to their friends for comedic purposes.

Posting intentionally unattractive selfies has also become common in the early 2010s—in part for their humor value, but in some cases also to explore issues of body image or as a reaction against the perceived narcissism or over-sexualization of typical selfies.[62]

The practice of taking selfies has been criticised not only for being narcissistic, preventing assessment and appreciation of what is happening in the present, but also for being mindlessly conformist behaviour, when everyone does what everyone else is doing, "like that scene in The Life of Brian – where the crowd gathers outside Brian's window and enthusiastically chants in unison: 'Yes, we're all individuals! ... Yes, we are all different!'"[63] However, this has been disproved by more nuanced and detailed analyses of the genre.[64]

The pop-up museum called The Museum of Selfies is scheduled to open its doors to all selfie lovers in the year 2018 in Glendale, a suburb of Los Angeles County, California.[65][66][67]

Gender roles, sexuality, and privacy

Selfies are popular among both genders; however, sociologist Ben Agger describes the trend of selfies as "the male gaze gone viral", and sociologist and women's studies professor Gail Dines links it to the rise of "porn culture" and the idea that sexual attractiveness is the only way in which a woman can make herself visible.[68] Feminist writer Megan Murphy has pointed out that posting images publicly or sharing them with others who do so may have a dramatic effect in the case of revenge porn, where ex-lovers post sexually explicit photographs or nude selfies to exact revenge or humiliate their former lovers.[68] Nonetheless, some feminists view selfies as a subversive form of self-expression that narrates one's own view of desirability. In this sense, selfies can be positive and offer a way of actively asserting agency.[69]

In 2013 in the blog Jezebel, author Erin Gloria Ryan criticized selfies, believing that the images they often portray, as well as the fact that they are usually posted to social media with the intent of getting positive comments and "likes", reinforce the "notion that the most valuable thing [a young woman] has to offer the world is her looks."[70] The Jezebel post provoked commentary on Twitter from users arguing that selfies could be positive for women by promoting different standards of beauty.[71] Media critic Jennifer Pozner saw selfies as particularly powerful for women and girls who did not see themselves portrayed in mainstream media.[72]

Research shows that there is a particular difference between perspectives of youngsters and adults. "While not all representative of all young people's experiences of digital picture-sharing cultures, these discussions point to a significant gap between young people's own interpretations of their ordinary or everyday digital practices and adults’ interpretations of these practices."[73]

Celebrity selfies

Many celebrities – especially sex symbols – post selfies for their followers on social media, and provocative or otherwise interesting celebrity selfies are the subject of regular press coverage. Some commentators, such as Emma Barnett of The Telegraph, have argued that sexy celebrity selfies (and sexy non-celebrity selfies) can be empowering to the selfie-takers but harmful to women in general as they promote viewing women as sex objects.[74] Actor and avid selfie poster James Franco wrote an op-ed for The New York Times defending this frequent use of selfies on his Instagram page.[75] Franco defends the self-portrait stating they should not be seen as an egocentric act, but instead a journalistic moment as the selfie "quickly and easily shows, not tells, how you're feeling, where you are, what you're doing" in a way that a text communication might fail to convey.[75]

A selfie orchestrated during the 86th Academy Awards by host Ellen DeGeneres was, at one point, the most retweeted tweet ever.[76][77] DeGeneres said she wanted to pay homage to Meryl Streep's record 18 Oscar nominations by setting a new record with her, and invited twelve other Oscar celebrities to join them, which included Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Channing Tatum, Bradley Cooper, Kevin Spacey, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong'o, Jared Leto, and Jennifer Lawrence. The resulting photo of the celebrities broke the previous retweet record within forty minutes, and was retweeted over 1.8 million times in the first hour.[78][79][80] By the end of the ceremony it had been retweeted over 2 million times, less than 24 hours later, it had been retweeted over 2.8 million times.[77][78] It beat the previous record, 778,801, which was held by Barack Obama, following his victory in the 2012 presidential election.[80][81][82]

Politician selfies

U.S. President Barack Obama made news headlines during Nelson Mandela's memorial celebration at Johannesburg's FNB Stadium with various world leaders, as he was snapped taking a selfie and sharing smiles with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, and later with British Prime Minister David Cameron, as they gathered to pay tribute to Mandela.[83] The decision to take the selfies was considered to be in poor taste, as British political columnist Iain Martin critiqued the behaviour as "clowning around like muppets".[83] The photos also depict the First Lady Michelle Obama sitting next to them looking "furious and mortified".[83] Despite the criticism, Roberto Schmidt, the photographer who captured the photos taken at the celebration, reported to the Today show it was taken at "a jovial, celebratory portion of the service".[84]

In India, BJP Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi posted a selfie on Twitter after voting in Gandhinagar, India. The post became a major trending item on the micro-blogging platform.[85] In July 2014, the Swiss government became the first to take and post a picture of an entire national government (the picture was taken by one of the seven members of the government, Alain Berset).[86]

The Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa is known to pose for several selfies in public appearances, once even claiming to have posed for "over 1500 selfies" in three days, during which he estimated to have greeted about four thousand people – the social media phenomenon has coined the term "Marcelfie" to refer to these.[87] Most notably, the President posed for a selfie with Prime Minister António Costa in the Paris City Hall, during the Portugal Day ceremonies there on 10 June 2016.[88]

Group selfies

In January 2014, Business Insider published a story referring to selfies of groups as usies.[89] A photograph of Pope Francis with visitors to the Vatican was called an usie by The Daily Dot,[90][91] and TMZ has used the term to describe a selfie taken of celebrity couple Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez.[89][92]

The term "groufie" has been trademarked by Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei Technologies in China, France, Germany, Russia, and the U.S.[93][94] The word was introduced during the launch of its Ascend P7smartphone in 2014.[95] Huawei defines the groufie as a panoramic selfie involving multiple subjects, as well as background scenery, captured using the front facing, 8-megapixel camera and panorama capabilities of its phones.[96][97][98]

Another term for a group selfie is "wefie", originally trademarked by Samsung in the U.S. to promote the wide-angle lens of its NX series of cameras.[94][99][100][101]


Devices for holding smartphones or compact cameras called selfie sticks are often used when taking group selfies, as they allow a wider, more panoramic image capture.

Another option for taking selfies from a distance beyond one's arm is a drone. Selfies made with a drone are also called dronies. The concept of taking a dronie first entered the mainstream in 2014 and coincided with a relatively sudden increase in the availability of relatively cheap, camera bearing multicopter drones.[102] In 2014, the Nixie drone was designed to serve as a "personal photographer".[103]

Psychology and neuroscience

First, Farace, van Laer, de Ruyter, and Wetzels[104] describe three photography techniques with which people are more likely to engage: first-person perspective, action, and person rather than 'just' selfies and adaptation into artfulness.

According to a study performed by Nicola Bruno and Marco Bertamini at the University of Parma, selfies by non-professional photographers show a slight bias for showing the left cheek of the selfie-taker.[105] This is similar to observations of portraits by professional painters from many historical periods and styles,[106] indicating that the left cheek bias may be rooted in asymmetries of brain lateralization that are well documented within cognitive neuroscience. In a second study, the same group tested if selfie takers without training in photography spontaneously adhere to widely prescribed rules of photographic composition, such as the rule of thirds. It seems that they do not, suggesting that these rules may be conventional rather than hardwired in the brain's perceptual preferences.[107]

A 2016 study examining the relationship between personality and selfie-posting behaviors suggests that extroversion and social exhibitionism positively predict frequency of selfie posting, whereas self-esteem is generally unrelated to selfie-posting behaviors.[108]

Selfitis is a condition described as the obsessive taking of selfies,[109] although it is currently not listed as a mental disorder in the DSM-5.[110]

Obsessive taking of selfies and posting to social media has been found to be linked to many symptoms common to mental disorders. These include narcissism, low self-esteem, loneliness, self-centeredness, and attention-seeking behaviors.[111]

Injuries while taking photos

Further information: List of selfie-related injuries and deaths

The first known selfie-related death occurred 15 March 2014, when a man electrocuted himself on top of a train.[112]

2014, 'The Year of the Selfie', was also the year Makati and Pasig, 'Selfie Capital of the World', saw their first selfie-related death when a 14-year-old girl fell from the 3rd floor staircase landing to the 2nd.[113][114][115][116]

In 2015 it was reported that more people had been killed taking selfies that year than by shark attacks.[117] Other publications have debated that analysis.[118][119][120] Takers of selfie photographs have fallen to their deaths while losing their balance in a precarious position,[121][122] and others have been wounded or killed while posing with handguns which have accidentally fired.[123][124]

Concerned about the increasing number of incidents in Russia where attempts to set up a unique selfie had led to injuries and deaths, the Russian Ministry of the Interior released a "Selfie Safety Guide" in 2015 that warned selfie enthusiasts about some common dangerous behaviors.[125][126]Moscow, Russia's most active selfie-taking city, is estimated to have 8 selfie-takers per 100,000 people, and ranks 301st among cities worldwide.[113]

A 2015 study showed that 20% of young Britons had taken selfies while driving a car.[127]Manchester has the highest amount of selfie-takers per capita in Great Britain with 114 per 100,000 people, and ranks 7th internationally.[113] The Italian chief of state police expressed concern over the same phenomenon in Italy on the occasion of the launch of a short film with the title "Selfie".[128][129]Milan is the 8th most active selfie-taking city in the world with 108 selfie-takers per 100,000 people.[113]

According to Professor Amanda du Preez, there are least three types of selfie pictures documenting death, selfies unknowingly taken before death, where the taker's death is almost witnessed, or where the taker stands by while someone else dies.[130]

In 2019 a teen left an imprint on the ground where he landed after falling more than four stories while attempting to take a selfie with his friends on a bridge in Dallas, TX. He had multiple serious injuries, but he survived.[131]

Facial distortion effect

Because they are typically taken much closer to the subject's face than a conventional photograph, phone selfies tend to distort the subject's face. When conventional photographers take headshots, they typically use a narrower lens (or zoom in) and stand at a normal distance, instead of getting physically closer to the subject's face. Front-facing cell phone cameras, on the other hand, feature wide-angle lenses and are held closer to the face, since the human arm is only so long. This results in extension distortion, where objects closer to the camera appear much larger than they actually are. Though this distortion has a slimming effect, it also exaggerates the auto-photographer's nose and chin, since those parts are closer to the camera than the rest of the face.

A study published by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery has found that selfies have altered people's perception of their faces to the point where they increased the demand for rhinoplasties (nose jobs). 42% of surgeons surveyed have noticed that patients are seeking surgeries to improve their appearance in photographs, especially selfies taken at close distance.[132] Another study found that selfies taken at a distance of 12 inches (30 cm) can exaggerate nasal size by as much as 30%, and recommends that people take pictures from a standard distance of 5 feet (1.5 meters) to minimize perspective distortion.[133]

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You will also be interested:

Look up a word, learn it forever.

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a photograph of a muscular man in minimal attire

black and white, monochrome

a black-and-white photograph or slide


photographic print of plans or technical drawings etc.


a photograph of an attractive woman in minimal attire


a photograph or video taken at close range


a photograph made by an early photographic process; the image was produced on a silver plate sensitized to iodine and developed in mercury vapor

blowup, enlargement, magnification

a photographic print that has been enlarged


a single one of a series of still transparent pictures forming a cinema, television or video film


a photograph that is printed on smooth shiny paper


a photograph of a person's head

hologram, holograph

the intermediate photograph (or photographic record) that contains information for reproducing a three-dimensional image by holography


a photograph taken from a distance


photograph reduced to the size of a dot (usually for purposes of security)

arial mosaic, mosaic, photomosaic

arrangement of aerial photographs forming a composite picture

mug shot, mugshot

a photograph of someone's face (especially one made for police records)


a photographic copy of written or printed or graphic work

photographic print, print

a printed picture produced from a photographic negative


a photograph taken with the help of a microscope

radiogram, radiograph, shadowgraph, skiagram, skiagraph

a photographic image produced on a radiosensitive surface by radiation other than visible light (especially by X-rays or gamma rays)

shot, snap, snapshot

an informal photograph; usually made with a small hand-held camera

spectrogram, spectrograph

a photographic record of a spectrum

stereo, stereoscopic photograph, stereoscopic picture

two photographs taken from slightly different angles that appear three-dimensional when viewed together


a static photograph (especially one taken from a movie and used for advertising purposes)

telephoto, telephotograph

a photograph made with a telephoto lens


a photograph transmitted and reproduced over a distance

time exposure

a photograph produced with a relatively long exposure time


a photograph whose edges shade off gradually

wedding picture

photographs of bride and groom and their friends taken at their wedding

scene, shot

a consecutive series of pictures that constitutes a unit of action in a film


moving or still pictures in contrasting colors that appear three-dimensional when superimposed


a radiogram produced by radiation emitted by the specimen being photographed


a photograph from which the background has been cut away


a photocopy made on a Photostat machine


a trial photographic print from a negative

radiophoto, radiophotograph

a photograph transmitted by radio waves

X ray, X-ray, X-ray photograph, X-ray picture, roentgenogram, x-ray

a radiogram made by exposing photographic film to X rays; used in medical diagnosis

visible speech

spectrogram of speech; speech displayed spectrographically


a scene that is filmed but is not used in the final editing of the film


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