An extract on #selfie
Robert Cornelius, an American pioneer in photography, produced a daguerreotype of himself in 1839 which is also 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. He recorded on the back "The first light Picture ever taken. 1839."
The debut of the portable Kodak Brownie box camera in 1900 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. 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."
Photographic self-portraiture flourished in the 1970s when affordable instant cameras birthed a new medium of self-expression, capturing uncharacteristically personal insight into otherwise conservative individuals and allowing amateurs to learn photography with immediate results. This practice transitioned naturally across to digital cameras as they supplanted film cameras around the turn of the millennium.
The first known use of the word selfie in any paper or electronic medium appeared in an Australian internet forum on 13 September 2002. In Karl Kruszelnicki's 'Dr Karl Self-Serve Science Forum', a post by Nathan Hope stated:
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.
Hope has 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".
The concept of uploading group self-taken photographs to the internet, although with a disposable camera and not a smartphone, dates to a webpage created by Australians in September 2001, including photos taken in the late 1990s (captured by the Internet Archive in April 2004).
As early as 2003, Italian media artist Alberto Frigo started photographing every object his right hand uses. The life long project resulted in the first categorized collection of selfies showing the artist every time he brushed his teeth, every time he put on deodorant etc.
The Sony Ericsson Z1010 mobile phone, released in late 2003, introduced the concept of a front-facing camera. The Z1010's front-facing camera had a sensor for selfies and video calls.