Out of all the things I own, I cherish my own print photography the most. I love having a tangible reminder of a life experience, a memory. A print reminds me of something that really happened, a moment in time captured forever.
They say your best camera is the one you have with you all the time. The urgency of social media sometimes forces me to put aside my Canon Rebel or Nikon Coolpix and capture a moment with my iPhone 6. Luckily, my on-the-go photography doesn't have to float around in cyberspace thanks to Social Print Studio.
Social Print Studio allows Instagrammers to print their photos on a variety of products: books, magnets, posters, calendars and greeting cards. All you have to do is log in to your Instagram account through their site or app and organize the photos you want to be printed.
I took some of my favorite Instagram moments over the past few years and compiled them into nine photo strips. Each one has a particular aesthetic and reminds me of a certain time in my life: my internship at Edelman, my adventures with Courtney, my first impressions of Portland and my travels.
I also used Social Print Studio to make a book, and not just any book, but a selfie book.
I’m not shy to admit that I take quite a few selfies and that I enjoy doing so. The art of self-portraiture is met with so much vitriol because it reveals a person’s vanity. However, I embrace my vanity and would never judge someone who indulges in this form of self expression. Taking a selfie feels natural to me, especially when I want to convey how I’m feeling or when I want to commemorate a major life event like when I preformed in a musical for the first time, when I wore my first designer piece of clothing and when I came out of the closet. Much of the photography in this book was actually not taken by me, but actually by some talented individuals I've had the pleasure of working with during my creative endeavors.
I titled the 38-paged book Vanité and paired each picture with a French adjective that either relates to a quality or emotion exemplified in the selfie. While I was a bit hesitant at first for even thinking of making something like this, I’m really glad I did. I wanted to turn something traditionally seen as vapid and transform it into something deeper. This art piece is a physical reminder of who I’ve been, who I am and who I want to be.