In a world that’s dominated by the unequivocal pressure to document everything we do, it’s no surprise that we’re filled with the need to get a bit snap-happy at times.
Photographs used to be something that we used to portray our memories, cutting and sticking into scrapbooks that would last a lifetime, only brought out to show friends and family. Now, we feel the need to share every element of our life, not just with out loved ones, but with practical strangers through the medium of social media.
Clogging up our news-feeds are snaps of our lunch, our latest shopping spree or our bottom-half’s sunning it up in a tropical country.
If you manage to sift through the masses of this, though, you may just find something capturing a special moment, and a memory that deserves to last a lifetime.
IT CEMENTED MY DREAM
This selfie is from the first time my name ever appeared in print. It was my first year studying journalism at university, and I had been freaking out a bit at all of a sudden being around people who wanted the same things I did, and it was so scary! During said freakout, I wrote this article on a whim and sent it to a local magazine on the off-chance that they’d be interested, so I was thrilled when they used it.
It completely made me re-evaluate all of the mixed up feelings I was having, and helped me to remember my journey. I’ve not looked or doubted my passion since.
– Lauren Dimmick
I HAD THE TIME OF MY LIFE
I took this picture on Santa Monica Beach in L.A. last summer. I had just worked in a children’s summer camp in NY and had one of the most hard working but rewarding summers of my life. This was a few days after we left camp, when I was completely exhausted but so travel hungry.
I traveled to some of the most gorgeous beaches in America and moments like these, along with making sure that the children had an amazing summer, made everything worth it.
One of my childhood dreams was to visit L.A. and here I am, living it!
– Tiffany Preston
MY FAMILY BECAME WHOLE
This picture was taken just minutes after my childhood sweetheart proposed to me, and our little family came full-circle. Kyle and I met in second year of high-school and have been together since we were thirteen. We shared ‘first’ everything’s together, and of course everyone doubted that we would last as long as we have.
People have always joked that we’re basically married anyway, so I honestly never expected Kyle to propose any time soon, but I’m so pleased that he did. It was perfect: a nice chilled-out night just the two of us, with our son Harley soundly sleeping upstairs. I couldn’t have asked for better.
– Nicole Hirst
I CONQURED MY FEAR
This selfie was taken when I was working at Edinburgh Fringe Festival as part of a marketing team with Northern Stage. It was my day off and I decided that it was time I conquered my fear of heights by going on the big wheel.
I was just about to take the cheesiest of selfies when the wheel suddenly stopped. I was absolutely terrified but still wanted my selfie-glory, so here’s my reaction. I feel like it’s important to do things that scare you sometimes, and I powered through – though I doubt I’ll be back any time soon!
– Gemma Hirst
IT’S WITH MY GIRLS
This picture was taken on my birthday night out with my best girlfriends. It’s special to me because we’ve all been friends for such a long time – we’ve really been through thick and thin together. We have our ups and downs, which is expected from a group that spends so much time together, but I wouldn’t change them for the world.
Although we can have fun doing anything as long as we’re together, I can remember this night was especially great and really made me appreciate them. Love you, girls!
– Emily Wood
WE DID IT FOR HIM
This picture was taken during a cancer run with my sister and best friend. We had such fun doing it and training for it, and it was all for my uncle who sadly died of cancer last year. It’s incredibly important that people take part in events like this, and even though he’s gone I’ll always keep his memory alive by continuing to keep raising money and fighting for a cure. It was so rewarding to do it with my sister too, as it brought us together and made us grateful for what we have in each other.
– Alix Mellor
SHE’S A FIGHTER
This is a picture of me and my mum, Yvonne. She was diagnosed with bone cancer back in 2010, and although it didn’t look good, she’s still fighting now. When I look at her and think about everything that she’s been through, she just oozes so much strength and confidence. Every day is a struggle for her, but you’d never think it to look at her. She is such an inspiration to me, and I’m so pleased that I have such a powerful role-model in my life.
We’ve still got a long way to go, but I know that she can get through anything, and I’ll be there every step of the way.
– Sophie Cavender
MY FUTURE BEGAN
For my second year at university, I got the amazing opportunity to study abroad for a year. I’d always liked the thought of Australia, so that’s where I went.
Once I’d been there for a few days, I knew that this was where I was supposed to be. I had the time of my life, and even found love! I returned to the UK to finish my degree, and getting on that plane felt abnormal to me, like I was leaving home. Not long after returning, I’d begun making plans to return after I graduated. I currently have a house and my partner waiting for me. Three months to go!
– Adele Johnson
I MISS HER
This is me and my sister, Rachel, who coincidentally is also my best friend in the world. Being so close in age (she’s 19 and I’m 21), it was tough growing up, and when those hormones hit, our house was like our own personal battlefield. But as we matured we grew to realize how much we rely on and need each other. She’s went off to uni now while I’ve stayed at home, and although I’ll never tell her to her face, I miss her every day.
I just know that we’ll always be there for each other, and I expect our relationship will strengthen the older we get.
– Laura Clark
I WAS GIVING BACK
After I graduated I knew that I wanted to take a year out to give something back. I applied for a grant to travel to Africa and help build homes and schools for the less fortunate, and it was honestly the best thing I’ve done in my life to date.
It was ridiculously rewarding to see how much I helped improve their quality of life, plus it gave me the opportunity to see such a beautiful and amazing country.
This picture was taken on one of my rare days off, when I traveled to a wildlife sanctuary and met this big guy. I’m so pleased that I stepped out of my comfort zone.
– Louise Balderson
HE’S MY ‘PRAGMA’
This picture was taken in my home town in Greece, where my boyfriend, Joe, and I went to spend Christmas. This was the first time that he was to meet my family since we’d been together, and I was super nervous, as I really wanted everyone to get along and have a great Christmas.
Luckily, they loved him just as much as I did. We had such a great time and I’ll never forget it. I miss my country a lot, so really treasure every time I can afford to visit. Obviously, it’s made so much more special when I have Joe to share it with.
– Sofia Laskari
*Pragma is Greek for ‘love’
IT WAS THE START OF SOMETHING NEW
After having a baby, I noticed that I’d started to pile the weight on. Although I did a good job of hiding it, I was pretty miserable, made worse whenever I looked in the mirror. Last year I decided that it was time to make a change. I started Slimming World and joined my local gym, and before I knew it the pounds were dropping off. I took this selfie after a particularly rigorous workout and was surprised by how good I looked. It really spurred me on and kept me on the right track. I look at this picture when I feel my motivation slipping a bit, and remember how good it felt.
– Stephanie Parker
SHE’S MY WHOLE WORLD
This is a picture of me and my daughter, Zahra. I had her at quite a young age, and it was incredibly scary knowing how much my life was going to change, but from the moment I knew that she was growing inside of me, I knew that I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Being a young mum isn’t without its challenges, and there are times when I wonder how I manage, but I know that everything I’ve done and everything I’ll continue to do will be worth it to watch this beautiful little girl blossom. She’s given me the drive and ability that I never thought I had to make our lives together better.
She really is my whole world, and she brings me so much happiness every single day.
– Demi Robinson
Tell me your #SELFIESTORY and I’ll add you to the blog, at firstname.lastname@example.org!
* This article originally appeared in my dissertation magazine, NOUVEAU.