Yet somehow both are seen by the general public as less shameful & egotistical than taking a photo of yourself & posting it to the internet.
Does having a "professional" make that big of a difference if you aren't posing for something like the cover of Time's Person of the Year issue?
Having interacted with a lot of photographers over the years, there are quite a few that can definitely be described as less than professional than even your Average Joe iPhone owner.
While I agree that they are best taken behind closed doors, I disagree that people should feel sorry for showing the world their beautiful (clothed) selves via social media.
However, one must not abuse the selfie. It already has a bad reputation, mostly because of the unwritten rules of selfies being broken time after time.
Someone had to write down these for all to follow & observe to avoid future infractions. Read on, pass on and you're welcome.
Thou shalt not selfie in public.
Seriously. There are some things you can only do when you're alone. This is one of them. Don't be this guy.
Have a purpose.
Whether it's showcasing your cute outfit or new hairstyle or something else - HAVE A REASON for taking the photo. If you don't have one? Make one up.
Gratuitous pictures of yourself are generally only warmly received if you're a model. A REAL model, not an instagram model. Yes, someone told me that's actually a thing, which makes me sad.
Speaking of gratuitous...
Wear clothes. Please. At least some. There are sites meant for naked photos, but Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/etc are not. In fact, it's against their terms of service.
Keep that to yourself or at least get paid for it - because it'll probably keep you from getting most kinds of jobs down the road anyway. This is the INTERNET - you don't know where that picture is going to end up or when it will come back to bite you.
Know your surroundings.
The main focus of the photo may be you, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be aware of what is in the background. No matter how sexy your pose is, seeing a toilet, your unattended child or anything unseemly or disgusting in the background isn't going to turn anyone on.
Also, doing anything illegal in a selfie is just stupid. I can't find a nice way to say that and still get the point across. So: don't be stupid.
Learn the meaning of "moderation."
Not every photo you post should be of yourself. Go outside. Do things. Make friends.
Perfect your angle.
I get a lot of flack for having a similar pose in photos. Guess what? People aren't going to take bad photos of themselves & post them on the internet. Duh. Find what angle & pse works for you - try to find more than one, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. If you're practicing moderation, then your photos won't all look the same.
Side note: if you review my candid photos with other people (mostly the sober ones), you'll find I do the EXACT same hand on hip pose. The camera either isn't from the same angle as a selfie, but hey. I like it. It works for me. Get your own.
Accept feedback. With a grain of salt.
If you receive negative feedback, assess who it is coming from & what it says. Haters are going to hate, but also your pose or outfit or filter or accompanying text or whatnot could just be bad. If no one likes or comments or engages with one of your selfies - delete it.
Try to figure out why people engaged with others but not that one. If one selfie is more popular than others, try to find out why (although if you're taking naked photos & you're female, you don't really need to do try too hard).
If NO ONE engages with ANY of your selfies, either you have no friends, mean friends or you should probably just delete the camera app from your phone.
Selfies aren't for everyone.
People who have the urge to comment "selfie!" on selfies or make other snarky comments: ok, we get it, you think selfies are stupid. That isn't going to stop people from taking them, especially if their photos get positive reception from the general (online) public.
So repeatedly making the same types of comments doesn't make you witty, it just makes you annoying & indicates that you probably have even less of a life than you claim the person whose photos you feel the need to stalk every time they post something new has. Feel free to pass on these rules, though!
There's nothing wrong with taking photos of yourself (disclaimer: non nude photos unless you work for Playboy).
Use these photos to know how to better pose for photos with other people in it. Keep them to yourself as a memory of how good your hair looked last Tuesday. Practice your smile. There's no law saying you have to share them with the general public.
Just don't be ashamed. Love yourself inside & out. There's this "happy girl sare the prettiest" quote that's often overused and misattributed, but it's true (and applicable to males, too). If you already do love yourself: awesome! Don't overdo it on either end of the self esteem spectrum.
And there you go. Click (or tap) away! If you follow these rules, and your friends aren't all dicks, you should be able to skirt too much selfie scrutiny - or at least it will be good-natured.
And if your friends are all jerks, they're probably the people instagramming every meal they have, so they're just as bad as you.
What rules would you add or alter? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below!