In 1839 a Chemist and Photo Enthusiast named Robert Cornelius took what is considered to be the first ever photographic portrait, when he snapped a picture of himself in the back of his families store in Philadelphia. That portrait is also, technically the worlds first ever SELFIE. I don’t think Corneilus had any idea what he was starting and how he would feel if he were alive today. Would he be amused or horrified by Kim Kardashians Selfie book? A random search on any social media site for the hashtag selfie delivers a treasure trove of frightening proportions. From 6 year olds using their moms iPhone to so called Instagram Models taking risqué shots to the delight of the millions who follow them for all kinds of reasons.
So it’s was with real trepidation that I decided to wade into the oversaturated selfie waters. I was in New York to interview Cissy Houston about Whitneys death and our crew rented an amazing room in Trump Tower for the interview.It had breathtaking views of the fall leaves in Central Park and we got there just in time for sunset. The windows in the suite were ceiling to floor and as the sun began to dip, it was a moment, that demanded to be documented. I sat at the desk in front of the window and had a Producer snap this picture, which became an instant classic.
And that for me was the beginning of what I call the #WindowSelfie. Now let me explain my window selfie, because its a lot different then the window selfie that we often see on social media. Usually when people drop that hashtag its because they have taken a photo of their reflection in a window and ignore everything that is on the other side of the glass. But in my version of the #windowselfie it’s all about whats on the other side of the glass.
One of the best parts of my job is that I get to stay in some of the best hotels on the planet. And as soon as I check in the first thing I do is check out the view and break out my camera. I’ve developed a real system and for the most part tak all the pictures myself. Usually its my GoPro, on a stand, triggered by my phone.
Sometimes I use my Canon point and shoot which can also be remotely controlled. I have a $9 fold up tripod that serves as the perfect stand in those situations. It really just depends on the room, the window and the desired effect that I want. I preferred the Canon for this shot in Monaco.
But my GoPro was better for this shot, one of my favorites, that I took in the SLS Hotel in Vegas.
Now my new thing is the 360 Window Selfie. Using one of my 360 cameras, I carry two, I have now developed a system that is a new take on my old 2D photos. Because the cameras shoot everything in the frame on both sides I had to rethink the composition of the pictures. In the past I wanted to be in silhouette but now, in 360 I can actually be a much more active part of the picture.
the real key is too make sure that the sunlight outdoors, and indoors matches. So that means often making sure I am close to the window and that it is floor to ceiling.
Now I’m not done with the normal shots, it just means I’ve added another layer to the equation. So here are a few tips so you can begin to take your own #WindowSelfies
Angle is everything – Head on is not always the best angle, try multiple angles and different heights, until the picture works.
Make sure that there is enough light – These pictures are better taken during the day, unless the background is full of lights, like the picture I took in Vegas. Even then, it was the light from my computer on my face, that made this picture work.
It may take a few pictures before you get what you want – This is a process, so take a few pictures and take them from several angles and heights as I mentioned before. But most importantly think creatively and you will be rewarded.
If you are taking 360 pics, and are still trying to figure out how to share them, let me suggest you sign up for an account with our partners at kuula.co … thats .co not .com
Have fun and we can not wait to share your Instagram shots on Travel Coterie.