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Do You Take Photos of Your Cats But Not Yourself?

I love shooting pictures of my cats, but I'm strongly opposed to the selfie. How about you?

Catherine Holm  |  May 20th 2016


I’m not crazy about the selfie phenomenon. I’m searching for the right word here … many selfies make me a little uneasy. I’m not sure why. Sometimes, it seems like so much careful effort has been put into the crafting and posing of a selfie. Sometimes, not. I’m not sure I want to spend all that time trying to make my life look so great. Now, that sounds a little harsh, but some selfies strike me that way. We are flooded with this stuff on social media. Who, really, do I have to convince that my life is great? My life is great!

I won’t even let loved ones take pics of me to put up on Facebook. I was just visiting a relative in South Carolina. She badly wanted to take a picture of me in front of Angel Oak — a huge, very old oak tree. I refused.

I will, however, bore you forever with pictures of my cats. I take multiple photos of my cats, sometimes daily, and am constantly cleaning out my phone of these excessive pics.

zorro profile

Profile of Zorro

My phone has been filled with 1,000 photos, and 950 of these are cat photos. There are usually no humans in the picture. I will only very reluctantly take pictures of myself. Usually, it’s because I’ve written an article and an author photo is required. But if a cat does something cute, and I want to capture that moment (and you never know with a cat, one thing can change from one moment to the next, so you must be ready with the camera at all times), I make sure the phone is nearby and I snap away until the cat snaps out of it.

I also love pictures of natural scenes that move me. And I just excitedly snapped a picture of wild turkeys in our yard.

Willoughby

My husband took this amazing photo recently on a hike. It almost looks surreal.

These things move me. My own selfies, not so much.

wild turkeys

Wild turkeys in the yard!

Why I am not crazy about the selfie phenomenon? Why can’t I just get with it and have some fun? Maybe the problem is me?

I’m a private person in a public world (and pretty public profession). I should want to plaster my face all over the place, but I don’t. I’m not sure if I’m shy, but I know that I am somewhat private.

I’m not “the most beautiful looking person on the planet” — whatever that means. Still, there’s something deeply ingrained in me about having to look really good in a photograph. If I don’t look as good as I want to look, I’m not happy. This is my own crap. On the other hand, there are times I have looked really good. But in our youth obsessed culture, my own selfies are a reminder of, “uh oh….I’m getting ‘older’ and I don’t look great all the time.” I prefer to try and avoid thinking like this. Gotta think positive!

cat and zorro

Me and Zorro. I don’t mind this one too much, as it feels “honest.”

Truly posed selfies seem like a huge waste of time. Why would I spend my time setting and staging great photos of me having a fun life? Who cares? I do have a fun life, selfies aside. And I have better ways to spend my time. Some selfies (not all) feel narcissistic to me. For some reason, this triggers warning bells.

(Dear friends, Please don’t be offended. I love your selfies. I love seeing your faces. Sometimes I get jealous because you look so good. It’s some of the selfies that seem SO posed that make me a bit uncomfortable.)

Selfies of cats, on the other hand — now that’s a concept I can get behind.

cat books

I don’t mind this one too much, though you can tell I’m a bit shy about it. Photo courtesy Carol Bryant

Why? There’s no human ego in a cat and no human ego associated with these pics (other than the sheer joy of sharing cat cuteness). Cats aren’t trying to make their lives look so great. They are simply being in the moment — what they do so well. They’re flirting, being cute, fighting, posing, sitting in the grass, whatever. There’s not one single possibility of phoniness when your cat looks into the camera. They are incapable of it. Cat selfies represent utter, ultimate, and honest cuteness. And cat selfies help me remember what cats have always done for me. They continually remind me of the true love and realness about life. Cat photos convey this for me, and for some reason, take me to a much happier place than human selfie photos.

norton

Selfie of Norton

What are your thoughts on this? Have the selfies gone overboard? Or am I just crazy? (Only my cats know.)