• 12.05.12

Famous Photos Reframed as Cellphone Selfies

The Cape Times, a newspaper in South Africa, demonstrates how close it is to the news as it happens, by showing the only way you could be closer.

With all the photographic creativity that Instagram has inspired, something that photo-sharing tool and most of the social sites it links to has in spades are the photos these budding Annie Leibovitz’s have taken of themselves. Everybody is susceptible, even these two ladies. And a new campaign for South Africa’s The Cape Times shows what it might look like throughout recent history if some other folks felt obliged to do the same.


Taking a self-picture, or in the regrettable parlance of our times, selfie, removes all distance between the subject and the person capturing it. It might not be the most obvious premise for a brand promise, but that’s where we are. In the same way that cameras couldn’t possibly get any closer to the sailor kissing his best girl on V-J Day unless he was snapping the picture himself, The Cape Times couldn’t be any closer to the news unless they were making it. (Actual physical proximity may vary.)

Created by agency Lowe Cape Town, the ads put a funny modern spin on visual history. Have a look through them all in the slide show above.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.