Joseph Byron, Self Portrait

The Evolution of the Selfie

From early self-portraits to today's viral sensations, a history in 15 frames.

The urge to document oneself has been with us from the earliest cameras to the latest smartphones. Here, a look back at the art of the selfie through the years. (Pictured: Joseph Byron, without the aid of a selfie stick, in 1909.)

MIRROR SELFIE Kirn Vintage Stock/Corbis via Getty Images MIRROR SELFIE Early 20th-century self-portrait with a box camera. GROUP SELFIE Museum of the City of New York/Getty Images GROUP SELFIE Five photographers on the roof of Colonel Marceau's photography studio in New York, December 1920. Pictured from left to right: Joseph ('Uncle Joe') Byron, Pirie MacDonald, Colonel Marceau, Pop Core, and Joseph ('Uncle Joe') Byron. COUPLE SELFIE CBS Photo Archive/CBS via Getty Images COUPLE SELFIE Broadway performer Carol Bruce tries her best to snap a shot with her press agent, February 1944. PARACHUTING SELFIE Terry Fincher/Getty Images PARACHUTING SELFIE Photographer Terry Fincher takes a self-portrait using a camera strapped to his foot, March 1966. PRESIDENTIAL SELFIE PASCAL PAVANI/AFP/Getty Images PRESIDENTIAL SELFIE Former President George H. W. Bush poses with a group of Marines at the Mogadishu airport, January, 1993. STAR-STUDDED SELFIE Handout/Getty Images STAR-STUDDED SELFIE Bradley Cooper snaps a selfie with Ellen DeGeneres, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Channing Tatum, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyong'o, Angelina Jolie, and Peter Nyong'o Jr. during the 86th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood, March 2014. ROYAL SELFIE Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images ROYAL SELFIE A young Belfast boy takes a selfie with Queen Elizabeth II, June 2014. SPACE SELFIE ESA SPACE SELFIE German astronaut Alexander Gerst snaps a selfie during his spacewalk, October 2014. KARDASHIAN SELFIE Lester Cohen/WireImage KARDASHIAN SELFIE Kim Kardashian, John Legend, and Chrissy Teigen take a selfie during the 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards in Los Angeles, February 2015. G.O.A.T. SELFIE PEDRO UGARTE/AFP/Getty Images G.O.A.T. SELFIE Usain Bolt uses a selfie stick to snap a pic after winning the men's 200 meters event at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing, August 2015. ON-STAGE SELFIE Kevin Winter/Getty Images ON-STAGE SELFIE Emmanuel Lubezki, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu take a selfie onstage during the 88th Annual Academy Awards, February 2016. IRONIC SELFIE Alex Wong/Getty Images IRONIC SELFIE Former President Barack Obama pretends to take a selfie during an event at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C., October 17, 2016. HOLY SELFIE TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images HOLY SELFIE A boy takes a selfie photo with Pope Francis at the church of St. Maria Josefa, February 2017. SELFIE KID Christopher Polk/Getty Images SELFIE KID In a moment that went viral and was seen by an estimated 103.4 million people, Ryan McKenna (aka "Selfie Kid") snaps a pic with Justin Timberlake during the Super Bowl LII Halftime Show in Minneapolis, Minnesota, February 2018.