IAMA the 20-year-old who took a Selfie EVERYDAY since I was 12-years-old to document the aging process of teenagers.
Aww shit I've been found out!
UPDATE: I've been removed, and I have no idea why. r/iAMA mods have said nothing. To everyone looking for my video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdvojC0KSOM
Here's my new iAMA: https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/3mi88b/iama_the_20yearold_who_took_a_selfie_everyday/
Did you look back at any the pictures and think "why did I wear my hair like that?" or "yikes, bad face day"? It just seems really brave to document the most awkward years of your life. I loved watching it, thanks so much for uploading it!!
No problem, I am so glad you enjoyed it!
Yup absolutely haha. There is a goatee period that just looks horrible-many users in the YouTube comments agree... No idea why I had that ugly goatee..fml. Never again
Ahaha. After just now watching your video for the first time that was my first thought. No, not the goatee!
Trust me.. I had a few regrettable looks but the goatee was my ugliest one. Why?? WHY?!
The goatee is pretty bad, but I did really enjoy the chinstrap look you rocked for a while.
Thanks! I liked the chinstrap too, I might start pulling that off again..everyone liked it actually.
Not gonna lie, I thought: he's got such a cute face, why is he ruining it with that goatee?! Glad you've seen the error of your ways. ... Hope you keep up with this - it'll be interesting to see you update the video in a few years.
edit: Wow, I was NOT hitting on this kid. Just pointing out that he is correct in saying that goatee was a mistake. Not everyone is a pedophile, people! It's not unheard of to think someone is cute without it being a sexual thing.
Subscribe to me on YouTube and you'll be able to see my updated video when it comes out. I'm actually posting a new version of the video in the next week so check it out when it comes out!
Did you ever forget a day?
Yup, I've forgotten a few days here and there. There's also been a few days when I've left my area and forgot/was unable to bring a camera. Trust me though, I didn't miss that many. I was pretty religious about it.
Well shit, the title said "EVERYDAY". I don't know what to believe anymore. Is this even you? /s
Why would one do that - just go on the internet and tell lies.
What was the most surprising thing you learnt from this?
Directly from the video: I learned that overnight fame happens to YouTubers/random people and it's pretty crazy for them. When I became 'famous' overnight, I was getting about 750,000 views per day and so many calls from websites/newspapers/magazines/TV stations etc etc. It was overwhelming. I learned that at the snap of a finger my whole life can change and then change back. Pretty crazy stuff.
Indirectly: From watching the video, it amazes me how fast life passes and how I can watch it all in a clip that is shorter than 2 minutes. It makes my whole life and accomplishments seem so non-existent.. Hmm..
This is happy, touching, and sad.
I feel small.
Thanks for the comment!
The video has a similar effect on me, even to this day. Seeing what seemed to take so long in my life just pass in-front of my eyes in just 2 quick minutes really puts into perspective how short life is and how fast time does fly. Crazy.
How many times have you watched your own video?
A LOT of times. Like over 100 for sure.
I've watched it over and over while showing friend and family members, and even on my own while trying to find a song that goes well with it or something.
I'd love to know how they get your phone number just like that to get hold of people they saw on a video posted on youtube...
I changed my description to include contact info since so many people were constantly trying to contact me. I actually got a temporary number as a business contact number since I was getting so bombarded.
Why didn't you throw in a few Hitler mustaches for comedic effect?
I totally thought about doing this. There are a few 'thrown-in' easter egg type pictures. Like there's one with me holding a banana phone.. try to find it ;) There's also one where my face is painted completely green!
Why can't you commit to a beard?
Cuz beards suck. I hate having to maintain them all the time. Plus I'm one of these guys that grows beards that get all wiry and gross when they get too long.
If you feel comfortable answering: how much money did you make overall as a result of this video?
It doesn't bother me.
EDIT: As a YouTube partner, one makes about 1000$ USD per 1 million views. [REMOVED ALL OTHER INFO ABOUT HOW MUCH I MADE]
You should take that comment down, YouTube and Google strictly do not want partner revenues posted.
Huh, I was not aware. I will delete my comment, thanks!
Wow, so someone like Jenna Marbles has made $15K to $60K off some of her 3 minute videos. Amazing. It's noticeable when she goes from tiny apartment to nice big house in her videos. lol And she has a ton of videos... so multiply that...
Yep, Jenna Marbles makes bank.. The crazy thing is that a video that gets 1 billion views earns the uploader 1 MILLION USD in ad revenue. How insane is that? The videos that have over a bil views have made over a million. Crazy.
Take that comment down. It's forbidden as a youtuber partner to discuss about his/her earnings. You could get in big trouble if they found out.
Thanks. I will delete all comments where I talk about my revenue. I honestly had no idea that it was forbidden, thanks for advising me!
How long do you plan on continuing taking pictures? This is something that I'd love to try sometime, thanks for sharing this!
I plan to do it for as long as I can continue to do so! I don't see any reason to stop. It literally takes about 30 seconds out of my day while sitting on my laptop.
I don't see any reason why I would be forced to stop, so for now my answer is: I never plan on stopping!
You should definitely try this! Start it for a month, and then play your 30 pictures one after the other. You will already start to see hair-growth and mood changes. This might motivate you to continue.. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions with getting started. Good luck!
30 seconds of one day, for another 60 years, are approximately 7 days worth of picture-taking. Are you willing to sacrifice an entire week of your life for this?
Do you think it's worth it? Cuz I definitely do!!
and your kids will definitely think it was worth it! what a gift to give them. wow.
That's what I'm hoping! Imagine being able to look at your parents 'selfie-a-day' project and being able to watch your mother/father age from the age of 12? It's going to be crazy!
What's your favorite selfie in the video? Which one means the most/is most significant to you?
There are a few that are somewhat meaningful. I don't have one favourite selfie, but here are a bunch of examples of my favouriteS:
Hallowe'en day face painted green. (http://imgur.com/zZIOQOX)
Ones where I am surrounded by friends and family.
A few where I'm on holiday.
A few others taken in special places (outdoors etc)
Friends with Arya Stark, I see.
My youngest sister (and fan of GoT) loved Arya's short hair so much that she wanted to have her hair done in the exact same way.
Sort of been asked, but how did you get yourself to have your face in the exact same position and facial expression? Also, how did you store the photos? Did you have a specific way you named them? (By date, or number...)
Great questions, no worries you can ask me whatever even if someone has already asked a similar question:
I use software that shows me the photo that I had taken the day prior and makes it into a half-transparent layer that sits over photo booth. I line up my face with the half-transparent version of my face from the day before, and take the shot in the exact same place. Does that make sense? Essentially I use transparent layers to align myself up with the photo from yesterday. If this is confusing I'll try to re-explain.
I store them in a folder on my harddrive but I also have all the photos backed up in full quality in several different locations. (Google Drive, MediaFire and my NAS WD Cloud). I will NEVER lose all the photos; there's just no way it'll happen. I'm too paranoid about it.
I label them by 'Day since beginning of project'. i.e. a new photo will be called something like 'Day 1847'.
What's the software called?
There is no software. I literally make an transparent photo and open it with a photo viewer software. Then I align up the transparent photo with Photo Booth.
Hey I started doing this over the summer, using an app called Selfie-A-Day on my iphone. The app uses a translucent image of your first pic so that you can line them up easily, it's pretty neat.
This is essentially the same thing that I do, but I do it by hand. I've heard of that app, it's awesome. Keep up the good work! Post your project when it gets long enough.
Damn and all that only took about 30 seconds a day? Was it the same laptop throughout the years?
Eventually, I was so used to my routine that I could get it done so quickly and without even thinking.
Nope, I changed computers twice throughout the video.
It seems like you put a lot of thought into your project. Any reason why you didn't choose a consistent background or lighting? It seems like a lot of the pics were taken in a darkened room or with a backlighting, and you switch location a lot.
The constant changes in background show a more realistic version of my life in time-lapse form. They show where I was from day to day. Whenever there is a background, it's because I was there doing something. (eg. at school or on holiday).
Also, when I started the project I didn't really think about lighting and having everything set up. I did start caring more eventually.
I also posted in casualiama but received a couple PM's suggesting that I post here. So guys, feel free to ask me anything whatsoever! I got a few hours to kill and I'm here to answer even your weirdest questions.
How many girlfriends did you go through during this period of time? I saw a few girls hanging on or kissing you.
All I'll say is... a few ;)
But there was one long-term girlfriend who's there for over 2 years.
We've been broken up for a while now.
Thanks for posting in r/iAMA!!!
Your video is actually amazing, thanks for sharing. What were your main reasons for wanting to start this project?
Mainly just wanting to be able to look back on my life when I'm older. I was just so amazed by how great Noah Kalina's video looked and wanted to a similar one with my own face.
Also, no teenager had ever done this before so I wanted to be the first to really document physical changes.
Why don't you smile in your selfies?
The intention behind having my face in the exact same position the whole time (and never smiling) was to really showcase the changes happening AROUND my expression--i.e. I wanted to capture the physical changes not the mood changes.
It allows the viewer to really focus on my aging, hair changing, beard-growth, etc instead of focusing on what's going on in my life.
I would love to see a better version of the video, the one you posted only has 1415 or so frames and the first 3 seem identical (at least in the video grab and frame dump process I used, I may try another).
Question: did the youtube video process dump frames and screw things up or is it really only 1415 frames?
If youtube munges it we need to find better ways to host videos that are not merely mindless eye candy but a form of data records of the world composed into video format
I will be uploading an updated version of the video very soon, with all the photos I've taken throughout the last year.
No, there are more than that. There should be about 2100 frames.
I'm not sure. As far as I know, YouTube does not dump frames but I wouldn't know. I could try re-upping the video somewhere else.
Try to upload the photo set somewhere. If you (or youtube) compresses it like any normal video, it uses inter-frame similarities to reduce the data size, and that basically amounts to spending most of the data stream on encoding the background and throwing away your face detail (because it's nearly the same as the previous frame). Which is exactly the part you wanted to preserve.
Huh, good idea. I'm pretty protective with the un-compressed photos and have never sent/uploaded the raw photos anywhere. Once I upload them to the internet, they'll be there forever and anyone can do anything with them.
Hmmm? Your eyes are always in the same exact position thru the whole video. That's the technique used in, creating morphs.
The intention behind having my face in the exact same position the whole time was to really showcase the changes happening AROUND my expression--i.e. I wanted to capture the physical changes not the mood changes.
It allows the viewer to really focus on my aging, hair changing, beard-growth, etc instead of focusing on what's going on in my life.
Cool video! How many of the people that are in the background of the video are still in your life?
Nearly all of them! A lot of them are my family (parents and siblings) and a bunch of them are my friends. Some of them are ex's whom are now gone from my life, but I still see most of them on a regular basis.
How does it feel knowing that you have a stare that could pierce concrete?
Seriously though, that's pretty impressive. Nice work!
Thanks! Well tbh I kinda did it on purpose, I made it stare as blank as it could possibly be. I've explained why in a couple other comments but essentially it was to take attention away from my mood changes and to focus on the physical changes in my face.
would you date a 23-year-old? asking for a friend.........
Hahh of course I am 20 now after all ;)
great, i'll pass that on to my incredibly good looking ~friend~ who lives in nc and is single,
Alright, well tell your ~friend~ ;) to pm me if they want to!
What's your favourite pokemon?
Honestly I know it's cheesy and expected but Pikachu, he's just so cute. Also I had Pokemon Yellow for like the original gameboy when I was young and I loved having the little Pikachu that follows you everywhere!
Did you find it hard as life moved on to stay up on the project?
Not at all. Taking the photo takes no more than 30 seconds to align myself, take the shot, put it in it's folder and rename it. I've never started to get tired of taking the pictures. So little work for such a great reward!
You might be able to make a small file/script that, when run, takes a picture and names it either after the date or just sequentially, and then saves it to your folder. Instead of taking a week of your life for this whole thing, you could spend 3 days!
Yes, I have an app for this on my iMac called Automator which does exactly what you're talking about. But still, I'd rather just rename it on the day of.
Was this all an elaborate ruse to get us to look at you topples?
What can I say I'm an exhibitionist ;)
What was your intended goal when you started on this journey?
Do you consider that your experience has any broader social significance?
My intended goal was simply to have something to look back on and to show my children. I wanted to be able to look back and view my life in fast-motion.
I've been recognized once by a complete stranger, which was pretty crazy! When the video went viral last summer, it had a pretty big impact on my life since I was so busy with interviews and constant calls. Other than that, no real social significance other than maybe having influenced a few people to start similar projects of their own.
Have you been going through some shit recently? You look worn out.
Not really, but my last year has probably been the hardest. Spent a year in a Uni program that I wasn't really interested in. Everythings better now though. It's crazy that this is visible and apparent to strangers on the Internet.
Haha, that was really fun to see you grow into a man in a couple of minutes! Beard + short hair definitely the way to go for you, buddy.
What have your friends said about this project?
My friends love it! They think it's pretty cool that they were in a few random shots and are now appearing in front of several million people on the internet.
How fast does your facial hair grow? Seemed like every other pic was a full beard after a shave.
Remember, there are over 15 photos per second, so it's hard to tell.
My beard grows pretty quickly though, and I used to be famous in High School for being one of the first guys to be able to grow a full beard.
What's the age you thought you were ugliest?
Definitely my teen years (12-14) so the start of the video...
I mean, we all go try out strange looks and hairstyles while we try to figure out what suits us best but I mean...I really put no effort into my appearance and it showed.
Hugo you were NEVER ugly-- you're one damn handsome guy. The goatee was ugly, and some of the ridiculous buzz cuts weren't so hot, but man, you were cute as a boy and are attractive as a man!!
Thank you so much for your compliments :)
well it's true! And apparently you're a gentleman, too, who can take a compliment graciously, whether from a guy or a girl. I wish you the best man!
A compliment is a compliment! Of course I'm just as flattered when a guy compliments me, because it's just a human telling another that they're attractive. Thanks again :D
Quick follow up:
Is there a day or age where you think you changed the most? And does that line up at all with a change in how you look?
Like some time in your teens you suddenly change faces. Does that line up with your experiences?
I think that the most visible change occurs in my tween years (i.e. the first 20 seconds of the video.) I also changed a lot as a person during these years.
Totally, actually. The pictures actually relate to how I changed as a person as well. When I become a teenager (14) I start caring more about what I wear and the way my hair looks.
Do you have a selfie of the day you lost your virginity?
I actually do... but I'm not showing you guys ;)
You should go forever and when you have a child have the cold join you and than one day he will be the only one in the photo?
Great idea! I've considered this.. my child would have to be willing though. But holy crap that would really be incredible to see.
Are you going to continue this and add on to the video every few years?
Yes! I still take a photo every single day and am about to upload a new version of the video sometime in the next week.
Yes! I still take a photo every single day and will continue to do so forever. I will continue to upload new versions of the video every year.
Was there ever a time where you didn't feel like taking a picture of yourself?
Never. Even if I was not happy with who I was or where I was at in my life, I still had the desire to document myself as I existed on that given day so that I can look back on the good and bad days.
ahh, at 13, were you ever aware how fucking cute you were/would become later in life? because damn.
Hahah I guess I really had no idea ;). Thanks for the compliments!
The fact that you were basically in the same position was neat. It kinda felt like we were holding hands and spinning around haha What made you start this project? At first did you ever tell anyone or was it a secret project for a while?
I started the project after being inspired by Noah Kalina. My main reason was because I wanted to be the first teenager to do this. Other people had done similar Selfie-a-day projects, but none of them showed aging or growth.
Everyone knew about the project the whole time. My friends and family were always aware and they loved being in the shots.
Ive been doing this for 2 years now and stopped a month ago. It lasted from the ages 16-18. You think O should continue doing it?
Yes, continue doing it! Why did you stop? Post a link to your current updated project, I wanna see it!
Any particular reason this heavily upvoted AMA which showed up on my front page is now removed?
I'm asking the same question. Can someone help me contact AMA mods? I have no idea why I was removed.
When you look back at any random photo, can you remember taking it and what you did afterwards?
Honestly, not really. Some of the more 'special' photos I can, but for most of them; not at all.
I wonder if you've taken more selfies than Kim Kardashian?
Probably ;) I mean I've taken over 2000 at this point
I know you answered this a bit already but what did you realize about yourself both positive and negative after seeing yourself change quickly in the video from 12 to 19?
Positive: It's incredible to see myself evolve and change as a person as I age. I will always be happy that I spent this time making this video because I get so many benefits from it. Also knowing that I'll be able to look back on this when I'm old and even show this to my kids is an amazing thought.
Negative: I realized that I should have put more effort into my appearance in my teenage years and that life passes so quickly.
How did you stay so committed to something at such a young age? When I was 12 I'd have ideas to do projects like this, then forget about it by the end of the week. Hell, I still do that.
My parents always gave me access to technology and they gave me the camera that I used to start the project, so they were a huge help for me. In terms of what motivated me to keep up with it though... I have to see I was motivated by the desire to see a final result. Even at 12 I was able to recognize what would happen if I kept it up!
How many YouTube MCNs have contacted you about video representation? What are your thoughts on the "industry" of YouTube?
A lot of them and I turned them all down. My advice to anyone who gets messages from MCNs is to turn them down. You WILL make more money on your own with YouTube ad service. MCNs WILL take a share of your money no matter what.
Yes, but they also can target specific demographics which advertisers are willing to pay about double for, so that 15-20% they take is a fair trade.
Source: Youtube Partner on an MCN.
To me though it just didn't seem worth it. I was not willing to give some of my revenue away and get into a contract that I can't get out of.
I noticed your face was centered in the photos, how did you manage that?
I essentially use a translucent version of the photo from the day prior to align up my new photo and to keep my face in the same place.
What made you decide to start this? Was it a similar video that you saw, or did the idea just pop into your 12-year-old head?
Also, I'm impressed that you managed to keep it up for 8 years without missing more than a few days!
I was inspired by Noah Kalina's video! He made an extremely similar video which got famous in 2007 I believe. I decided to do something similar, but be the first TEEN to do it and to show aging along with it.
What software did you use to capture the pictures? Did it change over the years? There is a period where you photos get all narrow, I'm guessing the aspect ratio of the images got mashed.
Yup, unfortunately when I bought a new computer the new version of Photo Booth took photos of a different resolution. They went from a resolution of 960 x 960 to 1080 x 720. I didn't realize right away, so the change it resolution is visible in the video. :(
When I upload my updated version in a couple days, the problem will be fixed and all photos will be aligned!
Can we consider this to be your theme song?
Haha the funny thing is this got big around the same time my video did
Have any other you tubers contacted you about your efforts?
Totally! Beckie0 actually contacted me since we both have a selfie everyday video. A few other big names which I won't mention :)
What do you use to take the pictures? Thnx for posting.
Mainly my Macbook using Photo Booth.
Why the "selfie"? As teenagers seem to sprout like the weeds they are, when do we get full growth shots.?
Doing a time-lapse of full growth shots would be extremely hard, I would love to see one though! There are several pregnancy timelapses which show women's bellies growing. eg: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7F02VJrhWeI
Are you going to continue taking pictures of yourself and keep the video going? And just wanted to say you have some really awesome hair and that you're video was incredible haha its insane how you kept to it my dude! Congrats!
Definitely! I still take a photo every single day! The one that I take today will have some type of Reddit symbol in it to remember this iAMA!
Thank you so much for the comments!
Do you mean a picture?
Oh c'mon just embrace the times... Selfie is totally a word now. It's in all the 2015 dictionaries.
Dude I'm a year younger than you and don't use the word selfie.
Have some self respect.
I have no shame
I counted all the photos and it doesn't add up, you didn't take a selfie the twenty-ninth of february, 2008. What do you have to say in your defense?
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