Over 79 million photos published on the social media platform Instagram, are accompanied by the hashtag #selfie. The demographics of the app suggest that the biggest group of users is made up of young people between 16 and 25. The most common themes of the photos being posting are the new fashions trends, daily style guides, the places they’ve visited or the food they’re eating. However, there is also another new type of selfie on the block that is gaining more and more likes every day: those photos taken in some of the riskiest locations in the world, fuelled by adrealine junkies aiming to capture the coolest shots around, at all costs.
Acrophobia, or a fear of heights, is the last thing on the minds of those passionate about extreme photography. Camera in hand, they climb to the top of mountains and buildings in search of the most daring and impressive selfies. This trend has turned photography into an extreme sport for those super adventurers among us. Every day there are more and more people daring to take their chance at creating the next new online phenomenon. For many, it has become a way of life.
Camera in hand, they climb to the top of mountains and buildings in search of the most daring and impressive selfies.
Leonardo Pereira, 23, from Brazil, has over 37,000 followers on Instagram. Twice mountain biking champion and a fan of mountain climbing, his attempts to master the mountains unaided by ropes or attachments, have brought him lots of attention in the public eye. “I feel safe in dangerous situations”, he confesses. Leonardo met Victoria on Pedra da Gávea, the highest coastal mountain in the world. Since then, she has accompanied him on all his adventures. She trusts Leonardo so much that she allowed herself to be dangled in the air above the abyss, held just by his hand. Their next adventure is China and Japan. They will post their latest achievments during their trip on Instagram, leaving their followers breathless!
Leonardo and Victoria aren’t the only ones hooked on heights. Ivan Kuznetsov, @Beerkus on Instagram, climbs the highest buildings in each city in the world, with the sole objective of immortalising the moment. He argues that the risk doesn’t mean that he does not value life, in fact, quite the contrary: “This is life, this is how I express myself, and I appreciate it more than anyone else”.
Life must look very different from the top of the world. For the more cautious amongst us, we can enjoy the views through the beauty of social media.