Photographer defends Obama's selfie at Mandela service

President Barack Obama (L) and first lady Michelle Obama look at a the program while attending the official memorial service for former South African President Nelson Mandela at FNB Stadium December 10, 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Image by Getty Images

Photographer defends Obama's selfie at Mandela service

By Joyce Lupiani. CREATED Dec 11, 2013

Selfie was recently selected as word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries and most everyone who owns a cellphone has done it. But taking one at a memorial service might be considered a little tasteless.

President Obama is learning that lesson after taking a pic with UK PM David Cameron and Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt during the memorial service for former South Africa President Nelson Mandela.

First Lady Michelle Obama can also be seen in the photo but she is sitting off to the side and appears to be none too pleased.

AFP photographer Roberto Schmidt who was responsible for capturing the moment though says that is not true, according to the New York Daily News. Schmidt says in a blog posting that "Photos can lie."

The photographer also said that the trio was also simply acting like humans and that the memorial service had a carnival-like atmosphere and was not at all morbid.

Reaction to the selfie online was swift. The hashtag #ObamaSelfie quickly started trending. It wasn't all negative though. Many people came out in support of the Obama selfie and said that the whole thing was being blown out of proportion.

For a full report and more pics, click here.



Joyce Lupiani

Joyce Lupiani

Email Twitter
Joyce Lupiani, who is based in Las Vegas at KTNV-TV Channel 13, is a contributor to