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October 23, 2014

1600 reasons why this is the greatest Lumia selfie project ever

In May 2010, our latest #LumiaExplorer Patrick Walsh was wandering around a street art exhibition in Gothenburg, Sweden.

Patrick, the phoneographer we all know and love from his #nban Facebook group, was inspired and fascinated by the art he saw. The experience gave him a sudden urge to create something big, too. That’s when the ThisisMe@3 selfie project was born.

“I have no idea why, but the idea that flashed into my mind was that I would take one phoneograph of myself at 3:00pm every day for a year,” Patrick writes in his autobiographical book, Life is. “The reason why I chose to take the phoneograph at 3:00pm every day was that I feel that whatever I am doing and wherever I am at this time defines my day,” he continues.

1600 pictures later

In the end, the project didn’t stop after a year. Patrick has already taken over 1600 selfies on his Lumia (before the arrival of Lumias, it was always a Nokia device). He’s never ever missed one out, because every day at three o’clock the alarm on his Lumia goes off, and he’s always carrying his Lumia in his pocket. In the four years and four months the project’s been going on, he’s been to over 50 countries in five continents with his Lumia, broken one Guinness World Record, written and published two books, graduated from two courses and married the woman of his dreams.

Some serious selfies

Some years, eh? But what is the purpose of the project and what’s it been like for Patrick? While he says the original plan was to compare and contrast the changing backgrounds of the selfies (in a time when the term selfie didn’t even exist!), in the end ThisisMe@Three has turned into something very different.

“It has provided me with an insight into my soul,” Patrick writes. “This project has shown me a part of my life that I did not really know existed. I always feel happy and energetic but through these phoneographs I have noticed long periods of time where I have not been smiling at 3:00pm, where I have rolled out of bed and into the same old hoody to begin a day in front of my laptop, away from the eyes of the world.”

So who’s still saying that selfies are trivial? Through ThisisMe@Three, Patrick Walsh has got a totally new perspective on his life, which mixes the loneliness of an artist’s existence, the fun-filled days of the backpacker and the ups and downs of a professional accountant. It seems that taking a quick self portrait every day, documenting the mundane along with the exciting, could do a world of good for each and every one of us!

Meet Patrick@3

We asked Patrick to send us a collection of his most memorable selfies to date, and here they are, with a caption to tell us a little bit of that particular 3:00pm moment.

Staying at IceHotel, inside the Arctic Circle, Sweden – taken on the Nokia N8
Sailing in HaLong Bay, Vietnam
Sailing in HaLong Bay, Vietnam – N8


Stag Party in Ibiza
On my Stag Party in Ibiza, with the lads – Lumia 1020
Trans Siberian
Somewhere in Russia, onboard the Trans Siberian on an 88-hour train journey – N8
Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland
Gullfoss Waterfall, Iceland, Lumia 920
Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an, China
Visiting the Terracotta Warriors, Xi’an, China – N8
Seaplane in the Maldives
About to land a seaplane in the Maldives – Lumia 1020
Sri Lanka
Hiking in the mountains of Sri Lanka – Lumia 1020
Naadam, ‘The Nomad Olympics’
Naadam, ‘The Nomad Olympics’ in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia – N8
Last holiday before getting married, Tunisia – Pureview 808
Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
The Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt – N8
Beach in Dublin
Chilling at the beach in Dublin, Ireland with my wife. –Lumia 925

Needless to say, when you’ve taken so many fantastic selfies for so many years you become something of a pro. What better man, then, than Patrick “1600 selfies” Walsh to test the world’s best selfie smartphone, the Lumia 730. In coming days, Patrick will be doing just that and sharing his thoughts right here on Conversations. So if you have any suggestions about what Patrick could do next with his amazing array of self-pics, please share. Or have you, by any chance, done something similar? We’d love to hear the answers to all of the these questions and more in the comments below.