How did an image of President Obama, Denmark's prime minister, and Britain's David Cameron become one of the most famous selfies of all time when none of them actually fulfilled the definition of a selfie (i.e., posting it on social media)? They have AFP photographer Robert Schmidt to, um, thank for that. Schmidt came clean about taking the photo on AFP’s Behind the News blog, writing that he had been following Obama after his speech at Nelson Mandela’s memorial. “I captured the scene almost reflexively,” Schmidt writes. He said the atmosphere at that time at the memorial was “totally relaxed” and the smiling photo was not out of place. Enter the Internet, which is always outraged at something. Schmidt writes that he and his fellow photographers took almost 500 photos on Tuesday, but “it’s a little sad” that this one became arguably the most famous.
BACKSTORY Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty