If you’re not an absurdly famous person, it takes some serious creativity to catch the Internet’s eye with a ‘selfie’ project. The term itself has been used to wipe the Web’s metaphorical floor, so much so that it’s likely a project with ‘selfie’ in the name will guarantee at least a few people will pass over it without even looking.

These are the odds photographer, engineer, and 500px user Juergen Novotny was up against with his CameraSelfies project. These are also the odds he smashed to pieces when he got his project featured on CNN, PetaPixel, LensCulture and, now, 500px ISO.

The 10-photo project features various vintage cameras taking their own ‘selfies,’ and you might credit the project’s success to the fact that it appeals to a wide range of viewers simultaneously. Vintage camera enthusiasts, millennials, hipsters, and photographers in general all have reason to be impressed by Novotny’s approach.

We got a chance to sit down with Novotny and ask him a few questions about these images, how they came to be, the inspiration behind the project, and more. Scroll down to read what he had to say and see the rest of the ongoing series.

500PX: What inspired the project? Was there an ‘aha!’ moment behind it?

JUERGEN NOVOTNY: Being a photographer and engineer, I’ve always been interested in photographic gear.

I started to collect some of those beautiful & sometimes bizarre cameras; one important reason was (and still is) the fact that those technical miracles seemed to disappear from everybody’s minds with the rise of the digital age… (nearly) everybody now seems to only be interested in the number of pixels and the sheer amount of technical details.

Looking for vintage cameras at online auction portals I learned that non-digital cameras seemed in fact to be forgotten: beautiful and still great cameras I couldn’t afford a few years ago are now available for a few bucks. Good for me, but somehow sad (and I became a little bit angry, too 🙂 ).

The idea for CameraSelfies came suddenly: what if those abandoned and forgotten cameras would try to depict themselves & their situation? Without users anymore, looking back upon their glorious times… therefore I tried to capture them in their “natural” and chronologically correct environment: on background of contemporary wallpapers.

What, if any, challenges did you run into creating these photos?

JUERGEN: I wouldn’t describe it a challenge but finding wallpapers that fit each camera was not as easy as I thought at first (I’m still on the search for upcoming “CameraSelfies” as this project is still ‘in progress’).

I not only tried to take care of the correct time frame but also of the aesthetic aspect: which camera would fit which colors and patterns to express what I wanted to say? This often makes finding the perfect wallpaper a challenge.

Could you describe the setup you used to capture the images?

JUERGEN: Each “CameraSelfie” was captured (and will be captured) in my small photo studio with very modest equipment.

My main tool is my fabulous Fujifilm X-T1 in combination with my old but beautiful Canon FD 1:1,4/50mm lens. The vintage cameras were mounted on contemporary tripods and illuminated by up to 5 lights each (softbox; no flash but continuous light; LED spots as well as natural window light). Up to 3 exposures (with different illuminations) where then combined in Photoshop.

Any unwanted reflections where limited, but I kept dust and scratches visible to show that all these cameras led an “active life.” Programs used where (in the first place) Lightroom, as well as Photoshop.

What do you hope people take away from the photos? If you had to say what the project’s ‘purpose’ is in two sentences or less, what would it be?

JUERGEN: CameraSelfies uses the now universally apparent (and more and more exhausting) “selfiemania” trend to recall its origins: By placing special emphasis on those forgotten beauties I want to declare my belief that they are not only tools reduced to their technical data, but also still an inspiration for artists and a source for creativity.

Here the viewer is out of the frame, the cameras and the creative potential they offer stand in the foreground.

A big thank you goes out to Juergen for answering our questions and offering some insight into this creative project. If you have further questions, drop them in the comments or go ask on each individual photo in the CameraSelfies Set on 500px.

To keep up with the project as he adds more selfies to the collection, be sure to visit the project’s website. And if you’d like to see more of Juergen’s work, check out his website or give him a follow on Facebook and Twitter.