It was my best friend’s going away party. She was leaving for France the following morning and her roommate threw her a bash so that hopefully she would still be drunk when she got on the plane. Over the course of the night, I sought the biggest hipsters I could spot and struck up conversations, discretely studying my subjects in the wild. I anticipated encountering some awkward pauses and music elitism galore, but I never expected I would end up shooing coke-head hipster secret society members out of my friend’s bathroom.

There were four of them; three were clad in identical skin-tight black jeans and an assortment of black and white shirts and black leather jackets, and the other one (I can only assume he was the leader) was sporting a plaid button-down. When I commented on one of the jackets, the SS hipster disclosed that he got it at Beacon’s Closet for $20! During introductions, SS Hipster #1 did not hesitate to inform me of his self-importance.

“Yeah, I’m in a secret society,” he said nonchalantly, tossing his bangs.

“That’s cool,” I said. “What’s the point of it?”

“Yeah…” he started, a faraway look in his eyes, “I can’t really talk about it. You know. It’s a secret society.”

“Oh yeah, whatever. It’s fine,” I replied. “I’ll probably be tapped soon anyway.”

Later on that night they invited me to join! “Ah, sorry, I’m already in two others.”

When the party started to wind down, my friend’s roommate left for the bar with his posse, leaving just a few us to proceed with drunken goodbyes. But then all of a sudden, the hipster secret society members were back and snorting coke in my friend’s room!

I don’t know what it is about secret society hipsters that makes them think it’s OK to be the last people at a party where they don’t know anyone where even the host is trying to leave, while they wait for their friend to “use the bathroom” for 15 minutes (I fear for her nasal cavity!) but like, that’s gotta be a party foul on some level. It’s cool though because I had the opportunity to take this photo and blow their cover! In the absence of my photographer, I had to revert to my tried and true hipster-photography method of inserting a plant into the pic.

Tap this!

Tap this!

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Photo by Lola Wakefield for Stuff Hipsters Don’t Like ©2008

Expert Photoshopping by Laine Stranahan for Stuff Hipsters Don’t Like ©2008

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#2) Being spontaneously photographed

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Hipsters love to have their picture taken. Every snapshot is one more chance to achieve the perfect myspace profile picture. But they hate being captured as the rest of the world sees them, spontaneous and digitally unaltered. If you approach a hipster and ask to take his picture, he will either:

A) Oblige, but spend five entire minutes attempting to portray “distant indifference” while shaking his bangs so they fall in the perfect asymmetrical pattern. Then, unless he is in a hurry (note: hipsters don’t actually hurry; they only occasionally quicken pace to give the appearance that they have something more important to do than talk to you), he will inevitably force you to show him the image after and retake it if it does not meet his standards. If it excels his standards, he will insist that you email it to him, further lengthening the encounter.

or B) Contemplate why you want to take his picture, become extremely self-conscious, angstily refuse, and proceed to question his identity, become depressed.

This becomes problematic when attempting to capture true hipster essence. In order to avoid the bad karma of inducing a midlife crisis on your subject (note: while the life expectancy of the average American as calculated by the Centers for Disease control is 77.8 years, the life expectancy of the average hipster according to my own precise calculations is 28 years, so it would really be more like an over-the-hill crisis) or wasting time, I devised an unobtrusive and surefire method to capture hipsters on camera in all their unsuspecting glory.

My lovely assistant will demonstrate:

Have your friend position herself next to the unsuspecting hipster and pretend to take her picture.

Step 1: Have your friend position herself next to the unsuspecting hipster and pretend to take her picture.

Position yourself at an angle that optimally captures both your friend and the angst radiating from your subject.

Step 2: Position yourself at an angle that optimally captures both your friend and the angst radiating from your subject.

More on hipster life expectancy below the jump –>