12/16/2013 01:38 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Photographer Of Obama Selfie: 'I Really Think It's Just Sad' (AUDIO)

The photographer responsible for the Obama "selfie" image is not as happy as one might expect him to be, especially given the fact that his photo has gone viral since it was released last Tuesday. In fact, he finds the whole situation pretty "sad."

Agence France-Presse photographer Roberto Schmidt spoke out on Wednesday after his photo of President Obama snapping "selfies" with world leaders at Nelson Mandela's memorial service was released, claiming that the world had completely misinterpreted the picture.

But now he is speaking out again, this time saying that the media's interpretation of the photo says more about society than anything else.

"I really think it's just sad," Schmidt told NPR on Monday. "I mean, what does that say about our society? Are those the things that we focus on? Sometimes we just get carried away by noise that people make and it just proves it's more and more noise."

A Media Matters report showed that cable news networks gave significantly more attention to the "selfie" and Obama's handshake with Cuban President Raul Castro than they did to Mandela's memorial service itself. Schmidt told NPR that he "never, never, never, never" expected the photograph to become what is has.

"That's what is a little bit sad about it," he continued. "We put out close to 500 images that day and some of the images are very, very interesting, nice, strong images, showing the celebration for Nelson Mandela. And unfortunately, you know, the picture that got the most front-pages in dailies and websites around the world was the selfie."

Listen to the audio clip for the full interview.

(h/t: Media Matters)



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