For The ‘Gram

Selfie Fantasy brings an Instagram-worthy experience to Ocean City.

Ally Lanasa - August 2019

For The ‘Gram

Selfie Fantasy brings an Instagram-worthy experience to Ocean City.

Ally Lanasa - August 2019

-Ally Lanasa

Let's face it, we all have “Instagram husbands” who take pictures of us oh-so-casually sipping coffee in our favorite local spot for the sake of posting the “plandid” moment to social media. In the digital age, there’s a lot of pressure to maintain a social presence that projects a fun and aesthetically pleasing lifestyle, especially when our Instagram feeds are filled with colorful landscapes from European vacations and sun-kissed afternoons on the lake. But how can a 21-year-old like me compete when I can barely afford the cover charge at Seacrets?

This slight obsession with spicing up our social media pages is what has drawn crowds to interactive pop-up exhibitions such as the Museum of Ice Cream and the Color Factory in New York, and now Selfie Fantasy, Ocean City’s first immersive photo studio on steroids. Since opening in June in the former home of Ocean City Screams Haunted House on Worcester Street, owners Stacey and Mark Warner and Jason Tillman have welcomed about 200 visitors per day into their one-stop Instagram shop.

For $13 per visitor, wannabe models can spend an hour taking pictures on the swing in the garden room, on a golden throne beside a pile of money, or on a surfboard riding a tidal wave. With a prime location on the inlet across from the under-21 dance club H2O and with current pop songs blasting through the sound system, Selfie Fantasy primarily markets to members of Generation Z. However, the owners say they’ve hosted more families than they anticipated. “We thought the demographic was going to be the 15- to 19-year-olds,” says Mark, “but we’re finding that families are coming in and they’re having a nice time.”

Unlike similar Instagram-worthy attractions, Selfie Fantasy doesn’t revolve around a central theme but instead features a “hodge-podge” of changeable rooms, Stacey says. During a recent visit to Selfie Fantasy, my mom was my Instagram husband of the day, snapping shots of me in a hot pink clawfoot bathtub, “talking” on a rotary phone in the cherry room, and swimming in the second-floor ball pit filled with emoji-themed blow-ups for the allotted three minutes. Thanks to help from the OC community—local artist Mark Brown designed the interior backdrops and Alexandra Jacobs of T.C. Studios Arts & Entertainment painted the building’s exterior as well as the psychedelic entryway—Mark says the Selfie Fantasy team has “brought a family’s vacation experience of creating lasting memories to a whole new level.” And I have the pictures to prove it.





You May Also Like


On The Town

Rufus Roundtree Climbs Aboard Urban Pirates’ Ship for Floating Concert This Weekend

WTMD continues to creatively restore live music amidst COVID-19.

The Chatter

The Womanist Reader Creates an Online Library of Black Literature

A Baltimore writer curates an evolving list of women writers for her women followers.

Arts Space

Tariq Touré’s New Children’s Book Explains the Meaning of the Black Dollar

West Baltimore native teaches financial literacy in illustrated story, ‘David's Dollar.’


MaxSpace

Movie Review: Palm Springs

'Groundhog Day' meets the rom-com, with winning results.


MaxSpace

Local Documentary Short Lifts the Veil on Male Infertility

Accepted into The New Yorker's documentary series, the film delves into a taboo subject.

-Ally Lanasa

Connect With Us

Most Read


Five Things to Know About Democratic Mayoral Nominee Brandon Scott: The 36-year-old City Council President rallies past Sheila Dixon to win Democratic mayoral primary.

Bottoms Up Bagels Rolls Into Harwood: Owners debut their new “BUB Hub” at 28th and Greenmount.

Design for Distancing Competition Aims to Revive The Beauty of Public Spaces: Forward-thinking social-distancing structures could be built in the city as early as this month.

The Womanist Reader Creates an Online Library of Black Literature: A Baltimore writer curates an evolving list of women writers for her women followers.

How These Surprise Quarantine ‘Flower Bombs’ Are Helping Families in Need: The paper-plate flowers have become a massive fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House.