Emma and Addy Nozell have challenged themselves with a difficult task: to take a selfie with every single 2016 presidential hopeful. It might sound like a lofty goal, but the sisters are far along on their journey, having already taken pictures with 15 of the 20 current candidates.
It all started at an ice cream stand for the “Presidential Selfie Girls,” who were at a Chris Christie event in Nashua, New Hampshire when they spotted the candidate. MTV News spoke to 15-year-old Emma and 17-year-old Addy to get the scoop on their selfie agenda.
MTV News: Whose idea was it to start taking selfies with presidential candidates?
Emma Nozell: I was out with my family at a Chris Christie endorsement event in Nashua and we were able to get very close to the candidate. When he went outside to the sidewalk, I made a joke to my mom and said, “I should get a selfie with him!” She thought it was silly, but she said go for it.
Once I got the selfie, Addy said, “You know, mom and dad are going to be dragging us to these political events all summer long, we might as well have some fun. Let’s try to get a selfie with all of the candidates.”
MTV News: Tell us about your first presidential selfie taking experience.
EN: After Christie, and after we decided to go for the presidential selfie challenge, our parents took us to two Fourth of July parades where we got Chafee, Graham, Jeb, Perry and Jefferson Sherman. This is what it’s like living in New Hampshire during the primaries -- you run into candidates everywhere.
Addy Nozell: We were determined to get those parade selfies and so we stood in the street and made sure the staff saw that we wanted a picture. It was a lot of fun and everyone around us thought it was cool.
MTV News: Do you have a plan of action for how you go about getting these selfies?
EN: If you want a selfie you have to go after it and that means you have to attend the events. We look on the NHPR website for events and then we plan with our parents on which ones we will go to.
Once we are there we either get the selfie before the event starts, or we listen to the talk and then get the selfie.
AN: As far as the actual selfie, Emma is the one who takes it. We both try to make eye contact and we approach the candidate and try to explain our project. It’s definitely a team effort and no one has said no yet.
MTV News: Did you have a candidate that you were most excited to meet?
AN: Well, meeting Trump was very exciting because he’s a celebrity. And the fact that he was expecting us was pretty cool. I also liked Martin O’Malley because after the event he came up to my family and talked and joked with us and then when I asked him for a selfie he was excited to do it. I am also looking forward to meeting Bernie Sanders and Hillary but the crowds are going to be big for both of those candidates.
EN: My favorite was Ben Carson just because he had said he didn’t like selfies and because I asked him and explained our project to him, I got the picture. I also liked getting Scott Walker because he gave us a selfie before he even started his talk. If you look at the selfie, you’ll see his tie is over my shoulder. It’s just so real.
To keep up with their progress, you can follow the Presidential Selfie Girls on Twitter.