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Why do I look so much better in the mirror than in photographs?

Is it like this for everyone? And what is truer to life?

by Anonymousreply 11607/15/2015

I am not photogenic at all. People often remark that in person I look nothing like my photos - not more or less attractive, just different. One of my friends is a very plain-looking woman, but the camera loves her. In photos all of her plain features are strikingly transformed.

by Anonymousreply 1504/04/2010

The camera loves some people, and hates others. OP, I'm like you... the camera hates me. In all my life, there are only maybe four or five pictures post-puberty that I actually think aren't all that bad. At this point, I just avoid cameras wherever I can.

by Anonymousreply 1604/04/2010

Cameras DO lie. Due to defection, refraction, conflection, and infliction, cameras always make my dainty features look larger in the wrong places. (An important scientist at a big university in a famous place discovered this.) Because of all kinds of strange optical things and complicated gizmos that break and give you the wrong shortstop or spoil the focus-pocus and little hairs that get stuck inside and goo on the pixels. Never forget that only you can ever fully appreciate your own true beauty. Others may try, but they so often fall short.

by Anonymousreply 1804/04/2010

OP, it's very hard to take a good picture of oneself. You need to enlist a friend or go have a professional do it. Lighting is major factor in the subject's appearance in the photo.

Also, you could be feeling too self-conscious. I know when I'm aware that my photo is being taken, I feel my face change. I get awkward and if I smile, it looks stilted. In a casual setting with friends, I can stand with them and pose but 9 times out of 10, I'll have a grimace on my face, or just an unflattering appearance. My best photos are those in which I am genuinely laughing, talking to someone, or otherwise NOT posing. Maybe you're the same way.

by Anonymousreply 2104/04/2010

Most automatic digital cameras use a wide angle lens (35-50 mm), which distorts facial features. The best portrait lens is anywhere from 90-110 mm.

by Anonymousreply 2204/04/2010

[quote]The photograph is more like what you actually look like.


by Anonymousreply 2304/04/2010

"Who the hell besides a big ole MARY would pose in front of a mirror?"

A woman, genius.

by Anonymousreply 2404/04/2010

First, OP, you need to post these pictures you're taking and let us tell you.

I often look like a lesbian in photos if I'm posing for it. But I'm a guy. Somehow my angular features get lost in translation.

by Anonymousreply 2504/04/2010

I'm the same way. I think I look OK in the mirror, better on some days than others, probably like most people. But I hate almost every single photo of myself.

How am I going to troll for online hookups without a decent photo? Help me!

by Anonymousreply 2604/04/2010

OP - Cameras take 3 dimensional images and translate them to 2 d. Depth, dimension and contours of the face all can be lost without proper lighting.

by Anonymousreply 2704/04/2010

Age cannot wither me, nor custom stale my infinite variety.

Sorry to hear about you all.

by Anonymousreply 2804/04/2010

Whenever I see a recent photo of mine I wince. Then I'll see the same photo six months or a year later and I will think - Oh, I look really good there. Why is that? Is it just that I see a bit younger version of myself and I can appreciate my looks from a year before? Also, whenever I see a recent photo I think I look heavier than I'd want to be. But when I look at the same photo months later I think I look slim. This, though, has to do with my being a little too critical when it comes to my weight.

by Anonymousreply 2904/04/2010

OP, be grateful, I too have an enchanted mirror that leads me on to believe I'm gorgeous, as they say in cartoon land. When I actually see my picture taken with and un-enchanted camera, I'm always amazed at how canine I appear. In the real world I'm 20 pounds over weight and have a strong resemblance to the average shar pei.

by Anonymousreply 3004/04/2010

The camera does see things differently than the naked eye. But that doesn't mean that someone looks EXACTLY like they look in photos.

Some people look much better in photographs than others. Some people are photogenic, some people are not. There are plenty of attractive people who look like shit in photos. And there are plenty of people who look great in photos, not so much in person.

A lot of models are that way. They photograph brilliantly, when not on camera they're relatively average-looking.

by Anonymousreply 3104/04/2010

I avoid being photographed and somehow managed not to look at my recent driver's license picture for 4 months until a bitch at HR Block kept it too long right side up... I look terrible in my rear view mirror(shows off my balding head) okay in my bathroom mirror good in my bedroom and work mirrors and fantastic in this banks outside mirrors. I go often at night and I don't even bank there...

by Anonymousreply 3204/04/2010

My mother's line:

"I wish I had her mirror"

Usually said about some pig who thought she was hot sh*t!

by Anonymousreply 3304/04/2010

The camera loves some people.

See Marilyn Monroe. See Greta Garbo.

by Anonymousreply 3404/04/2010

Because you're a vain cunt, OP

by Anonymousreply 3504/04/2010

Here's something for you to try, OP - take a photo of yourself in the mirror, like so many countless guys do on MySpace and hookup sites. See what you think.

A lot of bathrooms tend to have pretty flattering lighting, casting soft light and shadows on facial bones and muscles, etc. Lighting can do wonders for photographs. And since you're taking a picture of your reflection, you get a better sense of how what the camera sees matches up with what you see, and how things might be distorted.

But I wouldn't recommend putting up any mirror photos on dating or hookup sites, since it's a bit of a cliche and can reek of narcissism.

by Anonymousreply 3604/04/2010

Many people, if not most, look better in person than they do in photographs. And a mirror image is more accurate than a photographic one because it's 3-dimensional.

The first thing a modeling agency does with prospective models is take quick Polaroid photos of them to determine their photogenicness. Most of the top models are not the best-looking people in person, but their looks translate beautifully on film.

by Anonymousreply 3704/04/2010

I completely relate to this thread. I'm great at taking flattering portrait photos of other people but when someone takes my picture, it always looks SO bad. It's the worst in pictures when I'm laughing or smiling or looking relaxed and "natural," so at this point I avoid cameras like the plague and just wince and grimace when it's socially unacceptable to refuse having my picture taken.

I always worry and wonder about what other people see when they look at me: the unfortunate bridge troll from photographs or the reasonably attractive person from mirrors. It wouldn't bother me so much to know that I am ugly so long as my ugliness was indisputable and consistent. The disparity between my reflection and my photographic appearance is so extreme that it makes me feel deeply insecure and self-conscious in social situations.

Despite all that, my suspicion is that mirror reflections *are* more accurate than photographs. Photographs are two-dimensional renderings of three-dimensional surfaces, so even given the best angle and lighting conditions, the geometric planes of your face will be widened and flattened out. By that logic, people with sharp/harsh angular features and thin/wan faces look best on camera, which explains why so many celebs/models have eating disorders. In person, they often look underwhelming and ordinary, or frail and unhealthy, or just plain weird.

by Anonymousreply 3804/04/2010

What an interesting thread, I feel better knowing I am not the only one who hates getting my picture taken. I am average looking at best, in the mirror, but with pictures I feel that I am very unattractive. It may be the angles in my face, I am not sure.

I am not overweight so I don't think it's the "you look 10 pounds heavier in a photo" kind of thing. My face just looks very unattractive in photographs.

I frequently dodge pictures that are being taken (I would rather "take" the picture of a group then be in it). I rarely will post a picture of myself online. I've been in a few pics that look somewhat like I think I look in the mirror - but they are very few.

My partner is the opposite - she looks identical in person as she does in photos. She can take a great pic.

I probably have only a few pictures of myself taken over the past decade. I just don't like my pictures or store/keep them.

by Anonymousreply 3904/04/2010


Oh, [italic]dear.[/italic]

by Anonymousreply 4104/04/2010

I'm the reverse. I always think I look like shit in the mirror, but I'm usually pretty photogenic.

by Anonymousreply 4204/04/2010

I also think I look okay in the mirror but am shocked at how awful I look in pictures. Of course the best is when I'll complain how I look in a photo and my mom will chime in "Why? It looks just like you!"

I do think the camera doesn't lie for the most part.

by Anonymousreply 4304/04/2010

Photographs are not always accurate either. Some people photograph horribly and others look way better in photos than in real life.

by Anonymousreply 4404/04/2010

This thread would be way better with pics.

by Anonymousreply 4504/04/2010

Yes, I too thought that I was the only one with this problem. The mirror seems to say one thing, but photos are another story altogether; I look hideous in most pictures that are taken of me. In group shots, I generally think that everyone else looks great, or at least fine, but I stand out as simply awful.

by Anonymousreply 4604/04/2010

I get very depressed when I see my reflection on the tv or laptop screen

by Anonymousreply 4804/04/2010

[quote]Is it your features or you expression in photos that you find off-putting?

Well, R47, sometimes either one and sometimes both.

by Anonymousreply 4904/04/2010

OP, I've experienced the exact same thing. I thought I was going crazy! I think I can look 'cool' and good looking in the mirror, but then I want to run for the hills when I see myself in pictures. I cringe with embarrassment.

by Anonymousreply 5004/25/2010

I'm fairly attractive, but in pictures I look like Shrek.

I have a 13 year old pic of me up and FB and nobody can tell how old it is. I look pretty much exactly the same, but its the best pic ever taken of me.


by Anonymousreply 5104/25/2010

Over 50 replies and no one has asked if the op is Kirker?

by Anonymousreply 5204/25/2010

I can't believe nobody understands this. A mirror is much more accurate than a photograph in showing how others see you. The difference? A photo is a frozen moment in time, which is not how people see things in real life. A mirror is a constantly updated image. If you want to know exactly how others see you, get a VIDEO camera, not a still camera.

by Anonymousreply 5304/25/2010

What you see in the mirror is not a static image. Every time you move your eyes to focus in on some feature, you change the image.

Pictures are static images, you can move your eyes around the image without changing it. Unlike the mirror, it is you, frozen.

Also, take it from a photographer: lighting makes ALL the difference in the world. Don't ever judge what you look like from a photo if flash photography was used for the illumination.

by Anonymousreply 5404/25/2010

Thanks r53, that actually makes me feel better.

by Anonymousreply 5504/25/2010

You might look more animated in a mirror, but it's a reversed image, so that's not how others see you.

by Anonymousreply 5604/25/2010

OP, put a mirror on a table, bend over and look down at yourself. You won't comment ever again on how good you look in a mirror, trust me.

by Anonymousreply 5704/25/2010

[quote]put a mirror on a table, bend over and look down at yourself.

It's you with 10 years added to your face.

by Anonymousreply 5804/25/2010

the reflection in the mirror is a living thing with expressions and breathing going on. The photo is a fixed second that may or may not reflect the wholeness of you.

by Anonymousreply 5904/25/2010

r56, the reversal aspect doesn't change how one perceives the image in any real way unless you're trying to read something on a shirt. Do a "flip horizontal" in Photoshop - it doesn't make someone look better or worse.

by Anonymousreply 6004/25/2010

My problem is that I always feel like I'm smiling brightly for the camera but then in the photo I just look like an old deer caught in the headlights. I'm clearly afraid of the camera and it usually captures the fear.

by Anonymousreply 6104/25/2010

[quote]I'm clearly afraid of the camera and it usually captures the fear.

Unless you always go about with a frozen look of fear on your face, your picture isn't really reflective of your appearance.

by Anonymousreply 6204/25/2010

I was humiliated in my senior year of HS when I had my senior picture taken, and for some reason, I looked fat in it. I was not fat at all, but my face looked fat in the picture and a teacher saw it and commented that I seemed to have lost weight.

The senior pictures were set up right in front of the school, I wanted to tear the whole thing down.

by Anonymousreply 6304/25/2010

Stop smiling! r61. Just be natural. Get a camera, put it on a tripod and experiment with it while you're alone. Learn what you look like with various angles, body postures and expressions. You'll settle on something you like.

by Anonymousreply 6404/25/2010

I look okay in pics that are professionally taken, but if someone hits me square on with a flash and their instamatic, it ain't pretty.

by Anonymousreply 6504/25/2010

when you look at yourself in the mirror - it's in reverse as others have pointed out. But also, it's dynamic. You're moving.

With a photo, it's a moment captured and depending on the situation, the lighting and the look that's captured, you can "see" something you don't like.

-- I hate in magazines when they show a snapshot of a celebrity and say they're mad or depressed or whatever. It's just a moment that's captured and we don't look fabulous during every moment of our lives.

by Anonymousreply 6604/25/2010

If you REALLY want to see what you look like to others, put up a video camera and record yourself.

by Anonymousreply 6704/25/2010

I'll tell you where I look the worst: my built-in pc camera. I look absolutely horrific so I don't like to chat with my cam on.

by Anonymousreply 6804/25/2010

My friends and I have a running gag that some people just look better "in motion."

I've been told I look great in person but wacky in photographs. Why? It's like certain people who I'm sure that we all know who "insist" on sucking their cheeks in as soon as someone takes a photo. Except instead of sucking my cheeks in, it's like I have the strangest ability to wait until the very moment a photo is being taken and blink, make a goofy face, have one eye open and the other closed, laugh out loud at something while tossing my head back.

I just avoid photographs entirely and when I do have to take them I avoid moving my face while they're being taken. Of course then I look like a deer in headlights.

I just can't win.

by Anonymousreply 6904/25/2010

So what's the deal with people who photograph really well? I guess it's just people who are more beautiful than average and who have many random angles to their faces that are more attractive then the average person.

by Anonymousreply 7004/25/2010

r68, some of those cameras have very poor dynamic range - i.e. high contrast. You can get the same effect by turning up the contrast to extreme levels on normal photographs. But yeah, it will send the video of you looking like that, so avoid it or get a better cam.

by Anonymousreply 7104/25/2010

I learned to part my hair by myself using a mirror. It always looked off in photos - until someone pointed it out to me.

I now have suburban hair. I could be a Craig, Ryan, or Brian.

by Anonymousreply 7204/25/2010

I have a cousin who couldn't take a bad photo if her life depended on it - she's that photogenic. To see her in person, though, you wouldn't think it. Not that she isn't attractive, but you don't really notice how nice her features are until you see them in a photograph. It helps that her face is actually quite symmetrical, which really comes through in a photograph.

by Anonymousreply 7304/25/2010

I have a question:

If my looking bad in pictures is just a result of it being a moment caught in time(rather than a realistic 3d effect), then why does everyone else in the picture still look fine?

by Anonymousreply 7404/25/2010


Connor from CF, is that you?

by Anonymousreply 7504/25/2010

Nope r75, that is not me sorry. But boy was I embarrassed.

by Anonymousreply 7604/25/2010

OP = modern day Dorian Gray.

by Anonymousreply 7704/26/2010

When we look in the mirror we see ourselves as ten years younger.

by Anonymousreply 7804/26/2010

I am plain in real life and often have the stunned look of a child brought out of the attic in photos. Occasionally I will see a shot taken of me that is not quite as horrific as I was expecting and that is enough to make me feel quite chuffed.

by Anonymousreply 7904/26/2010

Seeing your image is the equivalent of hearing your own voice on a recording: you always wonder, "that's what I sound like?"

I saw myself in a video and my features were completely asymmetrical. Usually, I look alright in photos but the video completely freaked me out.

by Anonymousreply 8004/26/2010

I think people tend to pose when looking in the mirror. It's unconscious. I work in a salon and I see people do it all the time. They angle their face a certain way, maybe jut out their chin and purse their lips, etc. So, when looking in the mirror they are seeing their best self with eyes forward. The camera catches you at all angles that you never see when looking in the mirror.

by Anonymousreply 8104/26/2010

Most people don't like the way they look in photos. And they also don't see themselves the way other people see them. It's impossible to see yourself the way other people see you. Literally impossible.

You're not the one who's deciding if other people want to date you. Let the other people decide. Have your friends help you pick some photos.

People only see the flaws of themselves in photos whereas your friends can be more objective.

by Anonymousreply 8204/26/2010

The voice thing is embarrassing too. I hate it.

by Anonymousreply 8304/26/2010

I noticed the same thing too. I hate taking pics of myself because for some reason I never get good ones. I'll look in the mirror and find a decent view and then I'll TRY not to move. After the pic is taken, I'm like "WTF???" and I usually don't like how it looks. Other people take a pic of me much better and everyone says I look much better in person.

At the end of the day, I'd rather look better in person than in pics though. Who would prefer it the other way around?

by Anonymousreply 8409/26/2012

I think it's true because we are relaxed when we look in the mirror and anxious when we pose for photos. Most of us have photos where we think we look like we do when we look in the mirror but few of them and I attribute that to the fact that we usually get nervous, don't breathe, become very self-conscious and can't wait for it to be over when we are photographed. I also think its possible to appreciate your appearance much more on videotape than one does in a photograph but that brings up a lot of other crap as most of us don't like to watch ourselves on videotape not because we feel we look differently than we do in the mirror but because we don't act the way we think of ourselves as acting.

by Anonymousreply 8509/26/2012

r86, I tried to explain that above.

by Anonymousreply 8709/26/2012

I swear to God, I look in the mirror and I look fine. In the picture I look old and fat. I am assuming that the picture tells the true story and I hate it.

by Anonymousreply 8809/26/2012

The camera adds ten pounds.

by Anonymousreply 8909/27/2012

fdsfsdhffhlafdhafhjshf ffhsdfh as

by Anonymousreply 9010/03/2012

Yea same here OP i look sexy as hell in the mirror but in a photos I look different. But aren't mirrors just a reflection where as Cameras are more man made and dodgy specially with pixels. Mirrors don't have pixels they just copy ur image which is true? it seems like Mirrors to me at least i hope so

by Anonymousreply 9110/25/2012

dont look in mirors coz they portray ur fake image..!! i would suggest avoid mirrors ... !! look urself in someone eyes !! they will tell u d truth

by Anonymousreply 9202/21/2013

Humans tend to have a perspective of the world with two focal points. Cameras (usually) have only one. Your mirror view of yourself is a more accurate representation of how people see you than the camera is. If you ever take up graphics, you will notice that drawing your face in one perspective (a camera's view) will slightly give you a more protruding 'mousy' look. As a second aspect of the subject - we are usually more wide-eyed and attentive in the mirror and thus, our pupils shine more brightly ;) twink twink~ it's when a living being is really 'looking' into something/someone, does it look fascinating...

by Anonymousreply 9303/22/2013

send me one of your pictures. i'll tell you honestly if you are cute or not.

by Anonymousreply 9404/03/2013

Certain cameras distort faces and therefore some people look bad. Also some people tense up which makes their faces look very unnatural and weird.

I took some pictures of a friend of mine and she definately looked better in reality than on camera.

by Anonymousreply 9504/04/2013

Cameras capture bone structure and facial planes differently than our eyes. That's why some models who are very plain in person look stunning in still photos. People who appear fleshier or pudgier on camera may look perfectly attractive in RL, they just don't have that bone structure the camera loves.

by Anonymousreply 9604/04/2013

I look in the mirror and think... "eh, not so bad..." but when I see myself in a photo I'm shocked and distraught at just how unattractive I really am.

by Anonymousreply 9704/04/2013

Tip: Just spread your legs apart, people love that.

by Anonymousreply 9804/04/2013

Put it this way, grab a friend or two, go to a mirror, look at your friend and then look in the mirror, the person in front of you, and the person in the mirror will look the exact same to you.

Try this again with the same friends, and take a photo, again your friends will look identical in real life as to what they look like in the picutre.

Your mind plays tricks on you. what you see in the mirror, is you, lighting will effect how you look in some mirrors, just as lighting will effect how you look in a picture. But when you're with friends, do they look different outside in the sun then they do downstairs in a basement with lights on?

by Anonymousreply 9904/10/2013

ok you guys need to wake up and realise your eyes are right everytime and that the mirror is your true you, a camera has one lense how can it capture the 3D and natural beauty as TWO EYES can its like having two cameras working together

by Anonymousreply 10008/09/2013

[quote] Cameras capture bone structure and facial planes differently than our eyes. That's why some models who are very plain in person look stunning in still photos. People who appear fleshier or pudgier on camera may look perfectly attractive in RL, they just don't have that bone structure the camera loves.

Can experienced photographers and casting agents tell that someone will look good on film without actually seeing them on film?

by Anonymousreply 10108/09/2013

The mirror has two faces, bitches.

by Anonymousreply 10208/09/2013

Bump for an answer to 101's question

by Anonymousreply 10308/15/2013

I look great in my mirror!

by Anonymousreply 10412/23/2013

I hate having my photo taken, if I were a famous actor I'd never go to premieres because I'd never be able to have people take pictures of me with their phones.

by Anonymousreply 10512/23/2013

Sometimes when I'm hiding from my cat I have to wait for a loooong time to jump out and scare her and I practice horrid faces in the mirror. What, she loves that game.

by Anonymousreply 10612/23/2013

I remember reading a Vanity Fair article a while back on Grace Kelly. A cinematographer or photographer related that she had a square-ish face and strong jaw, as well as a nose that didn't cast shadows, for the most part. These things made her extremely photogenic.

by Anonymousreply 10712/23/2013

R104 is right, that lady would look fabulous in a mirror.

by Anonymousreply 10812/23/2013

I find my reflection in natural daylight looks horrible - at least 10 years older than I actually am, sometimes closer to 15 years.

But my reflection in my bathroom mirror looks much better. I have no idea how I actually look to people.

by Anonymousreply 10912/23/2013

The optic of the lense in a camera is most of the times not as sophisticated as the optic of a human eye.

by Anonymousreply 11012/23/2013

I honestly don`t know.

by Anonymousreply 11112/23/2013

When people say it's because you're ugly, and don't listen to the mirror, the "camera" speaks the truth isn't true at all. Proof: I know a lot of people who look worse in person, but better in photos, or better in person, and worse in photos. Sometimes I'm talking a lot different that it's unbelievable how much difficult they look. I mean, the human eye does have 576 megapixels according to a lot of websites, and answers. So it's most likely true. It's the most answered. Plus, I notice I look bad in some photos, really super bad, but with the right lighting and whatever, I can look really, really, really good. I'm guessing that's how I sort of look in person. Life and science is just weird.

by Anonymousreply 11201/01/2014

It's likely either because you look directly at your eyes when you look at the mirror but don't look directly at the lens when you are being photographed, or more likely, that you freeze up and make strange expressions with your face when you are being photographed.

by Anonymousreply 11301/22/2014

Fat tends to distribute symmetrically so it doesn't hurt the mirror profile, but photographs aren't ever at that angle, and sideways is where fat doesn't look so good.

by Anonymousreply 11401/22/2014

Reading all of this, I tested it out with a selfie. When I looked into the phone/camera and saw myself I looked pretty good, but the second I pressed the button and the picture appeared, I had become a gargoyle. My face was warped, my mouth twisted, eyes lopsided - a real shit show. I know people with the same phone who take pictures from the same distance and angle and they look exactly the same in person and in that selfie. I guess it's all answered before but it's still disturbing.

by Anonymousreply 11507/15/2015

I feel your pain. The warped, gargoyle images everyone has mentioned above are a problem. Plus, I go cross-eyed!!!! I feel stupid looking off to the side like a girl on America's Next Top Model for a stupid selfie. I have noticed that pictures taken on the Snapchat smartphone app do not invert, and you can screenshot them right off of that. It's a little bit better if I have to take a selfie.

by Anonymousreply 11607/15/2015
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