Why do I look shit in photos or on the webcam?

(54 Posts)
aliciaflorrick Tue 07-May-13 19:16:16

I put my makeup on in the morning, I stand under a window so it's done in a natural light, I use good quality products. When I'm finished I stand back and while not a natural beauty I look okay, quite passable, reasonably attractive. So why oh why do I not take a good photograph? On photos my skin looks grey and I look older than my age, my eyelids look heavy and droopy and my nose is huge. I look like shit.

Is it true that the camera never lies, and I have a magic mirror in my bathroom telling me I am the fairest of them all.

I really want to look nice, it's been a hard year and I'm really trying to sort myself out in the grooming department.

Pinkflipflop Tue 07-May-13 19:18:10

This is probably complete nonsense but I heard that if you use a moisturiser with SPF you take on a grey/white pallor in pictures.


hugoagogo Tue 07-May-13 19:26:03

I am just the same, I fear the photo may be the truth sad

My lovely dsis always says that that is what I look like and I'm in denial. Bitch grin

TiggerWearsATriteSmile Tue 07-May-13 19:28:07

The camera never lies. Everyone I know looks just the same in photos as real life. I've come to the conclusion that's just the way it is. That's how you look.

maybemyrtle Tue 07-May-13 19:29:19

Nooo, I'm sure you look great. Some people (myself included) just look crap in photos. I can't remember who said this but I like it: "I have the kind of beauty that moves". We come in 3d and are in constant motion - webcams/photos can never really capture that.

DameFanny Tue 07-May-13 19:30:33

I've been in photos that my mother didn't recognise me - I'm not photo-friendly.

aliciaflorrick Tue 07-May-13 19:33:18

Well that's it I'm doomed, stuff the expensive hair cuts and make up, I'm just going to invest in a paper bag.

MeeWhoo Tue 07-May-13 19:38:26

Don't despair! I don't look good on pictures but on videos I look the way I think I look IYSWIM, so I think I am just antiphotogenic!
Webcams are generally not the best quality and normally the lighting is not good enough for the cam and the angles are awkward, so not something I would judge by. Have you been videoed (sp?) recently with a videocamera or a photo camera?

AlwaysSleepingBeauty Tue 07-May-13 19:40:25

I look terrible in photos and on webcams etc, I always try to think that I'm just not photogenic, as my friends tell me I am attractive, however what I see in pictures is hideous.

I always try to remember that some models who look stunning in photographs are more ordinary in real life, and some people are plainer in photographs but lovely in the flesh.

WeAreSix Tue 07-May-13 19:44:08

Isn't it something to do with the light-reflective particles in make up? So the flash / lens picks up colours you wouldn't normally see.

Maybe wink

mewkins Tue 07-May-13 20:14:24

I look like my mum in photos. I am in denial.

Lizzylou Tue 07-May-13 20:16:51

I always look crap in photos, always.
I am hoping that it is just that I am not photogenicconfused
Love that beauty that moves quote.

I have a magic mirror on my dressing table. It has natural light behind it which is diffused because it is a frosted window. I look good in this mirror and that's the one where I do my make-up and hair.

Every other mirror in the house is not magic though - so I don't look in those.

It's all to do with the lighting I'm afraid.

YoniOno Tue 07-May-13 20:30:22

This is why I hate Skype. MiL always wants to Skype with me and DS by I cannot stand seeing myself with a weird smug smile, double chin and horrible skin hmm

Skype is not flattering at all, is it Yoni? grin

I put DS in front of the webcam and sit slightly out of shot.

xTillyx Tue 07-May-13 20:53:00

Some people just aren't photogenic- myself included. Are you pale? I am and flash makes me look awful. Had this conversation with my friend last week, he was laughing at how bad I look in every pic and that "it doesn't reflect what's in the flesh"

aliciaflorrick Tue 07-May-13 21:43:48

Well now I'm starting to feel a little better. All I need to do is avoid cameras, mirrors and Skype! And stick to my magic mirror on the landing - not too worried about all the other mirrors in the house, they could use a good clean so the muck tends to diffuse the impact I think.

My eyes used to be my redeeming feature, they were lovely, I can't get over how horrible they are now, massive hoody eyelids that make me look like I'm hungover.

I am very pale and I think I have that pallor of someone who spends all day in front of a computer screen (which I do). Maybe time to get some sun on my skin now the weather is getting better. Sun kissed rather than frozen blue.

Maybe start a plastic surgery fund; eyes, nose, botox.

freerangeeggs Tue 07-May-13 22:11:44

I look like a crack zombie in most photos. My DP thinks it's hilarious and actually kept one particular example on his phone for ages to whip out at parties. Luckily everyone seemed to think it was funny that I looked so bad so presumably I do look better in real life!

Also, I have seen myself on video and it's fine. I'm no Megan Fox but closer to the mirror than the photo smile I'm sure it's the same for you.

ggirl Tue 07-May-13 22:24:55

I think some people just look awful in photos.
DD had a boyfriend who was quie attractive in real life but looked shite in photos.
I am the same..in real life I am a goddess wink in photos a witch

TigerseyeMum Tue 07-May-13 22:30:25

Lol at crack zombie, this is me definitely.

I have a friend who irl is very attractive but in photos looks awful, and unrecognisable.

I am not photogenic at all but irl not very attractive either so it's not such a shock. My wedding photos came out really well, partly due to a good base and foundation and partly because of the magic of a professional photographer. It seems to be all about light reflecting off particles.

tabulahrasa Tue 07-May-13 22:30:50

I've got two friends (I have more than just the two, but they're not relevant to this anecdote, lol) both very pretty in real life, one always looks stunning in photos, even ones taken where she's in the middle if doing something that would make anyone else look awful, the other friend is impossible to get a good picture of without loads of posing and retakes...

I think some people definitely look better or worse in photos than in RL and of course some, like me, look awful in both, lol.

TwllBach Tue 07-May-13 22:36:19

People seem to think I am pretty but in photos I am honestly foul. In photos my eyes are tiny and squinty and my cheeks are massive.

It makes me want to cry, often. I also start to sweat with nerves when a photo opportunity that I can't avoid comes up.

xTillyx Tue 07-May-13 22:55:38

alicia I think you're probably being hard on yourself. Whenever me and my friends take group photos its hard to get one that we all like. I always think my friends look fine bit they hate it,want to delete it.

This sounds so mean but sometimes it really is the camera or camera quality...my 4 year old is the cutest little thing ever but when I look through the photos she's taken of herself on her Kiddizoom camera,she looks like Gollum with a double chin :p

OnTheNingNangNong Tue 07-May-13 23:01:23

I too look like a crack zombie in photos, I'm too pale and I smile like Mr Burns. sad

xTillyx Tue 07-May-13 23:03:46

Oh and Twllbach I can relate to this, I avoid photos to the point where I couldn't find any of me and my friend of 10 years for her hen do scap book.

Sorry to hear it upsets you

OnTheNingNangNong Tue 07-May-13 23:06:50

Thinking on this, my sister gave me a lovely photobook of me from birth until I got married. I've still not been able to look at it and it's been 3 years. sad

revolvenotevolve Wed 08-May-13 11:59:41

If it's any consolation I take quite a GOOD photo - but don't look as good in real life which is worse!!

NotTreadingGrapes Wed 08-May-13 12:05:33

I am a horror. In fact I took about 30 yesterday because my school wants a new one for their leaflets or whatever. Binned the lot. Am a monster.

Someone once said that models and priddy girls learn to jut their chin forwards in photos, at a quite unrealistic angle. It tightens your face. But I still looked like a mortuary pic yesterday.

You will all be looking back at these photos in 10 or 20 years time thinking you looked lovely back then.

Think on.

(nods old head wisely)

charitygirl Wed 08-May-13 12:40:14

Get your colours done! I had a House of Colour analysis recently, and as well as sorting out my wardrobe they also told me the right make up colours to wear. The difference in photos (as well as in the mirror) is amazing - face much younger, firmer, slimmer looking.

NotTreadingGrapes Wed 08-May-13 13:08:08

Can you get your colours done online? (am in Arse End of Italy where everyone thinks orange faces are a good thing)

charitygirl Wed 08-May-13 13:29:38

I would say definitely not, although there are tons of self-analysis tools online. I would never have self-diagnosed as autumn.

MissMogwi Wed 08-May-13 14:31:21

I too look shit in photos. I hate having my photo taken, so I very rarely do. I've perfected the 'blend in to the background' whenever anyone has a camera. Unfortunately this means there are barely any pictures of me and my DC.

I have my graduation ceremony coming up and I'm already bricking it about the photos and university videos. If I hadn't worked my arse off for it, I wouldn't be going! (drama queen).

It's a worry isn't it? And with so many more ways to get instant images of ourselves now, we can't avoid looking!

I look find on webcam (macbook, not tried others) but diabolical in still photo's. The worst of all are those taken on phone or ipod. I look like something a cat dug up: fuzzy grey skin, skin folds that weren't there before, bulbous nose (not in real life, oddly) and huge black panda troughs beneath eyes.

I look ok on DSLR pics, but quite asymmetrical. In mirror and video the symmetry is fairly even.

It's a circus of horrors, best taken with pinch of salt!

fine on webcam

I also look like a completely different person in every single photo. Not sure how I manage that.

I have been told i have a very 'mobile' face, with tons of quickly altering expressions, so perhaps this is why - there are so many quirks to freeze for posterity!

Isabeller Wed 08-May-13 17:04:57

My friend looks great but doesn't take a good photo. I used to work with someone who was perfectly pleasant looking but in photos looked amazing.

Elizabeth22 Wed 08-May-13 17:48:57

It could be your make up. I was advised to use bobby brown foundation for my wedding as it yellow based (as opposed to pink as most foundations are) which looks better in photos. I was also advised to apply stronger colours and use eyeliner as 'natural' colours, whilst looking great normally, appear washed out in photos. Also benefit Highbeam (or equivalent) picks up light on cheekbones. There are also tips on how to pose for better photos too. It can be better, for example, to look down your nose even though this feels weird!

LittleBallOfFur Wed 08-May-13 17:54:02

My DH, who is a bit of a camera geek, says there's something about 'auto sharpness' on digital photos, so it highlights more lines/marks etc.

Of course he could just be saying that to make me feel better... grin

Ledkr Wed 08-May-13 17:58:52

This happened this morning. I took a quick pic to check my make up and had a baggy puffy face and hooded eyes I was shocked but looked ok in the mirror I thought.
It ruined my day until this thread so thanks xx

Callycat Wed 08-May-13 18:31:08

I did an evening course in film-making once. Our tutor told us that it is well known in the industry that some facial features just don't make the transition from real life to 2D as well as others. Models (he said) are often not necessarily too pretty in real life, but are chosen for the way that their faces survive that transition to 2D.

hollyisalovelyname Wed 08-May-13 21:31:02

My friend looks great in photos snd is just very ordinary in real life. I look terrible in photos hmm only in photos under duress

Eliza22 Thu 09-May-13 08:19:50

I think it depends on "the day". Some days in real life I look good and others, I look off/tired/grey....no matter the careful application of makeup. Same with photos. I made DH delete some on his iPhone last weekend. Just crap ones where my nose looks huge when really it's pretty average (for noses!).

Don't be so hard on yourself. I'm 50 and was chuffed when fellow mumsnet terms (who'd viewed pics on profile) said I look good for my age. Obviously I wouldn't put crap pics of me on, the ones with the mahoooosive snout! wink

Eliza22 Thu 09-May-13 08:21:07

I think it depends on "the day". Some days in real life I look good and others, I look off/tired/grey....no matter the careful application of makeup. Same with photos. I made DH delete some on his iPhone last weekend. Just crap ones where my nose looks huge when really it's pretty average (for noses!).

Don't be so hard on yourself. I'm 50 and was chuffed when fellow mumsnetters (who'd viewed pics on profile) said I look good for my age. Obviously I wouldn't put crap pics of me on, the ones with the mahoooosive snout! wink

NotTreadingGrapes Thu 09-May-13 08:32:38

<waves to Eliza> grin

I would also like to know where you got that beautiful shirt from in pic 1 please! <stalks>

msrisotto Thu 09-May-13 08:42:11

My photos are really mixed but mostly awful! However i looked like a movie star in my wedding photos so i put it down to professional lighting and cameras!

My sister is lovely looking but too shy to do an open mouth smile in photos so looks awful. If only she would do an open mouth smile she would look so much better in photos.

Eliza22 Thu 09-May-13 08:51:35

Ooh, hello NotTreading. It's either John Lewis (own brand linen white shirt) or Laura Ashley. Got a few of 'em in pretty much the same style.

Got the Laura Ashley one (the Weekend range) in strawberry and cream gingham last week in LA sale for £24, from £45. Same style. I love it but DH keeps singing Doris Day's "Whip Crackaway, Whip Crackaway" when I wear it and says I look like something from "Calamity Jane". I care not!

I dont' think it's entirely do do with make up, though good eye definition and lipstick can help.

I am considered fairly attractive in real life but look shit in photos purely because my face is not symmetrical. I have a slightly weak, and round jaw on one side and a square jaw on the other, and the lower jaw is offset by about 3mm. When my face is moving it's not noticeable, but in photos it is.

The angle of light can also make you look different, good models do the whole smile with the eyes, relax the mouth, find the light and hold their teeth apart just enough to give them a big smile without looking clownish.

NotTreadingGrapes Thu 09-May-13 09:04:50

It is definitely my mouth that goes wrong in pics. I look like I am about to throw my head back and neigh.

<rushes to LA and JL website>

NotTreadingGrapes Thu 09-May-13 09:05:51

Eliza- btw, among my friends you have created a bit of a Delia-with-the-cranberries thing.....there is suddenly a shortage of Roc roller balls up and down the whole country!!

xTillyx Thu 09-May-13 10:35:34

Sorry NotTreadingGrapes but that made me laugh out loud. Apparently I have the look of someone that's had a little accident in photos.

Eliza22 Thu 09-May-13 10:46:42

Ha-ha-ha grin. I wish there was one for my body! (That actually works!)

ItsallisnowaFeegle Thu 09-May-13 10:58:38

I am not the most unattractive person in the world. I am given compliments on occasion so I can't be all that bad.

BUT....I'm not photogenic in the least confused. I always end up looking like a bulldog chewing a wasp and just despise having my picture taken.

So no, I don't believe the camera is always right but maybe I'm actually just vile and delusional grin

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