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Why do look so awful in photos?

(47 Posts)
TrainingAim Mon 15-Feb-21 22:33:42

Don't get me wrong, I know I'm ordinary looking and that's fine. This morning, I did my usual minimal makeup. A touch of concealer, light foundation, spot of blusher, tinted lip balm and finishing powder. I thought I looked OK in the mirror, nothing special, but I was happy enough.

Later I did the virtual try on of new glasses on the Specsavers website. OMG, I look about 20 years older than I thought I did in the mirror!

OP’s posts: |
Norwaydidnthappen Mon 15-Feb-21 22:35:43

It could be in your head. I’ve looked back on photos a couple of years after they were taken and I remember thinking I looked horrible at the time but now think I looked fine.

TroyTown Mon 15-Feb-21 22:35:50

I hear you OP. I don’t think I’m too bad looking but I look horrendous in pictures. Surely I can’t look that bad in real life??

Butcanyoujusttellme Mon 15-Feb-21 22:39:28


AndTheMillions Mon 15-Feb-21 22:44:05

I get this. I’m not photogenic
I’ll think I look ok, and in photos I look like a Picasso version of myself

greenlynx Mon 15-Feb-21 22:44:06

I think it depends on your type, some people always look good at photos, some are never.
Some people have particular charm when they are talking or smiling. It doesn’t work on photo. Maybe you are one of them.

SpudsandGravy Mon 15-Feb-21 22:45:25

I've very rarely seen what felt like a decent photo of me :-(

Chimboo Mon 15-Feb-21 22:48:43

I know exactly what you mean, and apparently it’s because we only ever see ourselves in the mirror which is not what we actually look like - it’s the, well, “mirror image” 😬 we aren’t symmetrical so when we see a photo of ourselves where our faces appear as they do to everyone else, many of us are like HOLY hell wtf is that...

I want my mirror face not my actual face 😂

Todaytomorrowyesterday Mon 15-Feb-21 22:49:58

I’m the same as is my 17 yr old daughter. She is stunning girl put a camera in her face and something just happens and it just doesn’t look like her in the photo, it’s now made her very nervous of ever having her picture taken and she now just looks awkward in them! . My younger daughter on the other hand stunning without fail!

I’m just old and accept for some reason I look just awful in photos sadmy husband laughs and always promises me I don’t look like that....ummmm I’m a size 10/12 but look huge and wrinkly and just blurgh - thankfully I don’t care!

Blurp Mon 15-Feb-21 22:53:40

I remember seeing a photo of myself a few years ago and thinking I looked almost comically horrendous. Weird face shape, bad posture etc. Then I looked again and thought "oh that's not me, that's someone else" (it was a photo of lots of us in a restaurant, so it was kind of a side profile of this person). Immediately I thought the woman in the photo looked fine. Then I thought "no, it must be me, I was definitely sitting in that spot" and straight away the woman looked ugly to me.

So it may be partly psychological.

muppette Mon 15-Feb-21 22:54:19

If you take the photo yourself, you will usually get at least one nice one. You might have to do 100 takes but you will get one.

RaininSummer Mon 15-Feb-21 22:54:21

A lot of it is lighting. I moved my laptop to the other side of the table to get away from the cold window and instantly looked younger and impressive on Zoom. I realised that my magenta curtains were casting an unearthly pall on my skin. All lighting in work loos has similar effect.

Dyinghouseplant Mon 15-Feb-21 22:55:07

I'm the same. I've had to message people and ask them to remove photos of me from social media in the past. I'm quite happy with how I look in the mirror but photos are just something else.

RaininSummer Mon 15-Feb-21 22:55:34

Meant to say more alive not impressive. I am really not that big headed.

Lollipop1234 Mon 15-Feb-21 22:56:09


I know exactly what you mean, and apparently it’s because we only ever see ourselves in the mirror which is not what we actually look like - it’s the, well, “mirror image” 😬 we aren’t symmetrical so when we see a photo of ourselves where our faces appear as they do to everyone else, many of us are like HOLY hell wtf is that...

I want my mirror face not my actual face 😂

If you have an I phone you can take a selfie and switch it to mirror view on edit settings.

Chimboo Mon 15-Feb-21 22:59:25

I know, isn’t it wonderful 😂 if only I could make sure everyone looked at me via a mirror, like I’m the basilisk in Harry Potter

PickAChew Mon 15-Feb-21 23:03:04

In a mirror, you are moving and your face is reacting. It expresses all of you and not just the surface. In a photo you are still, either through deliberately holding still or the camera having caught you at a less flattering stage of your natural movements.

buenavistabelle Mon 15-Feb-21 23:05:34

You always need a lot more make up for photos to look good I find. Have you ever seen close ups of celebs on the red carpet? They look absolutely caked! But from further away they look good.
Also, webcams, perhaps like the specsavers one? are not face friendly. I've sat with a mirror next to the computer screen and each image looks completely different.
They say the camera never lies but I think sometimes it does.

PickAChew Mon 15-Feb-21 23:06:41

And lighting does make a difference. I look ill in my bathroom mirror, which is in a dark alcove but if I sit in a particular place in our dining room, I look amazing on teams, even with dark rings and frizzy hair. I'm near a big south facing window that just flares out all the grot, on camera.

Cam2020 Mon 15-Feb-21 23:17:21

There's a good reason why people get paid to take photos of people!

covilha Mon 15-Feb-21 23:24:11

Agree with Cam2020- twice had photos taken by friends with a background in photography and resulting photos matched how I think I look. Other times I have been unrecognisable to myself and others. Whilst they did not have access to studio lights one did have a light attached to the camera, the other took time to demonstrate how to sit and position myself for a good shot which looked, surprisingly enough, natural

AmongUs Mon 15-Feb-21 23:30:40

Same with me I do my make up in bedroom mirror, think it's gone ok and have not overdone it, think it's all put together quite well then .. walk into bathroom, have a look in mirror and wtf what a disaster. Not sure how to get it right. Will put on less maybe.

orientalknife Mon 15-Feb-21 23:38:27

This is why I love the selfie

You are master of the angle, lighting and you can take as many takes as you want

Some think it's vain. I don't. To me it is being master of my own image and I find it empowering. I'm a fitness professional so I want nice photos but I also want them to be real because I don't believe in fakery.

Nothing wrong with make up, flattering angle etc. Don't forget a lot of images you see are photos hopped and air brushed.

IamEarthymama Tue 16-Feb-21 00:44:12

It's really not you!

SpecSavers website and their mirrors in the stores make me look awful!

So much so that I refused to buy a pair of glasses after my eye test as I couldn't face the ordeal 😳😉

I am Going to try an online specs service and hope for better luck

Mind you, my wife cuts my hair and hasn't got around to doing it lately! I scare myself in the mirror and have said she's out on her ear if she doesn't do it tomorrow, I have a Zoom meeting and an appointment at the doctor's surgery and don't want to scare the horses 😂

TroyTown Tue 16-Feb-21 07:28:18

My DS was a professional model for several years, signed to a big London agency. People continually comment about how much we resemble each other. And yet... he looks fantastic in photos (even casual snaps) and I look like s**t.

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