Why do I look so different in pictures than I do in person or in the mirror?

Well, for some reason, I always look fatter or my face looks different or straight out weird in pictures, but in the mirror or in person, I look a lot better. I know I'm not the only one who sees this difference, because I've been told a lot of times by people who met me after having first seen my pictures that I'm way prettier in person and that my pictures don't do me any justice. Even when my close friends take my picture, they always say that I never photograph well and they don't get how I look the way I do in person and yet take such bad pictures. They say even in the pictures that I take myself (which look much better than when other people take them), I still look slightly different in them (example: my nose looks a little wider than it does in person, or I'm slightly washed out looking...). I've also been told by people that I look the same way to them as I do in the mirror, and I noticed the same thing with a lot of people as well, so I don't really get the whole "the mirror is a reversed image of yourself" thing "and it's different from how people see you". So what gives? O.o


Most Helpful Guy

  • Yes, I have the exact same problem. Everytime I take a picture I'm shocked because it just doesn't look quite as good as when I look into the mirror. Other people have told me this as well. This hurts my image greatly because all my Facebook pics look crappy, plus my online dating ones. But in real life, I swear I'm not bragging, I look SO much better. The camera ALWAYS seems to bloat my face and features even though I have a thin athletic body.

    I think we need super expensive cameras and not these cheap cell phone ones.

    • i co-sign this statement. same goes for me and its annoying

    • Me too! I just took a pic a few days ago and I swear I looked bloated! I aged 10 years in it =(. But a pic I took a day before looked really good! So I totally agree with what you said here =)

What Guys Said 11

  • I know beautiful girls who look like crap on camera. and I know some kinda decent girls who look great on camera.

    its all about facial and body features along with the lighting surrounding you and how close the camera lens is near or far.

  • "because I've been told a lot of times by people who met me after having first seen my pictures that I'm way prettier in person"

    isn't this a pick up line?

  • Photographs cannot pick up all the subtle nuances that the human eye can, nor can they capture the most important function of "looks" - motion. People in motion look vastly different to the eye than people in still frames.

    As for the mirror being a "reversed image of yourself" - look in a mirror. Wink your left eye. Your reflection winks its right eye. That's what people mean when they say its a "reversed image". If it was not a "reversed image", you'd be staring at your own back when you looked into a mirror, which would be weird.

    But cool.

  • mirror is like it's more of your point of view, while a camera image is more of normal view of you, but sometimes camera image could be less accurate due to bad lighting, bad angle, bad expression etc

  • Look up the word: "Photogenic" in wikipedia...

  • The answer can be explained mathematically. You're taking a 3-D object and projecting it onto a 2-D plane, you're basically missing a dimension in the photo.

  • its all, about, lighting.

  • Same here my nose looks a lot bigger : / and I also look washed out and pissed off. So I don't take many pictures.

  • you look different cause your used to seing your reverse in the mirrior etc so you like it better since you see it the most. trying taking a picture of yourself that you don't like it that much and mirior/ flip it in a photo editing program chances are is you will think it looks better cause your more used to seing your reverse

  • most people have bad opinions about how they look in photos its normal. it seems like maybe you're one of the types who really do come out not nearly as good in pics as they do in person (I know a few).

    if you just complain outloud about how you look bad then maybe they were just trying to make you feel better. if people have said this to you without you even saying anything to them then its probably true! so you can figure it out.

    personally I too think I look better in person and have been told the same


What Girls Said 20

  • Some people just aren't photogenic. You can be the prettiest person in the world, and still look bad on a camera.

    Plus from a camera you get to see yourself from a whole load of unflattering angles you've never seen yourself from before - and honestly, people will never really see you from either.

  • link

    Check out the above link. Hope it helps x

  • The camera actually does "add ten pounds". Promise. Or you aren't photogenic, or maybe you just need a particular lighting. My sister has the opposite problem. She's worked for years making sure every one of her Facebook profile pictures is beautiful and she edits them to the point where the girl in the picture is beautiful but very rarely resembles the real thing.

    So be glad you're prettier in person. At least you surprise people pleasantly...rather than my sister. When they meet her in person, they're like... O.o Dear god. Who the hell are you?

  • Me, too, and I've seen other people who are the same.

  • It has to do with how your pictures pic up the light.

    A round face tends to look fatter in pictures because their cheek bones tend to not pick up the liht as much. Same with your body.

    I suggest using tricks like tilting your face and angling your body to create angles and shape.

    If you are worried about how your face looks, still smile but don't smile too big. In pictures it can make your face appear rounder and more red, so do a small half smile.

    • Thanks for the tip. :) I do have a round face shape, so what you said makes sense.

    • I have a round face too, so I have to work around it.

  • Photos and videos always add a bit of weight to what the person actually looks like. Also, it depends on angle and lighting.

  • It's the opposite for me. I think I look better in pictures than in person. My personal opinion. Lol.

    • Hmmm, don't get why my personal opinion would warrant a down vote. Lame.

  • I have exactly the same problem. You just have to accept that you're prettier in person. Its a good thing.

    Or get some professional photos taken. They will almost definitely look better than the ones you or your friends take.

  • I don't know but I'm the same way as you. I come out looking horrible in pictures 90% of the time. I guess the camera just doesn't like certain people. Maybe it has to do with certain facial contours or the way skin textures reflect light differently. Who knows...

  • i heard from guys that I look better in my pictures than I do in person

  • I have this problem as well, actually I feel okay inferno of the mirror but then I'm out and I go past a window my response to my reflection is rather like D:

  • Some people don't know how to pose in pictures and don't know their flattering positions. But you don't really have a bad problem, because its much better to be prettier in person than a picture, because people who meet you will be pleasantly surprised.

    If I was going to meet someone online I'd hope to see an ugly picture of a guy and find out he's hot in person, verses seeing a hot guy in a picture and meeting some custy dude.

  • story of my life

  • I am the same. For me, it is the fact that I rarely have a flattering expression on my face when the picture is taken no matter how hard I try. Oh well.

  • im the same way! well I can get a good picture that looks like me if I take it myself but if someone takes a pic of me at a party I look totally different and really ugly haha. I'm not photogenic so it takes a lot of tries to get a decent picture where I look normal. I hope the mirror is not lying to me or that would be weird not knowing what you really look like haha

  • idk but that's how it is for me too. the camra makes me look funny haha.. its gay.

    • accept my friend request lol I'm new on here..peace

  • I have exactly the same issue. I use iphone4 which takes clear pictures, but not exactly
    How I look like in person! Even in video calls I look so much different.
    In person I get tons of compliments from friends and suitors
    "What a beautiful lady you are", "Are you an actress or a model?", "You have a perfect
    Pretty face", etc.
    It is so annoying to see my other Facebook friends that does not
    See me yet in person, commenting: "Your chin looks too long", "You look average", "Your lips are so big!" and worst "Which of these pictures are you?" because I look different in every shots but yet far far far from how I look in person!
    Until I tried to use the camera FLASH then finally the camera got
    it right like it really scanned exactly how
    I look in person. Great news! I get to have the same compliments I get in person ^_^

    • I have the same issue. I look so much better in camera flash than in normal photos? I wonder why this is?

  • because when you take pictures you go through so much to make it look perfect. but in person you take your time. to show your self to the world. so you don't care as much. if you want to see it for real. don't get ready for pictures right then and there. you will see the same image.

  • Same here. People tell me I'm pretty in real life, how thin I am (they say I look 55 kg when I really am over 170 cm in height with around 60-63 kg in weight...) and that I attract them and pull them in. Then when I take my passport photos (where there's flash) or rear camera on my phone or digital camera on flash, I look bloated, 10 pounds heavier, like my eyelids are swollen or something or brings out my jaw making me look masculine. The thing is, on front view cameras I look like how I see myself in reflections in the mirror, phone screen, off of tables et cetera. Then rear view camera shots, professional cameras, pictures other people take of me... I want to cry at how fat and different I look then I conclude I must have such a really square jaw and fat face and that is how I look to others--even wearing makeup. I have pretty eyes as well and on camera it ruins them...

    I think some people are photogenic but uglier in real life, some are better looking in real life and uglier on camera. (I am the latter, depending on which lens used.) I always am told I should be a model but uhm, I'd look horrible on film. Maybe my dreams of being an actress or model should go down the roof right? :P LOL. I have heard camera lens around 50-70 mm are the best for portraits and most "natural". Cellphones and digital cameras, and FLASH DEFINITELY don't bring out your natural beauty. They make you look fatter and well, ugly! Unless you're like those weird looking models who just somehow look better on camera because they're anorexic, and cameras add pounds. (So now I understand why celebs and models easily get eating disorders...)

  • Lol! I was just about to ask this question!