Social Question

Jude's avatar

Do we truly look like our photos?

Asked by Jude (32112points) March 18th, 2010

I know with some people, when looking at a picture of them, it looks nothing like how they look in the flesh. Is it like that for you? Why do you think that is?

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36 Answers

Lve's avatar


AnonymousWoman's avatar

There are pictures of me that look like me and pictures of me that don’t.

Jude's avatar

@Lve what I mean is, they look better in the flesh.

wundayatta's avatar

Why does the camera “see” what the eye does not see? I’m not totally sure. Perhaps it has something to do with the angle of the light or some physical thing. But I’m more of the belief that it has to do with how humans see.

So much of what we consider to be sight takes place in the brain. It’s not all about gather light. It’s not about what the eye does. It’s about what our brains do. So when looking at a real person, our feelings might color how we see thing. Whereas looking at a photo, which is just a piece of paper, none of the emotions are there, or if they are, they are not so strong.

Sophief's avatar

Yes I think so, with some people. I look a lot better in photo’s. I once had a friend that was very beautiful and she lost nearly half of that beauty in photo’s.

BoBo1946's avatar

@AnonymousGirl yep, that would be most people!

Coloma's avatar

I like to think I look better in the flesh. lol

Lve's avatar

@jjmah I was just being silly
I get what you mean though. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that a picture is two-dimensional?

HTDC's avatar

A photo is a 2-D representation of us, it only captures one angle of the face. In real life we view people in three dimensions so we don’t see the full aspect of a persons looks and features, which is why we look different in photos.

Or what @Lve said. Beat me to it.

josie's avatar

It is because you and the people around you are used to seeing each other as animated and constantly changing. Thus, our sense of one’s appearance is abstract, based on the sum of many animated moments. A photo freezes your appearance into one hundredth of a second. It may or may not match the more fluid and abstract animated version.

BoBo1946's avatar

@Coloma yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

free_fallin's avatar

I feel I look better in pictures and I don’t think the pictures look anything like me! It’s odd to me.

CMaz's avatar

Phot’s do nothing for me. I am prettier in RL.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Pssssh, I don’t even look like the person I see looking back at me from the mirror.

BoBo1946's avatar

@ChazMaz LMAO again…................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

Jude's avatar

@jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities from what I’ve seen, you’re a cutie.

HTDC's avatar

@BoBo1946 Your full stops are taking over my screen and then some.

Jude's avatar

I went out last night with my girl for St. Paddy’s Day. There was a guy from high school that I met up with. To me, he looked very handsome. I took a few pictures of him and they didn’t even do him justice. He looked so different in the pics.


BoBo1946's avatar

@HTDC LMAO…..............will try to do better!

HTDC's avatar

@BoBo1946 Hehe, nah don’t change for me BoBo. You do what you want, if multiple full stops are your kind of thing, I won’t get in the way. But for some reason they are spread out all across my screen, like someone’s dropped their keyboard and it’s landed on the full stop key and jammeddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd.

Just_Justine's avatar

I can look completely different in a photo if I choose, I mean I can change my look entirely. It’s quite eerie. Generally thought, I think its a lot to do with light of course, angles, pixels, all that.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

I’ve never been good in pictures. There have to be a good ten taken to get one decent. My
partner says he’s happy to have met me live than by photo introduction like through e harmony or something like that. When I look at my friends’ pics on facebook, I think they look better irl.

Coloma's avatar

I just changed my avatar to reflect my currant ‘look.’

A huge day of ‘stuff’ looms…I prefer to hide behind my hair for a bit longer this a.m. lol

IBERnineD's avatar

I agree there are people out there who’s pictures do them no justice. I call them non-picture people (I’m creative!). Anywho, these are people who for some reason are not photogenic at all, but in real life they look totally different and good!

JLeslie's avatar

The photographer makes a big difference, and the lighting. Generally, I am not photogenic and my husband looks fantastic in almost all photos. Pisses me off LOL. When I see a photo of me that I think looks pretty damn good, I am always surprised. I also get surprised when I look at a photo and I look much fatter than I think I really look, that pisses me off too. Basically, I am always surprised, photos are a crap shoot for me.

Pandora's avatar

I think like Leslie said, sometimes its the lighting and sometimes its just the photographer. My cousins husband an my husband can make a cute baby look bad. They just has a knack for catching those micro expressions that you otherwise wouldn’t notice but make us look horrible. Ever watch your tv screen freeze up on suddenly you see the star on the show with the most horrible expression making their face look like it was frozen in a seizure. You never noticed because her face was moving but not so swell frozen.
What really makes some people impossible to photograph is their inablility to relax their face when taking a photo. But a lot of that has to do with the person behind the camera.
I know when I trust the photographer, my photos look most like myself. When I don’t I look a good match for Frankenstien.

MrsDufresne's avatar

It depends on the quality of the camera lens. From my experience, the more expensive a camera is, the more accurately it captures real appearance.

Cheap cameras have a higher range of parabolic effect. This means, the curvature of the lens distorts the image it is photographing.

If you take a picture of a two dimensional square object, like a tile or a card with less than two feet of distance in between, most cameras will very slightly bulge the center of the image out causing a minute amount of curvature to the object that is normally not there when viewed in reality.

This is also called the “fish bowl” effect.

nailpolishfanatic's avatar

I just recently went for prom and there is no a normal photo of mexD

Facade's avatar

Depends on the photo. I only post ones that actually look like me. I used to not take photos without being made up, but fuck it lol =)

Jude's avatar

Facade. Always stunning.

Facade's avatar

@jjmah Definitely not always! Come see me when I wake up in the morning ;)

thriftymaid's avatar

Gosh, I hope not.

YARNLADY's avatar

I can be recognized by my photo, so I guess that means yes.

aprilsimnel's avatar

It’s the 3-d vs. 2-D thing, I think. A person in front of you is more dynamic; they’re moving, you can see the minutiae of emotions in their faces, and all that makes it a completely different experience to looking at a static 2-d photo.

BoBo1946's avatar

@HTDC loll got’cha my friend!

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