The above images were taken with my cell phone on a timer and are unedited. They in no way reflect my actual photography skills. Please notice how the face appears to change shape as the camera is further from it. The images were cropped to the same size to make for easy comparison.
I am constantly explaining to anyone who will listen… you do NOT look like your selfie! Check out your feed from any social media platform and examine all the selfies. Those pictures are taken close to the face and they are seriously distorted. The current trend is to get your eyes closest to the phone to make sure they look huge! You’ve seen this, right?
The problem comes when your nose is actually the closest thing to the camera. The closer your face is to the camera, the more distortion your image will have. Period. Whatever is closest will appear the largest. Your nose will ALWAYS look bigger than it is in a standard selfie. Always.
I read a fantastic article in Newsweek and it explained that more people are getting nose jobs because they don’t like the way they look in their selfies. What?!? Oh my gosh, y’all… we have GOT to educate ourselves! Your nose appears about 30% larger in a selfie. That’s a HUGE disparity between image and reality!
This excerpt really stood out to me… “In January, a survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) found that 55 percent of plastic surgeons said that their patients requested surgery to enhance their face to look better for selfies in 2017, while only 13 percent claimed to have executed a selfie-related surgery in 2016.”
So what’s going on? People are taking a standard selfie and the camera is about a foot from their face. There are simple solutions… my favorite is the selfie stick. It’s awesome, even if your running buddies tease you about it… then all admit they secretly love the effect. It gets the camera away from you. And what is optimal for an accurate image? About five feet away. The selfie stick can do this. But what if you don’t have a selfie stick? Put your camera on a timer, set it down, and step back. Or grab the nearest person and have him or her take the picture for you.
But let me tell you what you should NOT do… you should not look at an image taken from a foot away and think it’s an accurate depiction of your face. It is not.
I constantly consider what my clients say to me about the way they feel concerning their looks. It’s fascinating, but mostly it makes me sad… they don’t even realize that they have a distorted perception of themselves.
We see ourselves in only two dimensions… we look in the mirror and that is that. Or we take a selfie (see above). Neither showcases your best angles – only singular angles.
Want to know what your angles REALLY look like? Want to see the beauty that others see, but that you keep denying? You need someone ELSE to take the pictures. You need perspective.
Lori Stead has been a professional photographer for over a decade and LOVES the celebration of the female form.