As a portrait photographer I often wonder about what makes my clients like their photographs.
I have been doing some research and reading on it, and there seem to be a few factors, one of them particularly interesting. I see on regular basis that the reaction from the person in the photo, and their friends' are different, the 'subject' says: 'this doesn't look like me, have you photoshopped it?' and their friends oh! and ah! over the photo saying she looks great.
So why such a difference?
You see, WE see a different image than what others do! not only we are prone to mostly seeing our flaws (wrinkles, spots, dark circles under the eyes) but most importantly we see the MIRROR IMAGE!
photo from news.cision.com
Our faces are NOT symmetrical (see the photo of Scarlett Johanson below), we have a better side and a worse side (ever heard a photographer asking which profile you prefer?) If you cut your photo in half and place each half at 90 degrees to the mirror you will see 2 different faces - neither of them yours though!!! and you will like one more than the other.
You only know your face from the MIRROR (well, unless have heaps of your photos on display around your house), which means you see a different picture than other people looking at you! The camera is like the other people. It sees you as you are, and not as you know it from the mirror.
I assume it's the Mere -Exposure effect, a psychological phenomenon where people tend to develop a preference for things merely because they are familiar with them, and looking at your own photos must be the most intimate way to experience it! So they like the mirror image more because that's what they are more familiar with!
There's another aspect I feel is very important here, which I like to call 'I don't normally look like this'.
No you don't!
Portrait of the Duchess of Modena as Hébé by Pierre GOBERT, French painter (b. 1662, Fontainebleau, d. 1744, Paris)
What you see in your photos is not the same person looking at you from your passport or a driving licence. These images are special, think of it as of a modern take on a commissioned oil painting like the one above - I imagine the Duchess of Modena didn't look like this everyday!
Together with the help of my Hair and Make up Artist, we create the best photos of yourself, these are carefully planned and styled to achieve the best results, find the best angles and most flattering poses. These images will make you feel confident and beautiful, even if you didn't feel that way before your portrait session.
Why not book a portrait session to see for yourself what we can create together?