I'm not photogenic... what can I do?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by weary, Mar 23, 2008.

  1. weary

    weary TPF Noob!

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    I've spent most of my adult life avoiding having my picture taken, because photos of me always come out awful. I don't know what it is... I've received more than enough compliments about my appearance to know I'm at least fairly good looking, but whenever I see a picture of myself I want to tear it up in shame.

    I've just interviewed with the owner of a gym, where I've been offered a job as a trainer. She asked me to send her a photo of myself so she can make a little catalog of all her trainers for prospective clients. So I just tried having a few photos of myself taken. I took them outside, where it was partly cloudy, and did some with and without a flash. Admittedly, I wasn't using a fancy camera or anything, just a cheap kodak digital number, but good gravy... the pictures are absolutely horrendous. The top of my head looks flat, my ears look like they belong on an elephant, my eyes look tiny, and I look ten years older than I usually do.

    I have to be the least photogenic person in the world, yet I have to somehow get a picture of myself that is a reasonable approximation of how I look in real life. Are there any techniques that I could use to improve the quality of these pictures? I'd really rather not go blow fifty bucks on a photo session with a professional, especially since there's a good possibility that even they couldn't take a picture of me that doesn't make the viewer feel their lunch coming back up.
     
  2. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Go to sears or some cheap box studio? Even better, connect with some one from the board that's not a pro but learning that will trade a modeling victim for photos and I gaurentee you'll get a good photo of yourself. We have girls show up for the strobist meets that aren't models and are just friends of people coming to shoot and they're always amazed with some of the photos they get out of the day's shooting.
     
  3. quickshot

    quickshot TPF Noob!

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    There are a lot of people on this forum that know the ins and outs of photo shop, gimp, anything and everything. I recomment posting some photos and letting the members work their magic. Though i'm sure your photos won't need a lot of tweaking.
     
  4. foned

    foned TPF Noob!

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    maybe you just don't find yourself attractive, perhaps the pictures arent that bad you just have a negative self image? this seems to happen a lot to people, just like when you hear your voice recorded for the first time the response is generally something like 'i really sound like that?' anyway, its not a bad idea to find someone like me that has a decent camera and is willing to practice on you, if you are near me i would be willing to meet up and see what we can do.
     
  5. kidchill

    kidchill TPF Noob!

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    I'd give it a whirl if you're near me...I know the feeling, I'm also super photogenically challenged.... :(
     
  6. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    With pects like that in your avatar, I can understand why.......
     
  7. STINKY PICTURES

    STINKY PICTURES TPF Noob!

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    I know how you feel I`m in the same boat. I hate my pictures. I needed a picture to send to a friend. All of my old ones were too old.

    I set up my tripod and had a decent background all ready for the photo shoot, nothing fancy. Then i had my 12 year old daughter sit in the chair so i could get the lighting all correct. i did test shots. then i got in front of the camera, same chair, we`re the same height so nothing had to be changed. i could be my funny, calm self in front of her and finally we got a decent shot. but it took many pictures all i did was sit and smile, and she snapped away. i set the camera for 2 second delay for camera shake.

    i felt more at ease doing it with her, a child, then i would have felt if it was with my husband. we joked and some of my smiles were natural and even almost pleasing. see i still don`t like me in pictures but i could at least pass one on and feel ok about it.

    so in a nut shell give a kid a try. use your own stuff, what do you have to loose.
     
  8. noob873

    noob873 TPF Noob!

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    Its all in your head, when you look at the picture, you try to find all the things you dont like about yourself (without thinking about it), but when others look at it, its just like them looking at you in person, nobody will find anything wrong with them. Dont be too hard on yourself. ;)
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Personally, if you are local to me, I would love to have a portrait session with you for free... just because. :D

    I am sure that if you look around, you could likely find an enthusiastic amateur wanting to add to their portfolio and have a nice fun afternoon shooting pics of you that I know you would really love to have.

    Without knowing you or what you look like, I *KNOW* you are photogenic... you just never had the right person behind the lens taking that picture for you. ;)

    Good luck and congrats on getting the job!
     
  10. Mesoam

    Mesoam TPF Noob!

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    I'm the same way, its very strange...i see a pic and think "i don't look like that" even when i look in the mirror....occasionally I'll see a snapshot that looks like me...very weird
     
  11. Early

    Early TPF Noob!

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    You're not alone. It's a common trait for people to perceive themselves as being unattractive in photos when, in most cases, others have an opposite opinion. Just keep trying till you get a few you can live with. Take lots of shots, and get someone else's opinion.

    And don't worry about the flaws. They might make you more approachable to other people.
     
  12. keith204

    keith204 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Try using some high-contrast B&W shots. I tend to like B&W shots of myself more than color ones. My wife took the picture used in my avatar, just a quick snapshot.
     

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