14th February 2019
Self Love Series – How to start liking yourself in photos
Quite often, I see beautiful people who don’t like how they look in photos (even the best professional ones), which makes me sad. There are scientific reasons why we don’t like ourselves in photos, but there are also ways of becoming happier with how we see ourselves. I’m going to give you some advice on how to start liking yourself in photos more.
Reasons why we don’t like ourselves in photos…
1. We tend to think we’re more attractive than we really are.
Did you know… the mirror can actually lie to us. Have you ever noticed how you might have a flattering mirror and an unflattering mirror in your house? You know, when you have to look at yourself in the mirror from an exact distance away, slightly to the right, because that’s the “skinny” side? It’s because mirrors can be warped to show us an unrealistic image when we look into it, depending on where we stand. Like in the hall of mirrors at a fairground. Yikes!
2. We get too used to seeing our mirror image
Our mirror image is reversed, so if we have a very unsymmetrical face (like most of us do!) it will look very different in photos than in the mirror. Similarly, a selfie is also a mirror image. So if you way prefer selfies to a photo someone else has taken of you, you know why!
3. We have low self-esteem.
We can see past what we actually look like, because of how we feel. If you have low self-esteem, when you look in the mirror you might just decide that you don’t like your appearance no matter what. So when you see yourself in a photo you still won’t like it. You’re not treating yourself with the loving kindness you deserve.
If you’re lucky enough to feel pretty good when you look in the mirror, it also might cloud your judgement of reality. Then when you see a photo of you in that same outfit, you might realise that you didn’t notice how your top didn’t go with your skirt. I sometimes take a selfie of whatever I’m wearing before I go out. I find it so much harder to judge in a mirror!
How to start liking yourself more in photos…
1. Make yourself look at more photos of you.
Give yourself repeated short exposure to seeing yourself in photos, which is more likely to increase your liking for those photos. For example, having a photo with you in it as your screensaver on your phone/desktop. Or rapidly scanning through lots of photos of yourself.
2. Take more selfies.
Do you prefer selfies to regular photos of yourself that someone else has taken? That could be because it’s a mirror image. Also, did you know that selfies can only make you seem more attractive to YOURSELF? When we look at photos of other people, we are more likely to choose an image taken of someone else, by someone else; rather than a selfie they took of themselves.
3. Smile more!
Seeing someone smile apparently enhances activation in the medial orbitofrontal cortex area of the brain, an area associated with reward (O’Doherty et al., 2003). It’s scientifically proven that we find happy faces more attractive. So practice your smile in the mirror if you’re not completely happy with it, but remember, a natural smile is always best!
4. Cultivate happiness and confidence!
There is such a thing as “Smiling with your eyes” – if you smile with your mouth but you’re not really happy on the inside, then it will show. When you think happy thoughts it shows in your eyes and makes all the difference. What makes you feel confident? Maybe your favourite tunes, or a gorgeous scent? I have an exclusive Confidence Coaching video by TedX Speaker and Life Coach, Jenny from Revitalise Coaching. It helps my clients feel more confident and happy before their photoshoot.
5. Look at old photos of you that you love.
This is why when my clients come for a photoshoot, I tell them to look back on their photos afterwards, when they’re having a low-self-esteem day. Their lovely images will remind them of how amazing they are, and how good they can look. They may not look like that every day, it’s just a different version of themselves.
Ready for the next step? I can help!
If you’d love to see the best photo you’ve ever seen of yourself, please get in touch to book a photoshoot with me!
I’m Ginny, a portrait photographer from Farnham in Surrey. I specialise in confidence-boosting transformational photoshoots including Boudoir and Personal Branding, to help women look and feel like their best selves.
Whether you want more body confidence, to celebrate a milestone, to be more visible in your business, some dating profile pics or some updated portraits with your Mum/Sister/Daughter, I’m your girl.
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