Is there such a thing as being 'photogenic'

boiledegg Avatar
boiledegg 19 164 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2004 10:14PM
If there is - what does it mean? Why do some people look 'better' or 'worse' than they do in the flesh?

Whats it all about ??

I know it exists because I always look cr@p on photos taken by anyone!
heidilee Avatar
heidilee 19 901
18 Sep 2004 10:22PM
I think it depends on the photographer, there are a few shocking photogrpahs of myself taken by various people and then I have a few good ones, that people have told me look really good.

My lovely mother even once said to me "You're photogenic even with your glasses on". Delightful comment that was. Is she trying to tell me I look ugly with my reading glasses on or what?

Anyway, I think it also has to do with how we see ourselves, often I've seen photos where I think someone looks really good and the person hates it.

Another example is my cousin who had professional photos taken and looks fabulous, yet doesn't look that great (apologies if she reads this!!!) in photos I have taken of her. I think experienced portrait photogrpahers know what poses, lighting etc people look better in and therefore make people more photogenic.

pfheyes Avatar
pfheyes 19 254 1 United Kingdom
18 Sep 2004 10:35PM
I definitely think a lot is with the photographer. Everyone has got their flaws, no one is perfect, and a pro portrait photographer knows the 'tricks' to flatter their subject (if someone have a double chin, take a shot from a higher angle etc.).

Case in point is with your portraits, I think the last one was superb and flattered your subject. The previous two were a bit unflattering to your subject - same person, different approaches. Of course if someone is a supermodel, then this is all academic lol

By the way - you're a Wigan lass aren't you? I 'escaped' a couple of years ago, but as they say, you can take the lad out of Wigan ..... (cue: loads of Wigan jokes lol).

ron tate Avatar
ron tate 19 272
19 Sep 2004 6:39AM
Exactly. One sees photos of a celebrity, great, then when you see them in the flesh "Oh my god". I did a lot of work in "NAT WEST Bank in Standishgate and COOP & co. That was a bum photo shop near the market square. Spent most of my money in FISHWICKS in HAYDOCK
User_Removed Avatar
User_Removed 21 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2004 7:23AM
One of the significant points about looking at portraits of oneself is that we see ourselves differently to the way we see ourselves in a mirror.

I know this is well known but it's true. We see ourselves in reverse and as most people know, there is a definite left side and right side to our faces so when we see a portrait, it can be a bit of a surprise and we don't necessaily like it.

I have occassionally flipped a bridal portrait as an expirmtent and almost invariably it is the flipped one that the bride prefers
u08mcb Avatar
u08mcb 19 5.8k
19 Sep 2004 8:39AM
Doesn't really make sense does it? I mean "photogenic" literally means created by light. Funny how words get hijacked.

Barrie's point is a good one, I don't mind my face in the mirror but invariably look like some unhinged loon in photos no matter who takes them.
BOB S Avatar
BOB S 21 2.6k
19 Sep 2004 8:40AM

That is an old portrait photographers trick to reverse the images before presenting them to the sitter for approval and selection, it is much easier on the eye if the image is how we see ourselves in the mirror.

User_Removed Avatar
User_Removed 21 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2004 9:14AM
errr yes Bob - that's why I do it Wink
bpa Avatar
bpa 19 1.2k
19 Sep 2004 9:25AM
Can't take Wigan out of the lad, yep you can buy pies almost anywhere!
boiledegg Avatar
boiledegg 19 164 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2004 10:22AM
Pete, you didn't get very far did you! Prestons only a stones throw away Wink
Ron - Do you mean Wildings? It's still there, there are only two 'photography' type shops in Wigan, Jessops (very small) and Wildings (even smaller) The Co-oP isn't there anymore, it has been a sports store and now they are turning into a bingo hall!

Barrie, what you say makes sense and is true. Memebers of my family are sometimes shocked when they see photos of themselves - some of them always seem to 'look good' no matter what shot is it and others think they look really bad - but it is always the same people if you know what I mean.
Some people DO take a 'better' picture than others and some people look better in a mirror than on film/photo.

boiledegg Avatar
boiledegg 19 164 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2004 10:23AM
The best pie makers in Wigan went bust - Pooles Pies. One morning all the staff got a phone call and were told to pack up their stuff and go home, the day after all the shops were boarded up :-/
User_Removed Avatar
User_Removed 21 7.3k 6 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2004 10:26AM
...but did anyone ever see the staff again.....always wondered what went into pies
boiledegg Avatar
boiledegg 19 164 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2004 10:27AM
haha - maybe a case of Sweeney Todd Wink
raziel_uk Avatar
raziel_uk 19 4.9k
19 Sep 2004 10:45AM
I think another angle on this is to do with the person who is having their photo taken. If they don't feel comfortable being in front of the camera I would think it would be very difficult to get a really good shot of them.

While photographing a 60th birthday - unofficially, so the birthday girl didn't have to worry about viewing her whole day through the viewfinder - I met a young woman (about 18-19) who didn't mind having her photo taken and therefore looked great in all the shots (no matter whether candid or otherwise). Several other people didn't look as good and I later found out they hate having their photo taken!

pfheyes Avatar
pfheyes 19 254 1 United Kingdom
19 Sep 2004 10:56AM
Mmmmmmm pies .... !



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