What makes someone photogenic?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by LemacST, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. LemacST

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    Also, do you think you're photogenic?

    I don't think I am at all. I mean, sometimes I do turn out looking really good in pictures, but that's not being photogenic. Being photogenic is basically always turning out good in pictures.

    Besides having good "facial posture" and being aware of what angles the camera is hitting your face, I think a lot of it has to do with facial symmetry. With symmetry, every angle looks good, I think.

    I find it interesting that people can be photogenic (or not). I know this girl who is beautiful in real life yet many of her pictures are not flattering. I remember keeping this thought private until I brought her up to my mom (who knew her as well), which was one of the first things she said about her. It even came to the point where I saw her at the beach and didn't even realize it was her (she went to school with me and I didn't see her for a long time). For a few days I wondered, "Wow, who was that incredibly gorgeous (not an overstatement) girl that was at the beach with [an acquaintance of mine]". Later I realized it was her, this was after recently seeing some of her pictures online too. I wouldn't say she has an asymmetrical face (either way, I think that is just one factor that contributes to being "unphotogenic"), but still, something is different in her pictures because she looks incredible in person.

    What are your thoughts on being photogenic or not?
     
  2. abiz

    abiz New Member

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    Being photogenic is a state of mind. I think it has to do with whether or not you are confident in yourself and your image. I know that I hate having my picture taken and it is due to the fact I personally think I am a slob. However, I have been told that I take very good pictures. So I think it is a matter of personal perception. BTW I think I am NOT photogenic at all.
     
  3. RandyLahey

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    It's mostly the symmetry thing, but it's also bone structure. The symmetry makes you look good because you look the same in a mirror than in a picture... most people look completely different. So, it doesn't matter what kind of picture or from where (as you said). The bone structure makes a difference mainly because of the flash. If the light bounces off your face at awkward angles, it will look uneven and unattractive.
    Of course theres always factors like your skin (shiny or flawed) and the person's smile (since most people cannot make a fake smile look good)
     
  4. LemacST

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    That's true as well. I remember when the yearbook came out my Senior year, I was in a class with mostly underclassmen and a group of us guys were all looking at the year book together, laughing at things, pointing out hot girls, ugly girls, etc. My picture came up and I said something like "Wow, I look so terrible/retarded there" and all of them very quickly jumped to say "No you don't man" and "You look good there", in a very genuine and humble tone. I shrugged my shoulders and we moved on to something else. To this day I still think I came out looking pretty terrible in the picture (well, the whole set of them, especially the one they put in the yearbook...which was different from the one I actually chose to be my final one!). Perception does play a big role, you're right.
     
  5. Principessa

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    You hit on it near the end of your post. IMO, It all has to do with symmetry. When I was a kid Jaclyn Smith was touted of having classic beauty a photographer and portrait artists dream subject. Why? Because her face is perfectly and beautifully symmetrical.

    This article, "Do you love this face?" in the February 2000, Discover magazine may help you.
     
  6. LemacST

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    Interesting. No wonder I always come out looking dumb in my fake smile pics, haha. I finally had a picture taken of me when my friend was making me genuinely laugh very hard and it came out really great (not just in my opinion, but from everyone else).

    I noticed that ever since I was a kid, I'd always make an awkward face for the camera. My cousins even pointed it out during family pictures ("you always make that face"). I try hard not to make that face and end up doing other stupid faces. lol
     
  7. whatireallywant

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    I've been told I'm photogenic but it's a hit or miss thing. I have my good days and bad days, kind of like bad hair days, you know? :biggrin1:

    I think the picture of me in my Halloween costume turned out really well (for one thing, the color red really suits my complexion), but some of my other pictures don't turn out as well. My two most recent pictures in the gallery (the Halloween one and the Vivo one) I think turned out best of the gallery pics. I have a different haircut for one thing, and it seems to suit me better. And maybe it's the clothes I'm wearing, too.
     
  8. rob_just_rob

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    Symmetry and learning to not face/stare at the camera squarely.
     
  9. IntoxicatingToxin

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    I have no idea what causes someone to be photogenic, but whatever it is, I don't got it. :redface:
     
  10. LemacST

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    Elaborate on part two please!
     
  11. LemacST

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    By the way, the only photogenic part of my body is my penis.
     
  12. midlifebear

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    Hmmm . . . as a photographer, I have to say this business about being photogenic is 1 part myth, 2 parts black magic, and 97 parts a real phenomenon. I look great in person, but try as I or others might, my face never looks good in a photograph. I've got plenty of evidence from friends as well as my current and past squeezes. I look good in a mirror, on the street, in bright inharmonious incandescent light, but not in photos. My body looks the same, but no one recognizes my face.

    Then there is our dear friend, Gustavo, who, in real life, looks like . . . well, to put it mildly he looks like road kill. However, something happens through the lens of a camera. Don't know what or why. Maybe it's the angles and proportions of his face, but he looks fucking gorgeous in photos; even quick, cheap snap shots. It's just one of those things, like the Bermuda Triangle, UFO's, and people who think George W. is the bestest president ever: a complete mystery that defies explanation. I swear it's a Twilight Zone thing.
     
  13. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    The funny thing is that you can't tell strictly from someone's real-life looks whether that person will come off well in a photograph.
    Symmetry and complexion and those other factors that people have mentioned are important in real life, but sometimes a person who has all those things doesn't photograph particularly well. And some people who seem rather plain across a table manage to look surprisingly good in photograph after photograph.
    It's like there's some extra 'something' that the direct eye is 'color blind' to but which the lens picks up.
    (Unless I'm full of shit.)
    Whatever I'm talking about becomes even more important for the movie lens, I think.
    I wonder how snoozan will weigh in on this.
    BTW, I am not photogenic.

    EDIT: Midlifebear has expressed my point exactly.
     
  14. D_Hyacinth Harrytwat

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    If I could elaborate on that - having done some shoots - know what kind of lighting and angles work best for you. But yeah lol I agree with the phenomenon theory.
     
  15. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    Symmetry I believe I was told.
     
  16. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I don't have it either. Not one bit. Pisses me off too because I once hoped to pursue acting as a career.
     
  17. Elmer Gantry

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    Symmetry, dear boy, symmetry.
     
  18. Principessa

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    If Steve Buscemi can be an actor so can you.:cool:
     
  19. Elmer Gantry

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    Even movies need freaks.
     
  20. LemacST

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    When do faces become asymmetrical? It seems like when you look at pictures of babies or small children, their faces look cute and symmetrical. Is it once we start turning into men and women is when we start mutating? lol :( I'm not done growing yet, hopefully I will grow into a symmetrical face and not continue growing out of one..LOL :\

    I noticed one of my eyes is higher than the other. Not really my eyebrows, but my actual eyes. From what I've read, having symmetry in the face means that you have healthier genes and that you've evolved from a greater gene pool. It is said that either wide-spaced or very close (or both) eyes are a sign of inbreeding, which is unhealthy, obviously. Hmm.
     
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