Most people have NO IDEA their phone camera is doing this when they take a selfie! Find out the only thing you can really do to get a good selfie!
They say the camera never lies. That’s a lie.
As a professional photographer (you can see my professional site, Blue Prints Photography here), I have learned quite a bit about cameras and lenses. And I have learned that some cameras are not only liars–they are BIG FAT LIARS.
The worst culprit? Your camera phone. You see, it’s not really the camera that is making you look bad. It’s the lens. Different lenses can (and will) distort your features. Wide-angle lenses make the foreground look larger and curve the elements at the edges of the frame.
Take a look at this picture and notice how distorted this building looks. See how the clock tower is totally leaning in on the side? This was taken with my Canon Rebel kit lens back in 2010 (before we had iPhones). This picture just demonstrates what happens with a wide angle lens.
If you think this is crazy, wait until you see what happens to your face!
I remember seeing a commercial for a cell phone saying that the lens was so wide you could “selfie with everbody.” It showed a group of kids going to a formal dance all huddled together for a picture while one young man held his phone out in front of him. I thought, “Sure, you can selfie with everyone, but everyone will look terrible!” Unless you are one of those beautiful people who can have your face distorted and still look amazing. I am not one of those people.
Let me demonstrate what I mean so you can see VERY clearly what I am talking about. Take a look at this picture taken with my iPhone and tell me what is wrong with it.
Hello enormous ear! Can you see what your phone is doing to your face? And the closer your face is to the camera, the worse the distortion.
So if you hate all your pictures from your phone and think you look bad, there’s a reason. It’s not because you actually look bad. The camera IS lying, and you look way better than you think!
If you have the chance, hand your phone to someone else and have them take your picture at a distance. You’ll get much better results! (But don’t zoom! That will reduce the quality of your picture! You can always crop in closer later).
And for REALLY good pictures, hire a professional photographer with specialized portrait lenses. (I’ve got one that makes everybody look FANTASTIC). And if you want to make sure your next family photo session is a smashing success, check out my blog post Professional Photographers’ Secrets for Amazing Family Pictures. While you’re there, you can download a cheatsheet with all my tips!