Chances are you have a photograph or two of yourself that you absolutely hate. Maybe you had a bad hair day, you were coming down with a cold or had too little sleep, or the lighting was just all wrong. It happens. However, what if you dislike the way you look in all photos, even the ones worthy of framing and displaying around your house? Rest assured you are not alone in this feeling. In fact, it is quite common for people to feel this way about their image in photos, and it is backed up by science.
In 1968, a psychologist by the name of Robert Zajonc coined a term called “mere exposure.” Essentially, this means that people react more favorably to things they see most often. When it comes to our self-image, we tend to prefer the way we look in the mirror. This makes sense, as we all spend at least a little time in front of a mirror each day getting ready for work or for bed. The face we see in the mirror is the face we recognize, our “mirror image.” However, a photograph is not a mirror image. It is flipped so the facial features you are used to seeing each morning and night are on opposite sides.
The mere-exposure effect is further heightened by the fact that our faces are not perfectly symmetrical. As a result, the quirks that make our faces unique, a slightly crooked nose or an eyebrow that is higher than the other, look “wrong” to us when viewed in a photo versus in a mirror. So, while you may bemoan your image in the latest batch of photos, your friends and family may think you look absolutely stunning.
Before you swear off that next photo shoot, consider this: seek out and hire a certified professional photographer (CPP) who will work with you to touch up that photo, or as I like to say, perform “digital Botox.” CPPs are invested in your satisfaction and when it comes to capturing an updated business portrait or a special occasion, he or she will re-touch your photographs to address common annoyances, like red eye and glare, as well as any imperfections you want smoothed out. Can they help you overcome your aversion to your image on film? Probably not; but a CPP can use his or her artistry and professional know-how to bring out your persona and project an image that will have everyone talking.
Questions about how a CPP can give your image an upgrade? Contact Broyles Family Photography for a FREE consultation.
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