Even once in your lifetime, you had your day ruined by a camera.
You are dressed up well, you did your hair, got those good-looking accessories on. You feel confident enough to call a modeling agency. So you ask your friend to take a picture, you have to capture those great looks. Nope, it’s the opposite. Suddenly, all that self-confidence goes to 0.
You just got your day ruined by a camera, wow.
Long gone are the days when we had to go to a photo studio to capture a picture that will serve as a long memory. Now we have a “camera” in our pockets all the time. We gave the camera the power to make us feel great and bad at the same time.
While a bad angle and bad lighting pledge to ruin your self-esteem, a good one will skyrocket it.
In today’s article, we will discuss on do phone cameras distort your face? Do they show the real “you”?
Before we start, if you want to know why you looked good in the mirror earlier, before getting your day ruined by the camera, you can read my article regarding the reasons why do you look bad in photos?
Do Phone Cameras Distort Your Face?
I’ll be straightforward, no sweet words.
The answer is Yes, it does.
We live in a modern world where technology upgraded on an immense level, yet, there is still no camera or lens that can come close to the human eye.
Yes, I am well aware of the 50mm Focal Length, still a big No.
What I want to say is that all pictures are lies. No photo or camera shows how we actually are nor how a real person sees us.
How the camera distorts your face
A lot of factors contribute to the distortion of your face, but the main ones are definitely the lens and the distance.
Smartphones are small devices meaning that their lens is also quite small. That’s when the distortion starts taking place, a small lens is not made for face photography, it drastically changes the face features. You will notice the most change in your nose and eyes, while the ears are less visible.
Simply put, the closer the phone is to your face the more distortion will occur.
So yes, don’t worry, you don’t have a big nose, it’s just your camera lens.
As I mentioned, the lens of the camera is quite crucial, most phones have a wide-angle lens, a type of lens that is made to capture wide scenes such as landscapes and not faces. A wide-angle lens can completely change how your nose looks by making it quite bigger along with other facial features like the forehead, eyes, etc.
To get a better idea of the lens and the distance here’s an example:
How To Avoid Distortion
Sadly, you can’t directly avoid distortion on your phone, but there are some tweaks you can use to keep it almost non-existent.
Use The Back Camera
The focal length on the rear camera of your phone appears to be better, nowadays some flagships even include portrait mode on their camera system. But, there’s also a huge problem that will occur when using the back camera, you won’t be able to see yourself and your arm will look weird.
The best solution is to ask someone else to take a picture of you.
Just note that even the rear camera is not as accurate.
Distance Yourself From The Camera
For obvious reasons, if you put your phone far away from your face, you get way less distortion.
Try to find a good angle, good lighting, and keep it a bit far, not too far, it becomes weird.
If you still find yourself struggling, why not get a selfie stick?
Yes, a selfie stick will help you on getting some good-looking pictures from different angles and from a distance, that can’t be reached with bare hands.
If you are into photos and the fact that your camera distorts a lot bothers you, you can try getting a professional camera.
Many modern cameras nowadays are selfie-friendly, the LCD screens are turnable and you can get some good quality pictures. A quality that is not achievable through the camera of a phone.
If you struggle with selfies, worry not, I got some selfie tips for you.
Frequently Asked Questions?
Why Do I Look Better in The Mirror?
Familiarity breeds liking, we like what we see daily meaning that we are used to seeing ourselves in the mirror.
For a better explanation, you can check the following video:
Is the front or rear camera more true-to-life?
Pretty much both cameras are the same, none of them, they just have different focal ranges, which makes the outcome a bit different.
However, the front camera most of the time is the one people prefer the most and that’s only because of the mere exposure effect.
They are used to taking more selfies, than having their pictures taken.
Why does my face look strange on the rear camera?
Cameras show us in a different way than a mirror does. Basically, the mirror shows a reflection of us meaning that people in real life see us in the “opposite” or say inverted eye.
Usually, people hate the way their inverted face looks due to not finding it asymmetrical.
That’s why we find the rear camera strange, it shows us in the opposite way.
At the end of the day it all boils down to psychology, you are good-looking just the way you are.
Don’t bother with how the pictures show you, as I mentioned above, they are all untruths, different lenses will show a different you.
Also, how you see yourself, be it in the mirror or in pictures, is not exactly how other people see you, go on and ask your friend if you look better in the mirror or in real life.
Most likely, they won’t be able to tell the difference but if they do say something, they will say… Oh, you look way better in real life.
Why, is that?
Other people don’t see through our imperfections as much as we do, basically, they’re not focusing on our imbalances. At least, not as much as we care about them.
So, cheer up!
Photographer & Writer
I specialize in landscape, street and portrait photography and I have been featured in various galleries and publications. I believe that photography is a way to tell stories!