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Why Do I Look Fat in Pictures?

I’m putting myself into your shoes and wondering what possibly is making me look fat in the pictures even though I’m not. I was talking to my friend the other day, and she said, I’m not fat, but in my latest photoshoot, I look fat. What’s the matter with me?
That ticked me, and I said why don’t I investigate this topic and make you look more confident and slimmer in pics. The photographer should know your angles better.

Key Takeaways

  • The angles, lighting, distance, and focal length play an important role in the way you look. 
  • You won’t ever look the same as you see yourself in the mirror.
  • Lighting is the key ingredient; get a studio light or my favorite God’s gift, natural light, especially in golden hours.
  • Looking fat is mainly related to psychology.
  • Be comfortable in your own skin because you are perfect just the way you are.

Stop Blaming Yourself, You Just Look Fat, but Why?

We’re very well aware of the way we look. Thankfully mirrors tell us and check ourselves every day. It seems like the mirror, and the image doesn’t look the same. No worries, all the things in life are not as it seems on Instagram. 

Just know that there are two factors that get in your way.

  • The first one is the photographer doesn’t know your right angles and makes you look fat. Many people aren’t aware of the power of the angle. Influencers know it better. Believe me; it’s all about practice. I think you need to stop eating your soul for that. I’ll go with the quote from Alessia Cara’s song, “You don’t have to change a thing; a world should change its hard.”  
  • Because your psychology says so, I see some good-shaped girls and guys say they’re fat, and I’m frozen for a second to perceive if they really mean it. From then, I was convinced that weight became that level of a psychological issue, that almost everybody decides if they’re fat just by looking at a single picture. Thanks to social media and photoshop.  

woman holding camera without lens 2022 03 04 05 44 09 utc 1

Internal Factors

To not sound confusing, I’m talking about the camera elements by internal factors.

Lens distortions – Your body appearance in pictures is directly related to lens distortion. If your camera lens is wide-angle, the distortion can be why you look fatter than you already are. A good example I can give is the fish eye camera effect and of course, is accompanied by poor lighting and posing angle. 

Shade – Did you know that shade can create a round shape and make your appearance visibly fatter? Yes, it is possible when the short focal length is in question. Always try to pick the long focal length; you cannot go wrong with that. 

If you want to avoid shading or other distortions for life, use focal-length cameras that are between 85- 135mm lenses. Besides that, be careful about the thickness of the lens. Shading happens because the thickness reflects by expanding the picture, which ends up with a fatter look. 

Barrel Distortion – This case is a bit different. Barrel distortion is when straight lines look kind of more curved, and the lens on the other side magnifies the center of your picture more than the corners. These circumstances make you appear fatter and cover half of the picture.

External Factors

Lighting is everything; you can slay in real life, but when it comes to pics, you look like ugly betty. Always remember lighting is the crucial ingredient on the list. Nothing gets in your way more than lighting. I’m sure you know the thumb rule of golden hours. Every picture taken between the last hour before sunset and the first hour of sunrise proved successful results in photography.

Think of lighting like that. Why do you think all these studio lights are bought for celebrity photo shooting sessions? If the lighting is poor, don’t expect to look good. Just a piece of advice from a professional photographer.  

A big tip is either use natural lighting when possible or artificial lighting. It makes the skin glow and look slimmer.  

Distance – This is the most frequent question that I get, what distance suits me, or how do I appear taller than I already am? When you see yourself in the mirror, the space is shorter, but the case with the camera is slightly different, the distance appears farther, which again is related to the angles, but anyways, this gives you the illusion of being fat. 

Even I, as a professional photographer, told my clients and friends a hundred times that close-up shots make the images look narrower.  

Final Words

I can see the relief in your eyes. Who cares if you look fat in the pictures, I’m not saying the thing beauty is on the inside, only no. What I’m saying is being comfortable in your own skin. This is a whole new level of confidence, ladies and gentlemen. 

If you want to appear a little bit slimmer, which you don’t have to, then feel free to apply my tricks and get the expected result you’ve been dying to get.  

I know it can be tempting and annoying to look bad when you actually look fantastic, and you want to show off your work, but everything is related to practice. Practice makes progress, and you will keep improving your posing skills, and who knows, one day, you will appear even slimmer than you already are.

My beautiful souls, be comfortable in your skin.

Further Reading

Ops, I almost forgot, my beautiful souls; I’ve written an article which I think is related to this post; check to find out the truth about do cameras really add 10 pounds? It’s time to talk about this myth. Plus, I have the best tips regarding how to look taller in pictures; read it out.

Follow my best selfie angle tips in the article dedicated to looking good.

Find out how to become a fashion photographer if you have a business to promote. 

Caleb Soppe