Why do I always look bad on iPhone cameras but not so much in mirrors or professional cameras?

Especially when someone takes a picture of me.

8 Answers

  • 2 weeks ago

    Because phone cameras are wide angle and cause distortion

  • John P
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    There is always the temptation to hold the camera very close to the face when using a mobile phone as a camera, and then you get the classic 'selfie distortion' where the nose is too big and the face is too round. 

    Have any camera, in phone, or separate, at least 5 feet (1.5 metres) from the face, preferably further.The image you see in a mirror is reversed left to right - just hold up a book or newspaper and see.

  • 3 weeks ago

    Not so long ago, I was examining this, Here's one thing I found. Since I agree that the whole thing that "I look better in a mirror" puzzled me, and forced me to feel self-confident in pictures before my self-handling experience was done.

  • qrk
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    It is mainly a function of distance from the camera to subject. 5 feet is the minimum, better at 10 feet. Distance reduces perspective distortion. If you take a selfie at arms length, your face will look goofie due to perspective distortion.

    On top of that, phone cameras use wide angle lenses. Any part of the image towards the periphery of the frame will be distorted, thus, making you look even goofier.

    In a mirror, your brain corrects for perspective distortion.

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  • keerok
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    The quality of a picture depends mostly on the skill of a photographer.

    As for mirrors, you don't need skill. You just stand in front of it.

  • Alan
    Lv 6
    3 weeks ago

    We know what we look like. This is our view of ourselves that we see in our makeup and shaving mirrors. We expect the camera to replicate this self-image. As you have discovered, we are difficult to placate. Fist, when we look in the mirror, the image we see is us, located behind the mirror. If fact, the face we see is double the distance face-to-glass. In other words, we don’t like the picture made by the camera because it is being worked too close. The moral of this story is, the photographer needs to step back. 

    We all look best when we a lighted from above, like afternoon sun. We look best when the camera is positioned slightly above our eyelevel. We look best when the camera sports a some magnification, in other words when a moderate telephoto lens is mounted. We look best, when shadows cast by the main light are softened by a second lamp, subordinate to the main light.We are talking portrait skills that likely don’t come naturally. Good portrait photographers are good because they study and practice their trade.

  • Sumi
    Lv 7
    3 weeks ago

    It's because smartphones use wide-angle lenses which produce a huge amount of distortion that makes people look ugly.  This is why no one who knows what they're doing would ever use a wide lens for portraits.

    The only way to avoid looking bad in smartphone photos is to have the camera at least 10 feet away and never be to close to the edge of the frame where the distortion is most noticeable.

    Here's a link showing how a person's face looks bad as the focal length gets too short.  For reference, the lens in smartphones is equivalent to about 24mm in this link: http://www.stepheneastwood.com/tutorials/lensdisto...

  • 3 weeks ago

    Because phone cameras are wide angle and cause distortion.

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