• Salvatore Di Martino

The Simple Reasons Why There's No Such Thing As Being Photogenic

Updated: Apr 26, 2021

Have you ever been asked to be photographed, but you refused because you think you're not photogenic? If this is you, it's because all the bad photos people snapped at you with a mobile phone, in bad light, bad expression, while eating or drinking at a wedding or birthday party.

So what do you do? You simply hide behind the camera for years without being photographed.

But there are a few things you should know, that will allow you to stay in front of the camera with confidence. This to ensure that you also exist in photographs, for yourself and for the people in your life who love you.

This post will tell you what "photogenic" means and how to look at your best in photographs.

First of all there's no such thing about being photogenic. Photogenic means "looking attractive in photographs". There's no association at all with body or facial features, observers find more aesthetically pleasing a person that exhibit a greater intensity of emotion.

If you're looking to be attractive in photographs, the best method is by looking for these features instead: being lovely, confident, captivating, engaging, charming, charismatic, enchanting, appealing. It's all about how a person feels and the energy he/she transmits.

My job as a professional portrait photographer is to make sure you feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera, so to capture the best version of yourself and your emotions.

Also, do you know that your left side is your best side? According to a study published online in Springer's journal Experimental Brain Research*, images of the left side of the face are perceived and rated as more pleasant than pictures of the right side of the face, possibly due to the fact that we present a greater intensity of emotion on the left side of our face.

Participants were asked to rate the pleasantness of both sides of male and female faces on gray-scale photographs. The researchers presented both original photographs and mirror-reversed images, so that an original right-cheek image appeared to be a left-cheek image and vice versa.

They found a strong preference for left-sided portraits, regardless of whether the pictures were originally taken of the left side, or mirror-reversed. The left side of the face was rated as more aesthetically pleasing for both male and female posers.

Now that you know what photogenic mean, you're ready to confront the camera with confidence without worrying about not being photogenic! And remember, show your left side.


Blackburn K & Schirillo J (2012). Emotive hemispheric differences measured in real-life portraits using pupil diameter and subjective aesthetic preferences. Experimental Brain Research; DOI 10.1007/s00221-012-3091-y

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