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Why don’t I find myself photogenic?

Definition of Photogenic

“Make an attractive subject for photography or have features that look good in a photograph”.

So it is not your responsibility to be photogenic, but that of the photographer. It is up to him to discuss with you and analyze your strengths and analyze what you might consider your mistakes.

So you cannot say that you are not photogenic, but that no photographer has yet known how to be made photogenic!

I am not photogenic

Take the case of two of my clients.

Alex had already had the opportunity to be photographed in the studio by a professional photographer. She wanted headshots, premium application photos, LinkedIn profile photo and of course she got them … and didn’t like them !! The reason? Well, at first she didn’t really know how to explain: “Just that I don’t like her!”

the reasons why she didn’t feel Photogenic

And then, looking briefly at the photos she was showing me, I started to locate the problem. All of her photos suffered from an apparent lack of expression, feeling like they were communicating nothing but the cold and the distance. It’s difficult to see yourself in a photo in these circumstances, isn’t it?

Another example

Another client, Paulina, came into the studio because she wanted to realign her career and therefore needed photos for her professional profile LinkedIn (Learn how to set up your LinkedIn profile with my guide), Xing, but also for her possible ones wanted to appear in the future website.

We met and chatted briefly and she immediately warned me that she was not at all comfortable in front of the camera and that she still hated photos of her.

Since her professional future could depend on these photos, she had decided to listen to her husband’s advice, raised courage with both hands and finally made an appointment for a headshots, premium application photo session.


Two different people, two different problems, one feeling and one thing in common: these two people had no reason to feel that way about themselves.

Why don’t we feel photogenic?

Among all the reasons given, there is the fact that we are used to seeing ourselves in the mirror and therefore being reversed from reality.

Another point is the result of studies published in various magazines (including Frontiers in Psychology) in the early 2010s, which essentially explain that a frozen image (portrait, headshot, application photo, online profile photo) is interpreted differently by the brain .

To reassure yourself, just pause a video of someone speaking. The picture shouldn’t highlight this person! This hypothesis was taken up by French researchers who specified that the brain interprets static, frozen faces as less attractive because they would be difficult to decipher.

What conclusion to draw?

The first conclusion is as follows: The researchers believe that this feeling of not being photogenic is an interpretation of the brain and in no way a reflection of reality!

Fotogen sein mit Fotograf Kaiserslautern

Otherwise, a photo that captivates the viewer, conveys feelings, charms, does not give the brain time to ask the question of whether this person is handsome / beautiful, in other words, photogenic!

How do you create a portrait that will satisfy your client?

How do you overcome the feeling of not being photogenic and give your photos the necessary intensity to make you feel comfortable looking at them?

A lot was listened to at first. The photographer has to invest time before the meeting to get to know his model and his client better.

The customer knows his strengths and weaknesses better than anyone else. The photographer can also identify them and use the necessary tools to correct, minimize errors and highlight strengths.

But that doesn’t quite solve the problem and this is where the expertise of photographers who specialize in headshots, application photos, portraits is invaluable.

To make a photo captivating, 3 parts of the sight come into play: the eyebrows, the eyes and the mouth.


They take part in general expression and in particular in appearance.

Raising eyebrows can indicate surprise, but can also evoke sympathy and vulnerability.

Downward, furrowed eyebrows can be a sign of anger or determination.

The eyes

Some say they are the reflection of the soul.

The photographer, who specializes in headshots, has to work on the look.

Among other things, the eyes convey self-confidence. In addition, the gaze of the reader rests irretrievably on the gaze of the person in the photo.

Through explanations and instructions, the photographer succeeds in ensuring that the customer communicates primarily through the eyes. Depending on the goal to be achieved and the type of work sought (entrepreneur, manager, personal support, etc.), the photographer knows how to measure the trust to be conveyed.

The mouth

It is the element that communicates the sympathy and the degree of accessibility of the person depicted in the portrait, application photo.

Just like the eye, the photographer who specializes in application photography knows how to dose the smile, which above all corresponds to the personality of the customer, but also to the desired professional profile. A principal, a manager, may want to communicate the austerity that inhabit him, while a nurse relies on his compassion and gentleness, etc.

These three elements must be combined in a single portrait, headshot or business photo. Taken together, they transmit a lot of information to the brain of the person looking at them. They convey feelings that do not give him time to analyze the subject’s frozen face.

This goes for anyone looking at a portrait … including the model herself who will miraculously find herself … photogenic!

Learn more about the ideal photo by reading my article.

They finally felt photogenic

I want to end this article by briefly covering the two customers I talked about at the beginning.

After sending the photos of the headshot session, application photo, to Paulina, a few hours later I received a message from her husband in which she said to me: “Fred, you did the impossible. My wife loves all the photos you took with you today !! “

As for Alex, the comment she made on my Google Business profile is pretty explicit: “Fred is wonderful. He is professional and fun. I felt very well. He gives great direction. He goes through all of your recordings with you on a big screen so you can get a better feel for what’s working. I would highly recommend him for any headshot, application photo! “

You can read the full review on my google business page.

So stop believing that you are not photogenic, too. It is the photographer’s responsibility to get a good picture of you, not you!

Take part in your #HEADSHOTHERAPY session!

You will never see yourself like this in a photo.

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