When You Hate Photos of Yourself

Not Dressed As Lamb fashion blog bloopers and outtakes

This week I was editing photos of myself for a campaign I’m working on, where I had to shoot close up (portrait) photos for the brand’s own use.

Before I do any sort of editing to colour casts, contrast, shadows, etc. I go through and pick out the images I like the best.

While I was doing this I thought to myself, Thank goodness I have control over this – I get to choose which images the brand uses. Sure, I’ll give them two or three different final shots to choose from, but out of the 50-odd photos we took it’s my choice as to which I present to them.

Now I know only some of my readers are bloggers (and even then not all bloggers take photos of themselves), but I’m sure everyone has, at some time, had the task of going through photos of themselves and having to pick out the ones they like for the final image… For wedding photos, or holiday photos, or passport photos when you have to select the photo to print while you’re actually there in the booth (oh, the pressure of the photo booth!!)

[By the way in case you’re wondering, the photos in the image are not ones I just didn’t like, they are actual bloopers…!]


When someone else chooses a bad photo of you

The picking out of these photos this week got me thinking about when you DON’T have control over which photo of yourself is chosen, for example when you’re a guest/bridesmaid/mother of the bride at a wedding and someone else has picked out the photos to go in their album. You excitedly open the album to see…

… A shockingly HORRIFIC photo of yourself. One that you would never have picked out in a million years. You’re either pulling a weird expression, or your smile is just “off”, or your eyes are dead, or it just doesn’t look like you. I’m not talking about body image or the fact that you may have put on a few pounds – I mean a shot that would have been so much better had you just smiled properly or turned your head the other way to show your “good” side.

And a little bit of you dies inside because you know that photo will be there forever in their wedding album, or in their photo frame, or on their Facebook page (though at least you can ask them to take those down, wedding albums are trickier)!

This happened to me a while ago, where some photos were taken of me and I didn’t have control over which ones were chosen. It was a professional photo shoot, but the editing was all in the hands of X Brand (which shall remain nameless). And when I saw the shot they used, I was absolutely horrified. Dead eyes, weird smile, head at the wrong angle. But there it was, published for everyone to see, and there was nothing I could do about it.


What everyone else saw

But this was the truly weird thing: I was the ONLY person that hated it.* Everyone I knew who saw it told me what a wonderful picture it was, that I looked so youthful, so serene, all sorts of words that I couldn’t believe they were actually using to describe this horror of a portrait. In fact because my mum knew where to find the photo online, she’d looked it up before I told her not to bother – she went to the trouble of ringing me to say what a gorgeous photo it was of me.

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What on earth was it they saw that I didn’t??!!! WHY did they think that awful shot was a nice picture of me?

It goes to show that what you see is totally different to what everyone else sees. It might have something to do with the fact that what we see in the mirror is a reverse image of what everyone else sees, and that would explain why some people hate all photos of themselves. But I’ve seen my mug close up enough times and edited enough photos of myself to see (mostly) what other people see, and I can usually pick out (what I deem to be) the good ones.

So next time you see an awful photo of yourself that everyone else loves, just keep telling yourself that we all see different things. Other than that, I don’t have any advice (sorry!) – sometimes you just gotta suck it up!

*Slight amendment: To tell the truth I WASN’T the only person that hated it – I can remember my husband wasn’t exactly impressed when I showed him. Now I don’t normally put GIFs on my blog (well, I NEVER put GIFs on my blog unless they’re my own because I find posts with loads of moving things really annoying), but this perfectly sums up his reaction when I showed him the photo:


At least HE saw what I saw…! 😆


So all that’s left to say is – I’ve shared my thoughts/stories/tuppence-worth this week, now it’s time to share yours… LET’S GET THIS [LINK UP] PARTY STARTED!

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An InLinkz Link-up


My 2016 Fashion Blogger Bloopers and Outtakes
31 Weird and Wonderful Facts About Me


  1. 20 April 2017 / 12:50 pm

    There are quite a few hideous photos of me lurking on the laptop! My husband keeps snapping away even when I'm adjusting my outfit or talking – he just carries on and then takes the p*@s when we look through the shots. I have to bite my lip though or he won't take my photos anymore!

    Emma xxx

  2. 20 April 2017 / 4:38 am

    Ahahahaha.. I know exactly what you mean. We get used to seeing ourselves in a certain way – chin down, right-ish profile, a certain smile; but others might appreciate a totally different angle. Oh well, majority wins!

  3. 19 April 2017 / 7:43 pm

    Hahaha. That was funny. And yes I know the feeling of the horrid photo. Only in my case, when that happens, everybody agrees with me it is indeed a horrible photo. Not only my husband haha.

  4. 18 April 2017 / 5:30 pm

    This is so interesting. I think so much of this is to do with how we perceive ourselves. We are used to seeing ourselves in a certain way in the mirror and in the photos we choose to share of ourselves. What we don't see though is our expressions whereas others do so sometimes photos don't look how we expect them to if they've captured one. I love the gif (of course), and I truly can't imagine there ever being a bad photo of you. Even the outtakes are easy on the eye! Thank you for hosting and for linking me my lovely xxxx

  5. 17 April 2017 / 1:24 pm

    Yes, this has happened to me a lot. I have also learned to post pictures I don't like of myself (if I had a bad photo shoot) rather than not use them. Sometimes the outfits/photos I hate the most end up being the most popular.

  6. 17 April 2017 / 2:40 am

    This topic is exactly why I found it hard modeling that time. The designer actually wanted to reshoot because she thought I looked "too young"; she picked me for being older. So that meant I'd have to be happy seeing photos of myself looking less than the best I thought I could be? What a weird yet really good conversation we had. Great topic. When we agree to be a mannequin we really have no say in what goes out there. It's unsettling.

  7. 16 April 2017 / 6:48 pm

    Thanks for hosting and cute pics. Hope you are having a Happy Easter.

  8. 16 April 2017 / 3:27 pm

    That is why I have a hard time allowing anyone to photograph me. I like to be in control of my face. Period!

  9. 16 April 2017 / 7:26 am

    You crack me up woman! Bahahahaha!

  10. 15 April 2017 / 12:31 pm

    Oh My God this really made me chuckle – especially when I saw the gif representing your hubby's reaction. That was just brilliant!!!!!
    Suzy xx

  11. 15 April 2017 / 11:14 am

    Catherine, this is so true! Thank you for writing about it. But on the flip side, sometimes I see a photo of myself that I absolutely love and use it as my profile picture all over my social media…then my husband says "That's not really a great picture of you. I have seen much better ones." Ugh. Change all the profile pictures! Which leads us to the old adage that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder!


  12. 15 April 2017 / 10:14 am

    Thank you so much for your lovely link up and for being sucha good friend

  13. 15 April 2017 / 8:57 am

    I think this has probably happened to everyone at least once in their life, if not many times. I rarely like pics of myself which is a nightmare being a blogger! It's funny how your husband could see exactly what you meant. You must just think the same way! Xx

    ❤️ Carly Susanne – A Beauty & Lifestyle Blog

  14. 14 April 2017 / 10:35 pm

    I have had many pics taken of me at weddings, family get togethers and so on and it seems I always have my mouth in some weird contortion, either because I am talking or eating….so I totally get it. We all have bad picture days, but at least as bloggers we have some control over what gets posted. – Amy

  15. 14 April 2017 / 8:44 pm

    I am trying desperately to step out of my comfort zone and have photos taken of me. I am so camera shy! I am the least photogenic person in the world, but writing a beauty blog, have really got to get over it! The worst for me is when you have had a night out, and your friends put the photos on social media! I literally die every time!

  16. 14 April 2017 / 7:58 pm

    How funny you talked about this, Catherine, because it just happened to me. I posted a side by side photo on FB—and the one photo I picked just happened to be me talking, but I was too lazy to change it (I figured hardly anyone sees it anyways, ha ha). But lo and behold, one of my friends said how much she liked the photo! And I was shocked. Maybe she liked it because I wasn't smiling like I usually am?
    But you are so right, that others see things so differently!!

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