Generally people with more angles in their face look "better" in pictures than softer featured people, I find. Good skin makes a big difference as well. Now I can hear some of you screaming at your screen saying "but Jason some people just naturally photograph easier than other people. In it, an unfamiliar picture is placed on an easel and a person carefully scans the entire scene. Symmetry doesn't really play into it because you can always photograph around that with knowing how to pose. When a person talks themselves out of session by saying they aren't photogenic, that person is robbing themselves of the confidence boost they could greatly benefit from. To my knowledge, however, there have been no attempts to try to teach the ability to anyone. No one really knows, although part of the answer may be related to a rather obscure fact about the development of such images. People possessing eidetic imagery will confidently claim to still "see" the picture. It certainly is a fascinating phenomenon. Now I can hear some of you screaming at your screen saying "but Jason some people just naturally photograph easier than other people. Unlike common visual images created from memory, most eidetic images last between about half a minute to several minutes only, and it is possible to voluntarily destroy an eidetic image forever by the simple act of blinking intentionally. As it turns out, however, the accuracy of many eidetic images is far from perfect. Research has shown that if a person verbalizes during the time he or she is scanning the original picture, this interferes with eidetic image formation. I'm photogenic but not especially strikingly pretty in real life (ie, I've been told I photograph very well). I'd agree with sweetkid and even take it one step further in positing that too much symmetry in a person's facial features is actually rather unsettling to look at, and can appear somewhat fake and robotic-looking. But check there, too, if that's available to you. Another word for photogenic is bioluminescent. When people vocalize to me that they wish they looked more photogenic in pictures I immediately want to get them in front of my camera and prove to them that there is no such thing as photogenic! All posts copyright their original authors. There is one thing that we have to clarify from the very beginning. Why should this be so? This is modeling 101. Anyway, a classic example of someone who had all the right features is. This means that the word "photogenic" that people throw around is actually skill that is learned not a trait you are inherently born with. Well, there's a pretty funny (and somewhat helpful). It looks like the Cleese program is more about the first question, but maybe it also touches on mine? Clint Eastwood's steeley squint wouldn't work to well with an easygoing smile. The way the word is used is very similar I've noticed to the way people use the word talent. In biology, the word photogenic describes an organism that produces light. I actually don't think symmetry is your answer...symmetry is an answer to "what makes people attractive to others," whereas you're asking about those people who look better in pictures than in real life. If you accept that a person can be taught or shown how to look better in a photograph than you must also accept that someone out there was once not "photogenic" and learned how to look good in front of the camera. First, an eidetic image is not simply a long afterimage, since afterimages move around when you move your eyes and are usually a different color than the original image. Light colored eyes are easier to photograph too but not a huge deal as long as you can expose for eyes and skin correctly at the same time. The prevalence estimates of the ability among preadolescents range from about 2 percent to 10 percent. In my experience as an amateur photographer who prefers candid shots, an ideal subject is someone who lacks self-consciousness about being photographed. by Jessica Lima. In contrast, a true eidetic image doesnt move as you move your eyes, and it is in the same color as the original picture. Photogenic may also refer to a place or thing that appears attractive in photographs, but the word usually applies to a person. The idea that because someone is not naturally comfortable in front of the camera they can't be taught to look amazing in photographs. Head/neck ratio is the thing I've noticed that makes people who are attractive in motion look really funky in still photos. This will always look good head on. Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the world and shape our lives. I do believe this is true. It's not about what you can do to make yourself more photogenic or what society's standard of beauty is. You must believe this is true!?!" sweetkid, exactly. The photogenic people have smooth, creamy, pink-toned skin with very few shadows or blotches, bright (not big) eyes, relatively small noses, and big, nicely shaped smiles with big white teeth. It's the second part that I reject. Not sure anymore, as I've since quit. It used to be available on Netflix Instant, which is where I watched it. After 30 seconds have elapsed, the picture is removed from view, and the person is asked to continue to look at the easel and to report anything that they can observe. 13 hours ago — Carolyn Barber | Opinion, 14 hours ago — Chelsea Harvey and E&E News, 18 hours ago — Emily V. Driscoll and Jared Kaplan. Furthermore, once gone from view, rarely can an eidetic image ever be retrieved. With a few notable exceptions, however, most research has shown that virtually no adults seem to possess the ability to form eidetic images. This suggests that eidetic images are certainly not photographic in nature but instead are reconstructed from memory and can be influenced like other memories (both visual and nonvisual) by cognitive biases and expectations. The answer is because I believe the word "photogenic" is one of the biggest ways people are justifying their way out of a portrait session. facial mask grid based on golden sections. And it’s not just because their great personality isn’t coming through, as others have speculated. Examples of photogenic organisms are fireflies and lanternfish. This is not scientific or anything, but I get told I'm photogenic all the time (particularly by the photographers and fashiony types in my office), even though I'm not a tremendously beautiful or symmetrical person, and rather than having sharp, defined features, I have what I refer to as a big ol' wheel of cheese head. And the other way round. See more. Yeah, I have big eyes, a round face, a wide smile, and a small, soft chin, and basically if the photographer isn't over-attentive my headshots come off looking like Jabba the Hutt's sweet-natured baby cousin. :D (--> reference to America's Next Top Model, in case you haven't heard of that before.). Second, a common visual image that we can all create from memory (such as an image of a bedroom) does not have the characteristics of most eidetic images, which almost always fade away involuntarily and part by part. Also, it is not possible to control which parts of an eidetic image fade and which remain visible. Channing Tatum, for example, looks like a Lego minifig (cylindrical peg for a head) when photographed. © 2020 Scientific American, a Division of Springer Nature America, Inc. Support our award-winning coverage of advances in science & technology. No idea. Most people are not photogenic because the camera, unlike our eyes (which are 3-D), are 2-Dimensional. As you get older, having a face that falls into smile lines rather than frown lines makes your smile much more photogenic and natural looking, and it tends to look more pleasant even at rest in a photo. It is very interesting to me how many people in this world believe in the idea of photogenic. In my experience having a very mobile or animated face/body works against you in photos ... it seems to increase the probability that you'll be caught by the camera in the middle of some gesture that looks fine as a full action, but whose individual pieces look horribly awkward. Most of the people I know who are crazy attractive yet look inexplicably bleh in photos have big noses. You might expect that an individual who claims to still see a picture after it has been removed would be able to have a perfect memory of the original picture. In the scientific literature, the term eidetic imagery comes closest to what is popularly called photographic memory. Scientific American is part of Springer Nature, which owns or has commercial relations with thousands of scientific publications (many of them can be found at. Although it is certainly controversial, some researchers also believe that eidetic imagery occurs more frequently in certain populations of the mentally retarded (specifically, in individuals whose retardation most likely stems from biological, rather than environmental, causes) and also among geriatric populations. What makes them special will vary from person to person, and it will need to work with the other features. I'm not asking what physical features are attractive in an absolute sense, I'm asking what features look better/worse in photos than in real life. People with striking features (big eyes set far apart, big lips, big forehead) and/or strong, sharp angles (sharp noses, strong jawline, high or sharp cheekbones) always photograph better than people without. Join 6,449 readers in helping fund MetaFilter. As near as I can tell, it's because I have fair, reasonably glowy skin that reflects light well, a pretty huge and shapely smile, and the ability to hold my face still when smiling. What physical traits make a person photogenic? I tend to look sort of peeved and bloated. I think the aforementioned striking contrasts and angles thing being camera-compatible is true. Ask MetaFilter is a question and answer site that covers nearly any question on earth, where members help each other solve problems. "model pretty" for women is big forehead, big eyes, pouty lips, small chin (bottom lip should be close to to the end of the chin), long neck and decent skin. The most common way to identify eidetikers (as people with eidetic imagery are often called) is by the Picture Elicitation Method. In addition, they can scan it and examine different parts of it just as if the picture were still physically present. Personally, I doubt it. My answer is, a good photographer.


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