I think the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines photogenic best: “suitable for being photographed especially because of visual appeal” because it doesn’t state that the subject needs to be attractive in terms of physical attributes, but rather that they have features that are visually appealing. To often, we compare ourselves to the standards set by society with regards to our physical features (myself included), but this view is warped and should not set how we see ourselves.
In my mind, being photogenic doesn’t necessarily mean you have to have the best smile or the perfect proportions. It means that a photographer can capture who you are in the essence of an image easily and that others find your portrait interesting. Of course, there are features that might intrigue others by drawing their attention to it (for example, bright blue eyes), but people without differential features can still be intriguing in a photograph. I will admit that composition does help make a photo interesting, but with portraits in particular I find it’s the subject’s emotion that drastically creates the story of an image (think of someone experiencing joy, laughter, fear, surprise, confidence). Personally, I find candid shots exude the most accurate emotions and story, which are my favourite kind of portraits.
For those who think they aren’t photogenic or don’t know how to smile, stop being so critical of yourself! Enjoy the moment and embrace your quirks (crazy hair, crooked smile, wrinkles, etc.). Every imperfection about you makes you uniquely you! The trick is being comfortable in your own skin, which many of us struggle with and in particular, related to physical looks (I too am working on it). Remember, you don’t have to be good-looking to be photogenic, you just have to show some character… So next time you consider having a picture taken, strike a pose, make a funny face or simply be open to sharing your imperfections. Remember, no one is perfect.
I’m working my way through life in Canada and traveling when I can afford to explore beyond the border. Sharing my tips, trips, opinions and rants on life and travel in the meantime.