Saturday, December 22, 2012

Pictures are Prettier at a Distance - 4 feet to be exact!

Get a little bossy with your photographer and ask them to give you a little personal space for your next close-up ... 4 feet to be exact!

Research coming out of Caltech shows that photos taken at a distance greater than 4 feet away look more attractive, competent and trustworthy. (Take note future Presidential candidates!)

To read the full study Click {HERE}.

Apparently, visual distortion is the reason why. "It turns out that faces photographed quite close up are geometrically warped, compared to photos taken at a larger distance," according to Ronnie Bryan, the study's lead author. "Features such as the nose and cheekbones that are closer to the camera appear relatively larger compared to features that are farther away form the camera such as the ears and hairline."

Taking photos from 2 to 7 feet away, this study suggests that less than 4 feet is the magic number at which warping becomes more pronounced.  We have all experienced the "warp" from our self-portraits with camera phones where the entire photo doesn't look like us, but we sort of love it anyway because our eyes look so wide open and big.

I'm not sure why, but everyone calls the 105mm lenses "the perfect portrait lens" but I think it has to go back to the old days of film and 35mm cameras because realistically, it's your perspective and position that will make your framing tighter, not the lens itself. 

As you get closer to a camera, the nose gets bigger and your ears get smaller. Too much distance and the face flattens out entirely. You can use these distortions to your advantage if you have a crooked nose, or one eye smaller than the other if you know the tricks that I offer in my book, Face This: Real Advice from Real Models, Photographers and MakeUp Artists on how to become Picture Perfect! Available on Amazon, Nook, iTunes and Kindle {HERE}.

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