(Closed) Absolutely DREADING getting my picture taken

posted 3 years ago in Photos/Videos
Post # 2
1023 posts
Bumble bee

I relate to this 100%. The only nice photos of me are either selfies, where I can smile “just so”, or if someone takes a candid photo without telling me.

Anytime I pose for a phote, my smile warps into a hideous grimace. 

I don’t know why.

I hate being un photogenic.

Post # 3
653 posts
Busy bee

Oh Bee, I’m so sorry you’re struggling with this.  I’m very glad your fiance is against plastic surgery, as it’s obvious that he finds you to be perfect and beautiful just as you are.  I too take terrible photos.  When I do online dating, a constant refrain is, “Wow, you look better in person!”  I don’t take it personally, because I’m aware of being very unphotogenic, and online, photos are all people have.  However, here’s how I look at it:  My friends and family know what I look like in person.  They know my laugh and my expressions, and every picture they see of me, they attribute those things to it.  They like having photo memories of us, and I’m not going to deprive them of that joy just because I don’t like how I look in photos. 

Instead of spending money on plastic surgery, why not get on a supervised diet plan and get your teeth whitened at your dentist?  Something like Medi Weightloss is a good diet plan and will help you drop weight quickly and safely, and your dentist will be able to lighten your teeth by several shades.  These two things alone will make a lot of difference, and they won’t break the bank.  Every girl feels better at a healthy weight and with whiter teeth, and these things are in your control without serious, unnatural modifications to your appearance.  Also, jump on that airbrush makeup train… go get a trial done, and see if it makes you feel better about how you appear in photos.  It really makes a difference, in my opinion.  

Finally, stop stressing, Bee. Change what you can while making yourself healthier, and for all the other insecurities, why not see a counselor/therapist?  You’re really tearing yourself down, and that’s not in the best interest of your mental health.  

Post # 4
170 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2017

I also hate getting photographed, and my wedding was no exception. Everytime I see a photo of myself my eyes are always drawn towards my flaws. You’re your own worst critic – and I think us women in general are always way harder on ourselves then we need to be.

With that being said, if YOU don’t feel beautiful then obviously it will put a damper on what should be one of the happiest days of your life. What made me feel better was having a killer hair and makeup team. I totally splurged on this and don’t regret it at all. 

Leading up to our wedding day, I tried to do all the little things that would make me feel better about getting photographed. I (tried) to get lots of sleep and drank a ton of water so I wouldn’t look tied and dehydrated. I got my eyebrows shaped and waxed. I kept exercising. I got my hair cut and colored the week before. I got a mani/pedi. And I also bought the Crest white strips for my teeth. All these minor adjustments made me feel so much better. 

Honestly, my wedding photos turned out great. Sure, there are a few pictures where I can’t stop staring at my arms, or my hips or whatever, but overall I was actually really happy considering how stressed out I was.  

Post # 5
1699 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I totally get you,  in fact,  when I got back my engagement photos,  at first I didn’t like them because all I see is my imperfections. I know,  it’s ironic since I posted some in the engagement photo outfits thread.

But I kept looking at them for a couple of weeks and saw the fun Fi and I had with our photographer and saw our love and realized I’m so happy I did them and I’ll definitely post one up in our house and I did put them on our wedding website. I’m sure I’ll feel the same way about our wedding photos,  but there’s nothing I can do about it. 

I’d also suggest that feeling physically ill with anxiety over your appearance is unusual and might be an indication that you could use some help dealing with the anxiety.  I’m sorry it’s getting you down bee.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with doing minor cosmetic procedures to feel better about your appearance,  as long as you are happy and can afford them. 

Good luck bee!

Post # 6
7885 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 1997

Not liking the way you photograph is one thing, but what the OP is describing is something far removed from, “I hate pictures of me.”

You say:

“Looking at myself made me physically sick, and the image kept showing in my mind on repeat for the next few days, which led to some severe depressive episodes and a considerable amount of crying.”


“But this is a deep-seated emotional and self-esteem issue that stems way back. Sometimes if I catch myself in the mirror at a bad angle, it ruins my entire day. If someone tags me in a photo I didn’t know they took? I need to lock myself in the bathroom for some deep breathing and mental prioritization.”

I think counseling is recommended too often, but in your case I don’t see what else could help. You yourself say that you cannot just get over it; your reactions are visceral and NOT normal. A glance in the mirror can ruin your day? Locking yourself in a bathroom over an unexpected picture? This isn’t anything that cosmetic surgery could fix. You could look like airbrushed perfection to the rest of thw world and you would still see something wrong. It sounds like a version of BDD, which is a mental illness. 

Please get yourself some help. You should not have to live your life in fear of seeing your own reflection.

Post # 8
378 posts
Helper bee

I would definitely get some counseling to help you with whatever is going on. No one should have to feel that way about themselves; it’s one thing to be a little self-conscious now and again, but I agree with the PP above that you are suffering from a form of mental illness you need help coping with.

As for the photography-side of things, it can help to have a pre-consultation with your photographer. Let her know your concerns and she/he will surely attempt to capture the most flattering angles of you so that you can look back at your photos with greater ease.

EDITED to add that you look gorgeous in your picture. You’re going to look beautiful on your big day. Please be assured of that, even if you can’t see it yourself, other people do.

Post # 9
171 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: March 2018

Oh my gosh, I could have written this exact post. I don’t have any advice, I’m afraid, but I wanted you to know you’re not alone. My wedding is in two weeks (!) and I have been losing sleep over this. I wanted various cosmetic procedures, too, but 1) Fiance isn’t a fan and 2) $$$. 

Logically, I know *most* of my issues are in my head. I’m not a beauty queen and I’m overweight…but that describes so many people I know and love and guess what, I think they are all beautiful. I don’t know why I can’t extend that same compassion to myself. I keep telling myself that my family, friends, and Fiance all know what I look like and still want to be around me. It’s just *me* that has a problem. 

We’ll both get through it and I bet we will both be pleasantly surprised at our photos — if anything, the joy and love from our wedding day will override the negative inner chatter about our appearance. Hugs! 

Post # 10
1023 posts
Bumble bee

I understand. 

Is that you in your profile pic? That’s a very nice picture. You’re the prettiest troll I’ve ever seen. 🙂

But I know what we say and think about how you look isn’t the issue, it’s how you feel. I agree with the bee who pointed out the having a sickened reaction to your own photo isn’t normal, and this sounds like something a mental health professional could help you with.

September 2018 is far away, you can start a regime today that will improve your self confidence in small steps. Maybe “Exposure therapy” to having your picture taken would be helpful with your anxiety over this. (I’d discuss this with a professional first.) My therapist helped me use that technique along with “EMDR” to help me with something that caused terrible feelings in my mind, and it helped a lot. Just saying you don’t necessarily have to feel this way.

I’ve spent a lot of time considering the option to have no photos at all. Or just selfies where I know my smile will be good. But I want full length shots for my family. It’s hard.

I hope you start feeling better about this.

Post # 11
206 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

Seconding samael. I also looked at your profile pic and you’re lovely! I know that doesn’t take away your insecurities, but please know that strangers on the internet (generally the most judgmental people ever) truly think you’re pretty. 

In addition to the previous suggestions, might I suggest something very minimal as a pick me up? You mention not liking the color of your teeth. Try whitening strips! It’s a tiny change, no cosmetic surgery, and it may give you a little boost. FH and I are planning to do it before our wedding too! 

Post # 13
3278 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2017

I had a lot of anxiety about getting photographs, too. There were some things that I did prior to the wedding that helped. I ended up really liking my photos.

I worked out with weights. That helped give me some definition in my arms/shoulders. I worked on my make-up tricks. I did weekly exfoliation/peel treatments on my face, neck, and chest. I put on lotion each day/night. I got my hair done professionally. I wore Spanx. 

It really helped that I had a photographer that I liked a lot.

Try to focus on the wedding and not think too much about the photos. Remember, you will be able to go through the photos and pick out the ones that you like. 

I think DH and I both felt pretty uncomfortable with having our pictures taken. We are not used to modeling, lol. I think we got more relaxed as the time passed. 

Post # 14
890 posts
Busy bee


View original reply
nicoleraymond90 :  like everyone else, i saw ur profile picture and u look fabulous!!! have u ever considered talking to wedding photographer who does documentary or journalist-style wedding photographs? my SO doesn’t like his photos taken, and I personally, though love selfies, think I’m a troll myself. We decided on a wedding photographer who focuses on “spy-cam” style who captures moments rather than portrait-style photographs. Maybe that might help to relax you since he/she shouldn’t be at your face all the time.

Post # 15
1826 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

Schedule an engagement session with a photographer, or maybe even a couple different sessions with different photographers.  Obviously the photographer can’t change major things about your appearance or fix emotional/mental health issues, but you will be able to try them out before the wedding.  Find someone who makes you feel comfortable, and is able to take photos of you that you actually like.  Tell them the things you are insecure about.  They know a lot of tricks to make people look their best, and should be sensitive to your needs.  Hire the person that makes you feel good about both the experience and the finished product.  You need to have the mindset that a bad photo does not mean there is something wrong with you.  A bad photo is simply a bad photo.

Please try to remember also that, on your actual wedding day, very very often your joy will shine through and make the pictures look great, despite any physical flaws. 

You will probably want to do all of this with the support of some kind of therapy to help you with your depression/emotions about your appearance.  It does sound like you have more going on, given the severity of the emotional reactions you have described.   Everyone can look beautiful and deserves to have pictures they love from their wedding day.  I think a combination of therapy and the right photographer might help you achieve what you want.  

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