Do I Look Like The Mirror Or Camera?

You may be wondering if the mirror or the camera captures your true image. This seems to be a recurring question people have asked online. So our team dedicated itself to discovering the truth behind this and furnishing you with the necessary findings. Our extensive research and discoveries have been compressed into this informative post.

Do you look more like the mirror or camera? You look more like the mirror than the camera. But this only applies to plane mirrors. Plane and straight mirrors present a more accurate image than any camera. These mirrors are devoid of artificial effects that may enhance or distort one’s image like the camera. Moreover, the mirror reflects exactly what is presented in front of it while the camera can be manipulated to capture what the photographer desires.

As you read on, we will explain the different factors that influence the image quality produced by the mirror and camera. Why is it that the way you look in the mirror appears more realistic? What factors can distort the image produced by the camera? Are there factors that could affect how we look in the mirror? You will find answers to these and many more as you read on.

do i look like the mirror, or camera
Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash

How To See Your True Image: Mirror or Camera?

The way you look in the mirror appears more realistic than camera images. This is so because image reflections produced by the mirror are untainted by artificial effects. But the mirror must be plane and straight. Curved mirrors give distorted reflections, and the perspective of images from slant mirrors may not be accurate. 

The mirror usually captures what is really genuine about us. From a real smile that reaches the eyes to unpretentious poses. These things are usually fake or forced when we stand in front of a camera. More so, editing apps can be used to add artificial effects to camera images.

Should I Trust The Mirror?

Most people trust the mirror instinctively because they have used it all their lives. You see yourself in the mirror every day and you accept the image as your true image. This instinctive trust could make you question camera images that don’t look like what you see in the mirror.

This basic trust is justifiable, especially if you are using a plane and straight mirror. These kinds of mirrors replicate your exact image. What you see is what you get when it comes to flat or plane mirrors.

Images produced by the camera could be manipulated or even distorted with the use of filters. Other factors, such as the flash and post-editing adjustments can also change your look in camera images. But mirrors, especially the plane and straight ones, offer authentic and natural images.

Should I Trust The Camera?

The world’s best camera cannot produce a hundred percent accurate detail. No matter the megapixels, you cannot always trust what you see. Something is usually lost in the process of taking and developing pictures. But then, that doesn’t mean you should no longer take pictures. But if you have to choose, believe what you see in the mirror over what you see in camera pictures.

Video – What Lets You See Your Real Self: Pictures or Mirrors?

Watch this video to understand the basic truth about pictures vs. mirrors. Which of these show you your real self? The video explains the different ways people can manipulate pictures. It also explains why you can trust what you see in the mirror over what you see in pictures. Indeed, everyone wants to look good. But in the end, the most important factor to looking good is self-confidence and knowing what works for you. Click the play button below to watch it now.

Here are some reasons why camera images are not always accurate depictions of your image:

The Camera Lens Can Cause Distortions

Camera lenses have a focal length. The focal length dictates the amount of scene compression you get when you take a picture. The lens of a camera makes a huge difference in the picture quality you get from the camera.

The longer your focal length, the more scene compression you have and vice versa. When the focal length is shortened by zooming out, things in the photo become wider, farther apart, and distorted. Conversely, closer things appear more stretched than things that are farther away.

Simply put, the proximity of your face to the camera could cause the lens to distort your facial features. This measure of distortion, however, depends on the focal length of the camera lens.

Picture Angle Also Causes Image Distortions

The angle at which a picture is taken could affect the outcome of the picture. Any slight change in angle could distort or enhance your face to make it look different than in reality. Pictures are a 2-D version of real-life and so tend to flatten your features or distort them to certain angles.

Depth of Field Affects Image Quality

Objects that are farther away from the point of focus of a lens could become blurry. This tends to isolate the subject in front of the camera. This effect is usually regarded as being creative and attractive. It may however not produce the real image.


Lighting whether artificial or natural could serve to change one’s actual looks either by enhancing or distorting it. The harsh illumination of your camera flash may highlight every harsh feature you don’t find attractive on your face. This is why some people prefer outdoor or natural lighting when taking pictures. 

Good lighting is key to taking great pictures. But a harsh flash from your phone can make you look worse. However, neither option will produce an accurate reflection of your image like a mirror would. 

Does The Mirror Always Tell The Truth?

The plane and straight mirror always tells the truth. But curved and bent mirrors do not tell the truth. A concave mirror may make you look taller and thinner. Conversely, a convex mirror may make you look shorter and fatter. Bent mirrors will create a perspective that makes parts closer to the mirror appear larger.

Aside from the curvature and position of a mirror, other factors can affect mirror reflections. As you read on, we will explain some of these factors.

Factors That Could Affect How You Look In The Mirror

The Quality And Type of Mirror

New mirrors will project a cleaner reflection than older ones. Concave mirrors can make you appear thinner and taller. Convex mirrors, on the other hand, could project a larger and wider image.

Plane and straight mirrors are the closest to reality among the commonly used types of mirrors. The Dielectric mirror has been touted to possess 99.99% reflectivity. And that makes it the most accurate thing that could show a true reflection of your image. But they are not common.

Your Perception of Yourself

How you perceive yourself \may alter the way you see yourself in the mirror. This has a lot to do with your emotional state at the time. So if you are feeling positive and happy while looking at the mirror, it will be a happy image looking back at you. We have also shared this article that discusses what happens when you stare at a mirror for too long. Read the article to find out what will happen.

Mere-exposure Effect

People tend to react favorably to familiar things. If over the years you have developed healthy self-esteem, you will always look great in the mirror. Because of constant exposure to mirror images, you are likely to fall in love with how you look in the mirror. Even if there are defects on your face, you may not notice them.

Can I Look The Same In The Mirror And On Camera?

It is virtually impossible to look the same in the mirror and on camera. You may not even look the same in two different mirrors. However, what you see in camera pictures is usually similar (though not the same) as what you see in the mirror. That’s why you can easily recognize yourself in pictures.

Moreover, there are many details that you can pick out in a still photo that you cannot see in real life. You can take close shots with a camera and examine every detail of your image from the picture. This is usually not possible with a mirror.

Also, if you use a flashlight while in front of a mirror, the light may affect your sight. But you can use the flashlight to take pictures. Very bright lights will expose every detail of your face. And this is unlike what you will get from mirror images.

Related Questions

Is Your Reflection In The Mirror What Others See?

The reflection you see in the mirror is a reversed image of how you appear in reality. Camera pictures give a more accurate idea of how you appear to others. Your right side is their left side and your left side is their right side. However, in terms of looks, body composition, and stature, mirror images are more accurate.

Why Do I Look Good In The Mirror But Bad In Photos?

No one has a perfectly symmetrical face. So when your face is reversed while taking pictures, it may not look so right. Basically, you are used to seeing your mirror image and you may be startled when you examine your camera image.

Distortion of facial features may also be caused by the camera lens, among other factors. This can also play a role in making you appear less attractive in camera photos. Have you ever wondered why gym mirrors make you look fat? Check out this article that we have shared titled, do gym mirrors make you look bigger for an in-depth discussion about the topic.

Do You Look Fatter In The Mirror?

Certain mirrors like the convex mirror or a mirror tilted forward may make you look fatter. However, a plane and perfectly straight mirror will display your exact shape and size. This is because while the convex mirror tends to extend your image horizontally, the forward tilting mirror presents a vertically compressed image. All these will make you appear fatter than you are in real life. You can also check out this article titled, why do I look fat in pictures but not in the mirror for more information.


So far, we have explained everything you need to know about the accuracy of mirror and camera images. We have explained why the mirror makes you look more like yourself than the camera. The mirror reflects our images in a more realistic, unpretentious, and genuine way.

Cameras, on the other hand, influence us to try and fake our best smiles to produce beautiful but not so real images. At the end of the day, self-love and self-acceptance are key to loving the image of ourselves that we see whether from the mirror or the camera.

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