Is using filters on photos misleading? 

If I were to meet you today either online or in real life would I recognise you based on your profile picture? 
There was an interesting conversation going on earlier this week in the FAB Network community. It was started due to a tweet about a woman who’d gone on a date only to be told by the fella that he was disappointed with how she looked because up until then he’d only seen pics of her online. Should he have not been so shallow and stuck around to get to know her anyway? Or had she misled the guy due to the use of filters and editing? 
Now I did a bit of online dating myself a few years ago, in fact, it’s how I met my husband. That was an interesting experience, I could probably write a book about it. As you can imagine photos are extremely important in that situation as you are literally being judged on your appearance. The pictures you use determine whether or not someone then click on your profile to find out more. It seemed fairly common for people to be using photos of a younger, often slimmer, version of themselves, men who are bald using pics of when they had hair etc. (And if you’ve ever done it yourself you’ll know what I mean if I say what’s with all the holding fish photos???) Some people even go as far as using other people’s photos and adopting a different, fake persona to lure people in – it’s called catfishing. 

How to take good selfies 

Don’t get me wrong I’m all for great lighting and good angles. I know with many women it’s so bad and they dislike photos of themselves so much that they always end up being the one taking the pictures of everyone else. To me having nice photos is not about being vain, but it does help with confidence and how you see yourself. I wrote a blog about how to take a good basic selfie so that you have pics of yourself that don’t make you cringe. 
The tips were inspired by two things: 
The fact that when I hosted a 5 Day Shop Your Wardrobe Challenge some people found the selfies difficult to master 
The fact that I’d posted a picture on social media that everyone thought I’d lost weight but it was taken when I was at my heaviest ever. It was all about the angle. 
For you to take good selfies and get those flattering pictures there are a few things that you can do to feel comfortable and confident in front of the camera. You’re smiling, got the best angle to minimise those double chins, no dark circles or dodgy shadows that age you beyond your years and you look like the best version of yourself. You can read the full article here 
It might be worth checking out Pinterest for some posing tips even if it’s just holiday snaps and family photos that are relevant to you. There are a few simple tricks on how to pose/stand that can make a massive difference to how you look on photos. You can really see the impact it has. 

Professional photographs v selfies 

From a business point of view investing in a really good professional photographer is worth every penny. I know for sure that my photographer is great at telling me how to pose so I look to lose a few pounds. As with everything though, not all photographers are equal, do your due diligence, check their portfolio and read their reviews before you part with your cash. Do you like their images? Have they filtered out all the laughter lines and edited the photos so that everyone has bright white teeth and flawless skin that all looks the same? 
Especially in a business setting there’s a lot to be said for scrubbing up and looking your best on your social media profile picture to create a good first impression. And, in these days of video calling who hasn’t switched the appearance setting up on notch on a Zoom meeting? However, be warned, when it is so far removed from how you look on a day-to-day basis that can do the opposite. There is the danger of taking it too far. When you are misrepresenting how you look in real life it can make people question your integrity and authenticity. 

Be yourself- but on a good day 

I know someone who had beautiful naturally wavy hair and usually wore just a little bit of make-up. She had a photo shoot for her business and was primped and preened by a hair and make-up artist; she had the full works with perfect foundation, contouring etc., straightened her hair into a sleek bob – she looked amazing! However, it wasn’t how she normally looked, nor could she recreate it daily on her own. Her photos came out brilliantly, but she didn’t look like herself at all. 
The images were so incongruent with everything she usually represented in terms of her business that she didn’t seem authentic. Nor did people recognise her initially once they met in real life after seeing the photo first. So, the message from this is that wherever you are showing up (either in photos or real life) you need to still look like yourself, your current self – up to date. I’d like to recognise you from your photo if we were meeting for business (or a date). 
This kind of thing can, at its worst, make some people think you are fake or putting on an act. Either way, it does not bode well for building connection and trust – least of all with yourself, when you look at the photo and other people tell you how lovely you look but you don’t even recognise yourself. None of that is great for the relationship you have with yourself. 
First impressions last 
If any if this resonates with you I currently have space for 2 new 1:1 clients on my Elevate private coaching package. With my work around comfydence and visibility the aim is for you to look and feel good every day and for it to be sustainable across all areas of your life. Your personal style reflects how you are perceived. I’m not talking about you having a makeover, professional hair and make-up done for a photo shoot, editing and filters so that you end up looking like someone else. It’s about being more you than you’ve ever been before. The real you. Exploring your identity through clothes and expressing who you truly are. No more making do or pretending to be someone you are not. Be you. Be more you. Be even more you than ever before. 
FAB Network : female authentic ballsy 
If you want a safe space to hang out with likeminded women and chew the cud, have a chat, a laugh and maybe a bit of personal development thrown into the mix then I’ve got you covered here too – join my free FAB Network community Facebook Group – it’s all developing quite nicely. 
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