T Nation

accuracy of photos

I was just thinking that in photography class they told me pictures add 5-10 pounds depending on angle/lighting etc. Now duh, of course if you look decent you’re going to look ok in a photo, but this is some of the reasoning behind fashion models/actors being so much thinner than you would think looks good, because of the pounds film adds.
And yes, I just took photos and I am pouting because I hate them. :slight_smile:

Photos can do all sorts of weird things to the way you look. All that really matters if you’re using photos to track your progress is that you take all your pics under the same conditions (lighting/angle/etc.).

Don’t worry about the Pics elv…

It’s your MIND we’re after.


“I know we’re not saints or virgins or lunatics; we know all the lust and lavatory jokes, and most of the dirty people; we can catch buses and count our change and cross the roads and talk real sentences. But our innocence goes awfully deep, and our discreditable secret is that we don’t know anything at all, and our horrid inner secret is that we don’t care that we don’t”

~ Dylan Thomas

So when I post my photo on here I’ll be able to pass as a 200 pounder… Awesome!


If you want physique photos that look perfect, you really need to play with the shadows and contrast. This is something a professional can do. If you take a look at Thibaudeau’s pictures, you will notice that the shadows are not only placed well by the lighting, but the contrast has also been kicked up. Notice that the best lit areas (shoulder, head) are a pure white while the shadow areas (under the pecs especially) are a deep black. When this photo was originally taken, all of those areas would have been shades of gray. Through either hand processing or photoshop, the contrast has been increased, accentuating the perceived depth in the photo. If you have access to photoshop or something similar, you might try this.

The thing about the photo techniques though is that they will not make you look better than you are, the will merely show what you have (in a positive sense) more effectively. Taking Thibaudeau’s photos as an example again, he had to be in amazing shapes in order for those images to be possible, no amount of effects could make anything less look like that. That said, the photographer helped him get the most out of what he had.
Don’t feel bad if your photos don’t make you look like a bull, it’s a bitch to produce really nice physique photos.

Enough of my pointless ramblings…

Post your pics so we can help you.