On the one hand, we know cameras/phones aren't mirrors.
On the other, we consistently treat them like they are. Or to be more precise, we treat photos as though they're showing us exactly what's there. In fact, we have a tendency to trust a photo more than we trust a mirror.
We can look at a photo and think "I thought I looked ok in the mirror and now I see myself in this photo I look dreadful. Wtf?"
The less we like having our photo taken, somehow the more we're going to let a bad photo devastate us. I mean, the mirror, that was a quick look before leaving the house. A photo is permanent proof of what we look like. The truth's in front of us. It can't be denied.
I beg to differ.
Listen carefully (although, to be fair, I'll probably say this quite a lot more than once).
Looking terrible in one photo, several or all photos ever does not equate to looking terrible, full stop. And it doesn't mean you can't look good in photos either. It doesn't make you unphotogenic.
It's far more likely that you're tense and uncomfortable in front of a camera. The more photos of yourself you see, that were taken when you were tense, the more photos you see that you don't like, and that reinforce to you the notion that you're unphotogenic.
If you believe you're going to look terrible in a photo, well, you quite probably are. Pre-empting a photo looking awful almost certainly means you're changing everything from how you're standing or sitting, to the expression on your face. You're most likely radiating tension. It's a snowballing situation that reinforces it's 'truth' every time you see a photo of yourself.
If you go tense whenever someone pulls out their phone to take a picture, then that picture is not going to be a true reflection of what you usually look like. Yes, it's a version of you, but it's a temporary version of you under stress. Don't look at the photo and believe in it as representing what you genuinely look like.
Start being more aware of how you felt when a photo was taken. If that feeling was "like I wanted to run away, but that would have seemed odd" then take the resulting image with a pinch of salt. Accept it as not being how you usually look, and take away its power to hurt you.
(By the way, cameras lie all the time - including your phone when you're taking a selfie, but that's another post xx)