I have a narrow face and feel this may negatively affect my streaming captures, especially with poor quality cameras, low lenses, poor sensors, etc.

Are there any givens in getting a robust, wider-like frame that can give an illusion of a more stretched object? Certain camera sensors, lenses, distances, positioning, mm or something else?

There is a popular GIF of a guy who took different photos of his face with different mms or something and the difference is pretty significant, going from more narrow to wider faced depending on some factors.

What can help ensure photo or video quality to maximize broadening of an object as opposed to poorer appearances like close up smartphone selfies that create a Slenderman like look to the face, whereas farther away photos normalize the face more I think.

Any and all potential things would be appreciated. I already know distance helps but what can amplify this in less optimal settings, or just amplify widening overall, going all out with lenses, camera resolutions, lighting, angles, etc. I almost always look bad in close up photos and videos on my smartphone but some fewer cameras have produced more desirable captures of myself, unfortunately with me not knowing the specs or remembering the cameras.

Any out of the box camera or lens recommendations and some parameters to experiment with? Software, filters, sensors, or any other add-on or post processing touches?


3 Answers 3


What you are describing is the effect of perspective, which ultimately comes down to distance.

Regardless of sensor size or lens focal length, perspective is determined by the distance between the camera and the subject. If the subject is near to the camera depth is exaggerated, and faces will appear narrow and angular. Faces further from the camera will appear flattened and more broad, and in general people find this presentation more flattering.

This is entirely a function of distance, not focal length ("zoom"). A subject which is distant but small in the frame (for example, a single face out of a group photograph) has the same perspective, and thus the same proportions, as a subject at that same distance photographed using a telephoto lens to fill the frame.

So what you need is not a specific camera, or a specific lens. Rather, you will want to put as much distance between yourself and the camera as is practical, to achieve the desired perspective, and then use the lens that allows you to achieve the desired framing at that distance.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Apart from perspective, there is also geometric distortion which can be fairly severe at the wide angle extreme of entry level "kit" lenses. When using an 18-55mm lens on an APS-C camera at 18mm, for example, it is true that there will be considerable "perspective distortion" due to the close shooting distance needed to frame a face at that angle of view. But to add insult to injury, there will also be additional geometric distortion (in this case, "barrel") that will magnify what is in the center more and what is on the edges less. So it can be a double whammy. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Commented Mar 15, 2021 at 6:21

Your face is your face. It's not to narrow or to wide. It just is.

But, thoughtful lighting and wardrobe and framing will go much further toward allowing you to convey what you want to convey than a particular lens.

A lot of people are self conscious in front of the camera. Practice is pretty much the only way to get over it because practice is the only way to learn what looks better and worse on camera.

We all have a better and worse side of our faces.

A place to start:

  1. Find your good side.
  2. Key light on your worse side.
  3. Fill light on your better.
  4. Shoot from the fill side.
  5. Experiment with the camera above or below your eye line.
  6. Crappy cameras like a laptop webcam benefit more from good lighting.

It's not magic in a box. It's work. Some physical. Mostly psychological.


Yes, there is a very simple way to do this: stretch the image along the horizontal axis while not stretching the image along the vertical axis. You can try this on a photo in any photo editing software. You'll discover that you can choose how 'wide' you want to look to your taste. In order to implement this, you'll need a way to do it in the context you're working in, likely using some kind of digital manipulation or filter. Can also be done using optics, but considerably less straightforward to find the equipment than to find processing software.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.