Optimistic Photography is seen primarily in social media, most prevalently on dating sites. A person exploiting optimistic photography will use it to extract features which are unattractive, and shift attention to those which are more attractive.
When the compounding effect of alcohol is added, the mind of the drinker can confuse the earlier (first) impression of the subject with the cold, hard, unfortunate truths of reality and fact. The optimism lurks quietly in the mind of the victim.
For educational purposes only:
1) A downward camera angle can hide the volume (and thus, mass) of a person.
2) Taking a picture of oneself (close range) will also hide the shear size and volume of the subject.
3) Elongating the jaw or using unnatural facial expressions during a photograph can give the illusion of a thinner (and leaner) face. This can, in turn, alter the perception of a person's baseline attractiveness
4) A blurry picture, bright flash, or blown out contrast can also hide blemishes or wrinkles which may appear in reality.
Note: Publishing old pictures, while misleading, does not fall under this definition, but would still be considered trickery, of which optimistic photography is a form.
I want to shake the hand of the optimistic photographer who ironed out her beat-ass face!
My blind date must have actually thought I was blind. She looks NOTHING like her optimistic profile picture!