SMILE...or don't. How to show off your best expressions in photos.

February 06, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

How many times have you taken a picture of your friend or your child and you yell out that famous phrase, "Say cheese!". Then you get a picture that looks like this

 

For the littles that may look cute but for the adults, not so much.  So how do you get that great smile in photographs that make people say, "WOW".  Some of us are not comfortable in front of the camera and the thought of a photo session can make people very anxious.  Don't worry a few tips on how to produce your best smile and a little practice is all you need.

1. Say MONEY.  This works and Julie Andrews endorsed it on the Stephen Colbert show. (For you young people who don't know who Julie Andrews is, shame on you, also she was the original Mary Poppins, for the millennials, she was the Queen of Genovia in The Princess Diaries.)  If you say "cheese" the corners of your mouth go wide and you show all your teeth, and then you force the rest of your smile, because you think you must. However, if you say "money", you may drop your jaw a little and turn your head.  Most people will also only show the top row of their teeth when they say "money". Give it a try. Plus it actually makes us happy to say that word.

2. The HA HA HAAAAAA! Have you ever seen a photo of you laughing? For me, my eyes are closed, my nose is squinched and all my teeth are showing, it's not super flattering.  Have you ever seen a professional photo of someone who looks like they are laughing? Guess what, they're not, they are doing the HA HA HAAAAAA! Basically, you yell out loud, I mean REALLY loud "HA HA HAAAAAA". It takes a bit of practice, but once you get it you will find it produces a great expression that mimics laughing. Try it, but make sure your windows are closed so your neighbors don't think you're crazy.

3. Your old friend.  Sometimes we get so stressed at the thought of taking photos that our bodies and our face become really tense.  To help my subjects relax I tell them to close their eyes, take a deep breath, count to 5, when you open your eyes, imagine that you are looking at an old friend you haven't seen in a while.  It works.  While you are at it, call your old friend after the photo session to say "Hi".

4. The TONGUE trick.  This one takes a bit of practice, so do this in front of a mirror before your photo session. This is a classic Hollywood Red Carpet trick. Don't believe me? Google it. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Some celebs will even gently place their tongue behind the upper row of their teeth. Don't push too hard, just gently place it there.  Again, practice this in front of a mirror.

5. The SMIZE! This tip came from America's Next Top Model, courtesy of Tyra Banks.  A smize is a smile with your eyes. Tyra is better at explaining this than me, so check out a quick video here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBharOWh4xM Practice. Practice. Practice.

I hope you enjoyed some of these tips, now go out there are show the world your smile.

 


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