Smile- Really?

June 19, 2023  •  Leave a Comment

HappyHappy Smile- Really?

I recently saw a post in social media concerning photographers asking models to smile. The model posting was a little critical in that she said that it is hard for her to Smile on Command and make it seem like it is a genuine smile. While smiles certainly may not be appropriate or desired in all images, photographers may occasionally want to see some level of emotion within their subjects.

This can be difficult, especially if the photographer is not very engaging in the first place.  In addition, if this is the first time a model and photographer are working together, things may not always flow smoothly. One photographer who does seem to get reactions from his clients is  Peter Hurley, who is well known for his expertise in getting the perfect headshot. One of his Videos is shown through the link.

Some of his catch phrases that he may say to his client may be:

  • Give me a look like you are impersonating a cabbage
  • Pivot, rotate, and bend simultaneously 
  • Flare your right nostril slightly

Of course most of his phrases are a little silly, and of course it depends on the client, setting, and of course his delivery.  Another phrase may be " Image your best friend has just walked in the door..."

Some of these phrases help ease the nervous nature of the photoshoot, especially if a client has does not like being photographed or has never been in front of a camera before.  The downside may be that a particular phrase may throw off the entire flow of the shoot so there is a timing and delivery can be important to get a positive reaction. While some people can bring a subject to easy very quickly, other times it can be very tricky.  Some shoots such as executive headshots must be done very quickly and efficiently especially with busy schedules. 

Every photoshoot certainly does not demand a smile, but it can be helpful to know how to put a client at ease and get a little emotion when the concept may benefit from at least a little smile.



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