Squint Slightly For Better Portrait Shots

A great portrait involves attention to many details, including camera, framing, colour and lighting. But you can help a shooter out by doing a few photogenic things: stick your chin out a bit, squint ever so slightly, and part your hair to reveal your good side.

Photo via ☺ Lee J Haywood.

Peter Hurley shoots head-shots of executive, celebrities and other people who really want to look good everywhere that photo shows up. He gives the New York Times six tips on getting better photos out of his subjects, beyond all the equipment and expertise he's obviously carrying around.

Sticking your chin out a bit to prevent neck waddles is something I've heard recommended for web video shoots. And the tip about guessing someone's "good side" by noting which side their hair is parted on is quite handy. But the tip about having subjects squint slightly is maybe the best pick-up for beginners:

The crucial word is slightly — not a pained expression as if reading fine print. The real trick is to squint with the lower lids only — think of the expression Clint Eastwood makes when assessing Lee Van Cleef before a showdown. "In my opinion, fear and uncertainly comes from the eyes," Mr. Hurley said. "If someone wants to look confident, have them squint."

What has worked best for you when trying to get people to gaze into your lens and emerge looking good?

6 Tips for Better Portraits [NYTimes.com]


Comments

    So you can look like Squinty McSquinterson in the photo above.

      I was thinking "That man looks like he forgot his glasses"

        Or Steve Jobs inventing the Newton....

          Or Tony Abbott considering possible jail time for gay marriage.....

            Or just about anyone having a poo.

              A contemplative poo, though. A far-off, visionary hipster poo.

                I want to have that poo.

    As a photographer, I don't think squinting is good at all, unless the subject has very big eyes to begin with.

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