You Look Better When You Smile

So I hear it often – “I hate photos of myself.” There is something in the subconscious that trigger emotions about how people feel about themselves. For some, it’s like pulling teeth to even get them to stop and pose as well as to get them to smile. What most don’t know is that emotions can be seen in their eyes. I had already written a short blog on smiling written by National Geographic. I am adding this as a resource again at the end of this blog.

I was at an internship for almost a year. When I was given the opportunity, I took Tuesdays off – the day when new associate head shots were taken. Other associates had taken on this task. Towards the end before I left, I was in on a couple of Tuesdays and checked in on how things were going in the studio. I did lead on one occasion and introduced myself to the new group of eight associates coming into the program. I talked to them about my experience at the program and asked them questions about where they were coming from. Then we got into individual head shots and the one campaign that we have everyone do. I did find that some of them were nervous and I let them know I felt the same way when I started there. While they have the opportunity to head back to their desk after their head shots are done, they all hung around and talked and watched as each other’s photos were taken. It seemed enjoyable.

On my last week at the program, I participated in a CSR event. During this time, I was told by someone on how they felt about the process of new associate head shots. Pretty much they were just given directions, click click click, and that was it. No interaction and people felt rushed though this process. Thus creating an unhappy experience.

So what’s the issue here? Lack of communication and making people feel even more uncomfortable in front of the camera. Since leaving the internship, I have worked with children for team and individual portraits in sports photography. The challenge is trying to get them to do what you want and smile. It’s not just counting to three and then telling them to say cheese. That really is cheesy and their smile is often unnatural. You have to connect to everyone at their level meaning you need to talk to them to get them to relax. They actually look more natural in the photos. You have to think about the psychology of people and why they purchase professional photos. When you make them feel and look good, you have done your job.

Now for those whose photos are being photographed, please smile because it looks better on you. Read this article about smiling.

Published in: on August 14, 2013 at 11:36 pm  Leave a Comment  
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