4-10-18, Confidence is in the Eyes
What do you think is desirable in the appearance of one's eyes when you see a headshot? Do you think wide, colorful irises? Are you sure? Take a look at the photo below of my son. (Yes, he's my son so I can post this photo of him! And, yes, he does have amazing eyes.). If this were a business headshot, what feeling would you be conveying to potential clients? Confidence? Nope. Got it all under control? No, not that either. How about "how in the heck did I get here?" or "I have NO idea what I'm doing!". I think we can all agree that none of these vibes are ones that you want to put out into the world. Unfortunately, this is a common reaction when people stand in front of a camera. Discomfort. Maybe even fear.
How do we overcome this? Together. Together, the client and I work on expression, comfort and distraction so you don't remember the camera in front of you. Another common tactic that was made famous by premier headshot photographer Peter Hurley, is the 'squinch'. Not a 'squint' and not a 'smeyes', but a squinch. Have you seen the images of actors and models where they appear to be staring off into the distance with this total, complete look of coolness? Yep, they're nailing the 'squinch'. And, in effect, confidence is oozing out of their pores. This is what we strive for in a headshot: confidence and approachability (more to come on approachability in a later post). If you want to pursue the methodology of the squinch further (which I whole-heartedly recommend), please view the corresponding video in the tips section of my site.
For comparison purposes, taking a look at the first 'deer in the headlights' image. Now, scroll down and look at the second 'I'm a teenager so I'm automatically cool' image. You've got to admit, the second image is where it's at. Don't forget this the next time you're in front of a camera. Feel the lift of the muscle under your lower eyelid, but try to keep the upper eye lid from lowering (that would just be a squint). Practice this even, in front of a mirror, and you'll feel you'll coolness factor increase exponentially.
For more information about the squinch, take a look at Peter Hurley's video!