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How to Make anyone Smile Naturally in Photos

How to Make anyone Smile Naturally in Photos

Now before we get into these tips and tricks, there's one thing that I want to talk about. I feel like a lot of focus always gets put on the technical aspects of production. That being gear, what lights, what lenses, what camera body. All these things seem to always get the spotlight, but one thing that I feel like is equally as important are the techniques and tips that you can use as a photographer behind the lens in your personality to get results that seem natural and genuine with your talent.

I've definitely seen iPhone photos that have a bigger impact on me than photos taken on a high-end DSLR. And the reason why the iPhone photo was so great is 'cause it evokes the emotion or has an impact on the person who's viewing it. Whereas on the DSLR, although technically perfect, lacked personality, and I think that's something really really important to consider in your photography.

Now I would say the reason why most people have hired me in the past is because of my ability to make people feel comfortable on set or while there's a camera in front of them. Think about it. For most of the people that you're shooting, they're not trained, professional models. This is a new experience having a camera lens and knowing that this photo that's being taken of them is gonna be captured forever.

So knowing that going into the photoshoot and being able to create a comfortable, safe environment for that person to showcase their personality is really really important. And your ability to make them smile naturally on camera is inviting their personality to be captured. Now let's get into the tips and tricks that I use regularly on almost every single photoshoot or video set so that I can get a natural, genuine smile out of somebody. How To Improve Your Terrible Photos.

7 Tips on How to Make People Smile Genuinely in your Photos

1. Compliment your talent

When you bring the camera up in front of your face, just start throwing the compliments at them. Tell them that they look beautiful. And the more specific you are, the more genuine of a smile that you're gonna get. If you said something like, "I really love that you picked out earrings that match the color of your eyes," the fact that you're pointing out the little things is what's going to make them smile.

So really pay attention to when they show up on set for the little things that you can point out when you have the camera up in front of you that you can start complimenting them on so that you can get a genuine smile.

2. Get to know your talent before you shoot

Before you even bring a camera up in their face, the thing that's gonna kind of intimidate them, ask some questions about their life. "What are your favorite things in the world? "What makes you happy? "What makes you smile?" And try to remember those things when you're actually taking the photo.

If I'm taking a photo of my dad, for instance, I'll say, "Imagine that you're windsurfing at 40 miles "an hour in North Carolina." When he or she starts thinking about the things that they love, they're bound to smile, 'cause they're gonna be in this environment that they feel very comfortable.

3. Count past 3

Now I've pretty much used this on almost every single set that I'm on. So take your camera up, and start counting: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Because it's kinda awkward and they've never really experienced counting past 3, they're gonna smile because it's new to them. So that's a really great opportunity once you count past three, take a photo, and try to capture that genuine smile.

Feel free to count all the way up to like 30 or 50, it'll get super awkward and by that point, somebody's bound to smile.

4. Try again

This is a little associated with tip 3. Point out that when you were trying to count past 3, and let's say you made it to like 30 and they didn't smile at all, that it was a complete failure. Like, "You should've smiled by this point, that joke was "a complete failure, alright guess we'll have to try that "again next time." Point that out and they're bound to laugh then. So that's kind of like tip 3 and tip 4 go hand in hand.

5. Make funny sounds

I prefer to make cat sounds, that's just the thing, so take your camera and just start going meow, meow, meow, meow. (cat hiss) (laughs) See, I'm even laughing at that point. You're probably feeling this guy is super weird, but if you're taking that photo, you're bound to get a genuine smile.

6. Fake smile

Now, this is when you get them to do a fake smile or a fake laugh, and just make them do it being like, ha, ha, ha, hahaha. And if you get them to do a fake smile, it's so awkward that they're bound to actually have a real smile or a real laugh somewhere in there. And right when you notice that, just firing away (popping) right when you see that genuine smile.

7. Superserious

Get them to be like super serious and don't smile at all. Just go them, be like, "Don't smile at all, look super super "serious, try not to smile, try, don't smile, "you have to be serious." And them trying to be like, (serious) Them trying to be serious, you're bound to find some sort of genuine moment in there.

Now, these are just 7 tips and tricks that I use on a regular basis, now obviously there's a bunch more. Go out there, get creative, try different things. I know a friend of mine likes to dance, he likes to move around when he's taking shots and that usually gets a smile out of them. I guess that's like another tip, but nonetheless, try different things so that you can get different reactions out of the talent that you're working with.

Remember, focus on what separates you and why people are gonna pick you over the competitor to hire for your next photoshoot, and that's keeping an eye on the personality element of your business.

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