Creative Photoshoot: How to Give Facial Expressions

Creative Photoshoot: How to Give Facial Expressions. Tamara de Lempicka, portrait photograph, Paris, ca. 1929

How do I improve my facial expressions? How to look good in pictures and photoshoot? If you are asking yourself these and similar questions, well, I have thought about them too.

It is all about camera angle, facial expressions and what you can do with your eyes.

Creative Photoshoot

First thing first. Realize and accept that “you are beautiful, complete, and enough the way you are!”

That is the key to being relaxed in front of the camera.

Below is an example video of a photo shoot session we did in just 30 minutes with little to no makeup.

The purpose of this video is to inspire you to look great, exotic and full of expressions in your pictures. This video is about mastering facial expressions.

Your Face Speaks A Thousand Words
Being expressive, using your face to maximum advantage, is a very useful tool in getting your message across. This skill also allows you to use fewer words, to show emotion and to send a message directly to your audience’s minds and hearts.

How to Give Facial Expressions

Practice Being Expressive
As a model, you must be aware of how to use your facial expressions and create ones that work for you. This is especially important if your audience is a long way from the stage. The further away from you, they are, the more expressive you can be!

If possible, look at a mirror when you are practicing or rehearsing your looks.

Try showing happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, surprise and love.

Make Your Expression Your Message
Start including facial expressions that support your stories and reflect your emotions.

For example:

  • arching eyebrows – when you are surprised or questioning
  • frowning – when you are moody, disapproving or concerned.
  • grimacing – when you are fearful, in pain or anxious
  • smiling when you are happy, pleased with your situation or circumstance.

All facial expressions are related to emotions.

Emotions or Ideas that you can convey

  • Happy / content
  • Fun / playful
  • Scared / lost
  • Sad / broken-hearted
  • Serious / in thoughts
  • Lonely / bored
  • Fantasizing / day dreaming
  • Scheming / flirting

Tips on How to smile for Camera
Learning how to smile sounds ridiculous – surely everyone can do it? In fact, smiling ‘to order’ is a real skill, and one that professional models need to master.

To improve your smiling skills, position yourself in front of a mirror and practice the following steps.

  • Put your lips together without moving them. Look at your face in the mirror, concentrating on the eyes. At first, they’re lifeless. Now lift up the corners of your mouth and watch your eyes come alive.
  • To create a smile, say “MMM” without opening your mouth. No teeth should be showing. Don’t forget to turn the corners of your mouth up.
  • To create a broader smile, say “MMM” again with your mouth still closed and again, don’t forget to turn up the corners of the mouth.
  • This time say “ME”, whilst opening your mouth and showing your teeth but keeping it soft. Next say “ME” again, this time with a big smile showing all your teeth.
  • When you say “HEY,” you produce a very natural facial expression. Say “HEY” and hold it – you will notice your tongue is coming forward and your lips are apart. Now try it again, saying “HEY” with a smiling expression.
  • Create a gaunt look by saying the word “POOR”, keeping the lips very soft and sultry and holding for a few seconds.
  • To achieve an open and happy laugh try saying “HAA”, remembering to focus your gaze on someone or something to avoid a “lifeless” look.

Here are 3 other facial formulas for maximum expression during your next photoshoot.

1. Smiling Eyes
Every person you know has a different smile. In fact we all have more than one. Practice smiling with your eyes. First grin slightly, then narrow your eyes slightly  into a stare. This will allow you to project those good vibes.

2. Looking Up
You can’t share your feelings so you have to project them. One way to project is to turn your eyes to the skies as you contemplate.

3. Guffaw
Open up. Don’t be afraid to laugh out loud “especially at yourself”. They’ll laugh with you.



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What did you like about this post? Do you find it challenging to give different poses? If you want me to cover something in specific, please feel free to leave a comment and I will try to cover them in my next video. Also, please share your pro-tips if something is working for you. It may help others.


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