One of the modeling industries best kept secrets to a good headshot or portrait is to keep smiling. Even if the photographer says, “don’t smile” or “smile, but no teeth”, you still want to feel and express as if you’re smiling. It’s called Smiling From the Inside. Expressing a persona of happiness, good mood, friendly demeanor, free spirit will come through on the picture. Regardless of your present mood or state of mind, if the camera can see though your annoyance, be assured the viewer of the picture will. As Ansel Adams once said, “there are at least two people in every picture, the person who took the picture and the person looking at the picture”.
An easy way to keep that inner smile obvious thouh your photo shoot is to think of the last thing that brought you complacency. It could be as simple as that delicious sandwich you just had for lunch or that awesome trip to the Bahamas you just took. Regardless of what it is, make it the most recent occurrence to keep it as clear as possible. Once there, find things around your location that might remind you of that time, such as the photographer’s shirt or the shoes you’re wearing. Expel all negative or downer thoughts. Keep your mind clear and focused on smiling on the inside.
If you’re having trouble reaching the inner smile, ask to take a few minutes to gather your frame of mind. Any photographer worth his/her weight in gold will understand and try to help you with this process.
Don’t expect the photographer to be a comedian and make you smile. True, most photographers can come up with a few humorous situations that will make you smile, but it’s your picture and you really want to make your best impression. Coming prepared with a funny joke list or a few pictures can be a great smile booster as well.