Expression is the act of making known one’s thoughts or feelings through the face. Expressions must be spontaneous, even though they are planned to obtain the desired result. An experienced model can counterfeit a genuine emotion, but often the photographer must assist her to make it
happen. This is accomplished by creating a situation or an atmosphere
that will evoke a “natural” expression.
Here are few techniques for photographers to get the beautiful expressions out from their model.
- When a model is struggling with expression, direct her to use words to both help create expression and draw her concentration away from her struggle.
- Use “hot.” This has a two-fold benefit. First, in saying the word, the mouth will take four shapes. If the photographer is quick, at least one of these will photograph well. Also, this word tends to make the model giggle, further relaxing her.
- Another word can be used is “true.” This creates a bit of a pout.
- Sometimes a model gets really nervous and her upper lip may stiffen and quiver. When this happens, ask the model to say, “alfalfa.” The first two syllables will relax the mouth, and the “-fa” syllable produces a nice shape for the mouth.
The list to the right details just of a few of the many facial expressions you can work on creating with your models.