As a budding photographer, I glean as much information from other photogs as my little brain will allow. One of my favorite lifestyle photographers is Jasmine Star. Her eye for composition and methods for drawing personalities out of skin and bone are constantly blowing me away and challenging me. I particularly love her blog because she teaches through it. The tips and tricks that are abundantly available amidst her photography are fantastic. And she loves. her. job. It’s contagious. I recommend following her blog for the rest of your life. It’s like a warm cup of coffee in the morning.
One of the things she continually tells her clients is to “smile with their eyes.” And as silly as it sounds, I decided to give it a whirl with my particularly stoic subjects. The results? Liquid gold. Or verbal gold. Or photographic gold. Take it as you will. I have seen consistently awkward people become instantly photogenic. J-Star, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. srsly.
Example? Teenage boys. They are way too cool to smile and need a little coaching. The left is pre-smilewithyoureyes. The right is liquid gold.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure/privilege of photographing a family that rests very near to my heart. Tracy has been my discipler/mentor/best older sister for three years. Her family has brought me in time and time again as one of their own. When the time came for me to move on from the Hood, I decided I wanted to R&R in town for a few weeks. It was naturally expected that I would stay with this amazing family.
Tracy and I looked through all 1,066 photos last night and narrowed it down to 294 (I over shot, I know…). This morning, I showed those 300 photos to her youngest. When we got to this photo, I asked him “what were you doing there?” His response made me double over in laughter. “I was trying to smile with my eyes!”