Sunday, January 26, 2014

Day 14, Learning 14: Er... squinching?

Hmm.  Okay.  If you're aiming for "cool" in your portraiture this Peter Hurley technique has (I'm embarrassed to say) about a 70% success rate in adding something.  It's Peter's new "thing," and he's been stumping it campaign style for the past month.  If you haven't heard about it yet, it goes like this:

You can add a bit of Hollywood cool or sultry to your look by squinting slightly.  It's really a half-squint: in a full squint you tighten both the top and bottom of your eyelid and it naturally pulls in on the side.  Do this in a photo and you're likely to be mistaken for a perv.  Squinching is really when you slightly tighten the lower eyelid.  This works best when the subject is looking directly at the camera.  Takes a bit of practice to know what you're going for, so grab a mirror.  Or check out this video.

I'm going to point out one of the major drawbacks of this technique which may get me flamed.  It makes everyone's expression exactly the same; it has no real personality, only faux personality.  That doesn't mean squinching doesn't belong in your bag of tricks or photo session.  After all, everyone feels anger, or detachment, or sexy from time to time-- this is a shortcut for conveying those emotions.  It's shortcoming is a woman may squinch at you when she's feeling sexy, but she's probably doing other things as well to convey how she's feeling, things that create a unique dimension to her personality.  Those things are lost in a shortcut.  But it's worth playing around with in a photo session, because sometimes manifesting something externally leads to its authentic emotion internally. Being a theatre director these are familiar techniques; perhaps I'll write a post about directing, acting, and posing....

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