Improve Your Portrait Photography with These 7 Tips for Getting Everyone to Smile (VIDEO)

Everyone knows that laughter and smiles are infectious, and there’s no better way to loosen up a photo shoot and capture better images than by getting everyone to smile. This not only includes the model, but the photographer and anyone else at the shoot.

Portrait subjects tend to look their best when they are smiling and relaxed, and it’s up to you, the photographer, to make this happen. In this two-minute tutorial from Paris-based photographer Mathieu Stern, you’ll learn seven simple tips for doing just that.

One of our favorite tips is the one Stern appropriated from Hollywood icon Julie Andrews, who recommends asking your model to say “money” instead of “cheese.” You’ll also learn how to encourage a model to relax, by suggesting she close her eyes, shake her head, and take a deep breath.

Other tips include suggesting that your model think of something that makes her happy, teaching her how to “motorboat” her lips, and telling a joke. And if you’re working with a model you haven’t photographed before, ask her to imagine that someone she likes is behind the lens.

You can find more helpful tips from Stern on his YouTube channel, and he sure to look at our earlier story explaining what you should do if you are nervous about photographing models for the first time.