Please, no more cheese!

Almost everyone can identify when a loved one is faking a smile — or faking any emotion for that matter.

But did you know that 60 percent of the time the general population can distinguish between a fake and a real smile?

And I would guess that this number is much higher for photographers. We can feel it when we’re not photographing real emotions, and worse, it shows in our photos.

But when we’re able to capture genuine emotion, joy, real laughter — that’s what makes photo magic.

The science of smiles: Why you can tell when they’re faking it.

This is the age of digital photography. Which allows just about anyone to have a camera/phone at their fingertips at all times. And prompting kids and adults to smile on-demand is the new normal. But not all smiles are created equal. Genuine smiles actually use different facial muscles than those on-demand fake smiles!

Yep. That’s why they look different!

Let me explain. Your face uses two major muscles that work together to create a smile.

The zygomatic major muscle turns up the corners of the lips. And the orbicularis oculi muscle contracts around the eyes to create those small wrinkles. A fake smile only uses the zygomatic major muscle (turning up the lips but not reaching the eyes). This fake smile typically results in people looking emotionless or zoned out in the eyes. A genuine smile, on the other hand, uses both muscle groups, resulting in an expression that looks much more emotive. This is because the orbicularis oculi muscle (near the eyes) is activated by the limbic system, or the emotional centre of the brain.

It’s science: Real smiles look different than fake smiles. This makes it extra important to capture genuine emotions in your photos! Because these are the photos you will connect with, love more and automatically smile back at whenever you look at them.

As your photographer, it's my job to make sure I capture these for you. To do this, you will find me telling fart jokes, talking and engaging with you and your family, and on occasion pulling funny faces and making weird noises. I will also use prompts to encourage you to engage with each other. Saying things like, smell your sisters cheek, whisper your favourite breakfast cereal, look into each others eyes but don't smile. This one always works because the kids smile instantly. Honestly, it's the best part of my job. My goal is to have you and your family have the best time and experience, walking away thinking 'gosh that was fun'. Plus having beautiful photos to share for a lifetime to come.

Put me to the test? Can I crack your non-smiler? Get in touch today.

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