How To Smile With Your Eyes

Created the: 20-08-2020


One of the secrets behind a good picture is to smile with your eyes. Or “smize” as Tyra Banks called it in America’s Next Top Model. Here are a few tricks to help you learn to smile with your eyes.

1. Focus

You must find a focal point. You need to have a central point that the eyes can focus on so they don’t create an unsure or disconnected look. A focus point provides stability and makes conveying emotions easier. Your focus point can be somewhere on the camera, the photographer’s hat, someone behind the camera or something completely different.

2. Chin down

This will help highlight the “smize” look. Don’t overdo it, but just tilt your chin down a little so that your eyes are more prominent. You should also make sure to lower your shoulders and relax. It should feel as if the back of your head is being pulled up slightly on a string.

3. Remember to relax

One of the most common reasons it can be difficult to get a good picture is tension. If you are completely stiff because of anxiety and nervousness, then it goes without saying that the result won’t look natural. Taking relaxing breaths or short breaks can help release any building tension. Make sure you have a comfortable relationship with the people you work with and do some breathing exercises beforehand to help you relax. When your body is calm, your face follows, creating strong natural pictures. If you struggle with nerves or relaxation, Pilates, yoga and meditation can help a lot.

A good smile depends greatly on how relaxed you are. A smile only becomes beautiful if it is natural and not forced or fake.

4. The mouth

If you develop your “smize” well, you can actually learn to smile with your mouth closed, or without smiling with your mouth at all. However, it’s a difficult skill to begin with. So try to start with a natural smile and get your eyes more and more involved. You can start by practising “smize” with your real, natural smile, using a bit of open jaw and closed lips. Your jaw should only be open enough so that the tip of your tongue can just fit between your teeth. Practice it in front of a mirror and find what works best for you. Practice makes perfect!

5. The eyes

It’s time for the eyes to shine. It’s harder than you might think. You can start by training your eye muscles to respond without using your other facial muscles. Practice making your eyes smaller without disturbing the rest of your face. They should produce an eye-smile, not appear squinted or strained. You have to work a lot with the muscles in the face, and especially the muscles just under your eyes to get them extended in a way that conveys a radiant smile.

You are almost there

The only way to perfect “smize” is to practise it on your own. There are many videos available where Tyra Banks shows the technique and does it on her own. Watch as many as you can and keep working at it.

Here’s just one example:

Use a mirror to see what you are doing right and wrong and get others to help you along the way. Squeeze your eyes a little, relax your body, focus on a specific spot, and make sure to project as much warmth out of your eyes as possible.

Good luck!