Wednesday, May 09, 2012
A Duchenne Smile
I had blogged earlier this week about the Duchenne smile, also known as a genuine smile.
Today, I happened to be helping out at my son's school, St. Joseph in Knoxville, TN. The teachers were having a special luncheon and I was lending a hand at recess. Since it was raining, recess was held in the school gym, which has large transom windows, allowing light to come in from the top. Of course, I took my camera and shot the students at play.
Look at this boy's face. He is voluntarily stretching the muscles around his mouth to grin at the camera. But the truth is in his eyes: note how the bottom lid arches upward ever so slightly, and the space between the eyebrow and the upper fold of the eye lid is reduced. His orbicularis oculi pars lateralis is contracted - and that is the muscle that is involuntarily engaged when a genuine smile appears.
Just before I looked at this photo I was watching a weekly show on KelbyTV.com tat I love, called "The Grid." Today's guest was the noted headshot photographer, Peter Hurley. He said this: "Never say the 'S' word - 'smile!'" to your subject. Find some other way of getting them to smile. Granted, kids like this young boy are natural "grinners" but use a word like "Poop!" and I bet that Duchenne will come shining forth.