7 Tricks to Getting Perfect Eyes.

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7 Tricks to Getting Perfect Eyes.

Eyes they say, are the windows to the soul. They give images power, draw you into the story. They often say the 1,000 words a photograph is supposed to be worth.

But they are tricky to get right. So here are some tips to get the perfect eyes.

The biggest problem most photographers face with eyes is the blinking eye. It is just so fast you wind up with fully closed eyes or worse, partial closed eyes that give that drunken look. Here are a few tricks to beat that.

The first is your timing. Don’t wait to press the shudder. Once your subject is ready, take the shot. So many photographers wait until the subject just can’t keep their eyes open any longer, then photographer figures its ok and takes the shot.

Yet there are a lot of people who just blink a lot. They close their eyes rapidly and often. Here is the trick for that. Set up the pose, get them looking in just the right direction. Then have them close their eyes. Get ready, have them open their eyes and focus on in front of them. The eye reflex will have to open all the way, then pause before it will blink shut again. You have lots of time. Works like a charm.

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Eye placement is a big problem. When asked to turn their heads, most subjects turn it a little then move the eyes to the far side. Giving the camera lots of alien looking eyes. You want the eyes placed as near to center of the eye socket as possible. So once you have them positioned, direct them to look at something until the eye gets in the right place. Let them know they should nearly always be looking in the direction their nose is pointed.

The side glances at the camera. This takes some practice to get right. Usually the subject does not turn their head enough or the camera is too far to the side. The result is the far eye gets lost on the far side of the face. You will have to have them turn their face, sometimes even their body, so you can get the majority of the far eye visible.

Uneven eyes. They are most noticeable if the face is level and dead on to the camera. Have them tilt the head down and to one side. With the symmetry visually destroyed our minds can no longer spot the unbalanced shapes and placement.

The pupil is so big you cannot see the iris. The eye is always adjusting to the light. As it gets darker the pupil opens up, even to the point the iris can nearly disappear. To overcome this have them look into a bright light. It does not need to be powerful. The black pupil closes down revealing the wonderful iris. Be careful, if the light is too bright the pupil closes right down giving you an unflattering alien look.


Making the eyes larger is always desirable. To achieve this you want the eyes looking up. This increases the look of the size of the eye by around 30%. Large luminous eyes are always sellers, especially if you get the iris visible.

Eyes behind glasses are always a challenge. There is the glare. You can beat this by raising the light, tilting the glasses down slightly or turning the face slightly away from the light source. Of course you can also ask them to bring in an empty frame from their optometrist. This also solves the problem of the lens magnifying the edge of the face. To reduce the magnification effect, turn the face or reposition the camera until the glasses don’t reveal the edge of the face. The effect is not as noticeable when it’s on the cheeks.

Squinting eyes. This happens when the subject is looking directly into bright light. If they are very tough and you are quick, have them close their eyes then rapidly open them. You can also have them look at something dark, turn them away or go for the sunglass fashion person look.

Working with these solutions to eye challenges you will soon find that your subject’s eyes do give you the 1,000 words your photograph is worth.

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