Unsmiling Senior Photos

Handsome young man with trees behind him.
Handsome young man with trees behind him.

I think a lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of an unsmiling photo.  There is a mystery about an unsmiling person and that creates tension between the photo and the viewer.  I like that tension, I like that mystery.

We've come to expect the smile for personal portraits.  Yet an unsmiling portrait can be far more expressive than a grin.  There is so much more wonder in the unsmiling photo.

Arty black and white senior photo of boy through wet window.
Arty black and white senior photo of boy through wet window.

What's happening here?  What is he thinking?  Is he happy or sad, bored, angry, or just thinking about the next Jurassic Park movie?  A hint of a smile, and a whole new level of expression.

Striking photo of high school senior boy.
Striking photo of high school senior boy.
Brown haired teen boy looking into the camera.
Brown haired teen boy looking into the camera.

Without a smile, we have more questions about the image, we have more expectation.  We notice his reflection on the fence next to him.  We think he might have a secret.

Handsome high school senior leaning on a fence.
Handsome high school senior leaning on a fence.
Black and white photo of boy sitting quietly at a table.
Black and white photo of boy sitting quietly at a table.

It is no surprise this handsome boy blosssoms when he shares his smile, but it's an even more pleasant reveal when we experience that smile as a gift, not a thing of the ordinary.

Smiling photo of a senior boy.
Smiling photo of a senior boy.

More opinions on the subject of smiles in my article about Camera Face.

Want to book a senior photo session?  Contact Me!