A woman squinches her eyes for her headshot in Chester

Yes, this is a thing and no, I haven’t made up a word. To prove it, this is how squinch appears in the dictionary: Squinch (skwintch): to squint the eyes.

The psychology and science behind the perfect profile pictures is a big deal, the topic is stud-ied and researched continually by some very clever boffins all over the world. Some of the biggest global companies pay huge sums of money nailing it because they know that getting the right headshots influences their audience, gets them more followers and ultimately gets them business.

The great news is, this psychology and science applies to everyone – from the CEOs of mega corporations to the hardworking freelancers. There’s something we can all do to get ahead!

Anyway, back to what a squinch is. When we naturally squinch, we smile with all of our face – not just our mouth and lips; it’s pure and it’s honest. A false squinch, one where we screw up our face and narrow our eyes in an attempt to look smiley, will look … well …plain weird and highly likely give off a ‘baddy in a film’ type vibe.

Squinching is something us humans do every day, we do it without even realising. You’d think it would be an easy thing to replicate when sat in front of a camera wouldn’t you. If only it were that simple. Try to fake it and you’ll end up squinting – I guarantee you that this non-authentic look is not what you are after.

A squinch happens when we narrow the distance between our lower eye lids and the pupil, it exudes confidence, trust, honesty and approachability. The way we show our eyes to others tells them how we are feeling.

There are only three things you can move on your face and that’s the mouth, the eyes and the eyebrows. If you don’t know what to do with any of them, your headshot session is not going to go well. Here’s where a seasoned photographer comes in.

Those who have had their headshot taken by me know that they get more than a bloke stood behind a camera clicking a button. And I don’t just mean the cake that Josie makes the night before, although that is a bonus for my clients. I digress, it’s my marketing background, my experience and my understanding of people and the poses that bring out the best of your unique features.

“Andrew puts you at ease and you feel very comfortable with him taking your photo. He makes you smile when you least expect it which shows he knows how to capture you naturally. Both our teams respect Andrew and his professionalism when he has taken the teams photos in the past.” – Emma Guy, Acupuncture That Works

Putting the person in front of the camera at ease is key to a successful headshot. This can be done by chatting, asking the person to lower their chin, lift the chin, whatever it is, the point is that I’m interacting with you and there’s something going on as opposed to silence with no instruction. When there’s ‘something going on’ people will squinch naturally making them look engaging – because that’s exactly what they’re doing.