You know the situation, the awkwardly raised eyebrows, the tight curl of the lip, the flaring of the right nostril and the straight face that gives nothing away, then finally, it is the cherry on top, the fake smile!
Yes, I have said it the ‘fake smile’, is there anything more threatening, more aggravating, more irritating? I hope not! For me, the ‘fake smile’ is a big no-no!
Just so you can clearly understand what I mean here is an over exaggerated version perfectly demonstrated by Chandler from Friends.
Real life isn’t like friends and professional headshot photographers are above and beyond anything you have just seen in that video. But in all seriousness how do we tell if a person is giving a ‘fake’ or genuine smile?
Well, psychologist Richard Eastman has looked into the phenomenon and now gives a few practical tips on how to solve the issue that lies at the heart of whether someone is being true or false. He states that the key to the fake smile is empathy. ‘Empathy lies at the heart of detecting a real smile! Crucially, a person who is more empathic will notice a real smile.’ In fact, research has shown that the real smile is detectable because of the way the skin crinkles around the eyes, named the ‘Duchenne smile’ after a French physician who enjoyed playing with electrodes and shocking his patients….Nice!
Some of us have trained ourselves to re-enact the ‘Duchenne smile’ and trick other people into believing that we are smiling. This may work in real life but be sure that a camera will pick up on this, and the vast majority of us can spot a fake smile on a photograph a mile off.
Can you spot a FAKE smile’?
Having a genuine smile is important for our ability to trust each other and relate as human beings, it’s not only important for how people come across but it also affects our decisions when interacting with other people.
A good headshot photographer will never ask you to smile but will encourage it through the way they guide you through the shoot, ensuring you have the best headshot with a real smile. That’s why The Headshot Guy is recognised as the best in the business.