Emotions and the Micro Expressions

It never ceases to amaze me that there is such a vast amount of information on the internet, especially when you just happen to discover an article that resonates with you so much that it inspires you to write a blog.

Working in headshot photography you see many different expressions from people, some that are more permanent and some so fleeting that before you have even registered the look it is gone. The latter is known as micro expressions which Paul Ekman explains so brilliantly being a psychologist that has studied emotions and facial expressions throughout his career, his research being the strongest evidence to prove that Darwin’s theory of facial expressions being universal is accurate.

Is skeptical classed as a universal emotion? Thomas Power thinks it should be...
Is skeptical classed as a universal emotion? Thomas Power thinks it should be…

There are seven emotions that have universal signs:

– Anger
– Fear
– Sadness
– Disgust
– Contempt
– Surprise
– Happiness.

I find it fascinating that emotions can be recognised between complete strangers or two people that do not speak the same language. Reading people’s emotions is a true skill that will allow you to enhance not only your social skills but also your relationships with others and your own emotional awareness. For me, being able to read emotions allows me to decipher how comfortable people really are (or aren’t as the case may be) in front of the camera and work out how to relax them and coax an air of confidence from them.

Facial expressions are a powerful tool so don’t hold back! Next time you’re on the tube have a look at the other passengers and try to work out if you can read their expressions and be on the look out for micro expressions as they tend to be the most revealing. How many of these micro expressions do you think you’d be able to spot when in conversation with other people? How could being able to read emotions benefit you in your career.

As always I’d love to hear your view leave me a comment or get in touch via Twitter.