One Simple Tip To Make You Look Like A Movie Star In Your Headshot

Why is it that movie stars always look so cool? Sure, they have the designer clothes and the latest hair styles but the truth is that looking cool is much more than material possessions. Looking cool is a learned behaviour. They’ve been taught how to do it. This is good news for us mere mortals because if Brad and Angelina can learn how to do it then we can too.

Looking cool is borne out of an inner confidence. Confidence is attractive. If we are in the presence of a confident individual we are likely also in the presence of a successful one. In our day to day lives sometimes we will feel confident and sometimes we won’t.  Our expression will let the rest of the world know what side of the fence we are rolling on but we won’t actively take charge of this, our sub conscious has it under control.  When someone points a camera at us this changes instantaneously and all of a sudden we have to take active control of our expression to show confidence because that’s how we need people to perceive us. Sounds technical right? It’s not really and I’ll tell you what you need to do.

You need to Squinch.

To what? I know, it’s a made up word, you have no idea what I’m talking about. I get it, but stick with me, this is valuable stuff. Confidence comes from the eyes. Let’s bring our buddy Brad back into play. Here’s two photographs of Brad. The first is from very early on in his career and the second is much more recent.


Look at his eyes. Big difference right? Does he look cool in both images? Hell no. He looks like a lost puppy in the first one. In the black and white image he’s squinching.

Squinching is a combination of squinting and pinching. It can’t be just squinting because confident can turn into perplexed quite quickly. It’s really just pinching the lower orbicularis oculi muscle which runs along the bottom of each eye. This causes your lower eyelid to become closer to your pupil and gets rid of the rabbit in headlights lost puppy look. It feels totally weird at first but once you nail it the difference in how confident you look is huge.

Here’s the thing though, when you’re being photographed you have no idea how you look. You can’t see your face. You need help and guidance. You need a photographer who knows how to properly coach expression so that you look confident, approachable and professional. Once this happens you give yourself lookability (another made up word). Lookability is an intangible something that forces people to stop and pay attention to your photograph. In the fast moving social media world, this is critical. Once you have peoples attention then you have an opportunity to tell your story and get your message across. Here’s an example of one of my own clients. The first is a base image with no coaching. The second is after being taught how to squinch. The perception of her confidence has just been raised significantly.


So go find a mirror and get squinching. You’ll thank me for it. If you’re feeling brave tweet me your best attempt to @rtorblephoto and use the hashtag #squinch.


Who is Richard Torble

I am the owner of Richard Torble Photography, a Kent based business photography agency. We cover business headshots, promotional portraits, events and annual reports.