Saturday, October 23, 2010

"Windows to the Soul"

Reynaldo Cifuentes Velazquez, president of Café Justo - a coffee cooperative. He lives in Salvador Urbina, Mexico.
According to Dr. Martin Seligman, author of Authentic Happiness, there are two kinds of smiles, the "Duchenne smile" and the "Pan American" smile. Here is how Seligman describes the two smiles, "The first called Duchenne smile (after its discoverer Guillaume Duchenne) is genuine. The corners of the mouth turn up and the skin around the corners of your eyes crinkles (the crow's feet). …The other smile, called the Pan American smile (after the flight attendants in television ads for now-defunct airline), is inauthentic."

A Genuine Smile Goes a "Long Way," was published by Vijai P. Sharma, Ph.D in Mind Publication in 2002. Studying a high school year book researcher's divided the class photos into the Duchenne and Pan American smiles, which by the way was almost 50/50. Then they followed up with the two groups at age 27, 43 and 52 and asked about their marriage and life satisfaction.
Father Flor Maria Rigoni is a missionary with the San Carlos Scalabrini and works in the town of Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico. The pastoral mission of the Scalabrinians is the care of migrants.
The results showed that those with Duchenne smiles were more likely to be married and stay married. The finding was that a habit of genuine smiling may contribute to happiness and better adjustment in life. The researchers considered good looks and found this had no bearing, but genuine Duchenne smile did effect ones happiness in life.

Few people are more beautiful than those with a warm and natural (Duchenne) smile.

As a photographer I have learned how to recognize a natural smile and know how to get it most of the time out of subjects most of the time. Personally I cannot produce a genuine smile on command - yet.
Olga Sánchez Martínez runs an amputee shelter in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico.
A trick models use to learn how to control their face expressions and to get the eyes to be expressive is to look in the mirror and use a handkerchief to cover everything below the eyes. Before this can be effective you must know what you are looking for in expressions of the eyes.

Tyra Banks, the famous model and TV producer of America's Next Top Model tell how to learn to smile with your eyes. She did a video for the NY Times Magazine on fame, her career and what every model needs to know. She talks about seven types of smiles in the video.

Tyra says a big mistake people make is smiling with your mouth and not your eyes.

The muscles used to smile with the eyes are involuntary and normally only become engage in an authentic smile.

Photographer can help people to smile for the camera, but only about 50% of the folks will present that genuine Duchenne smile on command. So what do you do for the rest of the folks?
Luis "Pelayo" Manuel Diaz Perez, enjoys the hammick during an afternoon rain in Salvador Urbina, Chiapas, Mexico. Pelayo is a coffee grower and part of a cooperative making it possible for the members to stay in Mexico with their families rather than migrating north.
A real smile arises from your own personal joy. A photographer must get the subject to think about subjects that make them happy. That's why a pre-session consultation is important. During a consultation it's easy to discover the makes them smile naturally. Perhaps it is their families or their hobbies. You'll spot the genuine smile while talking with them. Just make notes and use the subjects when you photograph them. A trick I use is to ask them to tell me the name of the person they have just been talking about; invariably it brings a smile not only to their mouth, but the eyes smile, also.

Remember what Tyra Banks demonstrated where the eyes were smiling and not necessarily was it a big teeth smile to be a real smile.

After a while you will be able to get more than just the Duchenne smile but maybe all the 275 smiles that Tyra eluded to. Most research shows more than 50 types of smiles.

Tommy Bassett, tri-founder of enjoying visit to El Aguila, Mexico to meet with the coffee growers.
Aaron Sorkin, "The West Wing" had Leo say to Bartlett "Act as if ye have faith, and faith shall be given to you. To put it another way, fake it till you make it." It might just be a biblical principle. The writer of Hebrews 13:7 says, "Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith."

The windows to your soul are your eyes so learn to smile with them and not just your mouth, because people are drawn to people who exude happiness.

To many people a smile in a photograph is like location in real estate – it is the most important part of the deal.