Well, seems that the buzz word is out and Mr. Peter Hurley my partner and associate has a technique all of us Ph2 pro photographers love and use on all of our head shots. Peter hurley really gave Tira banks a run for her money. Well, truth be told all professional models and actors have known about the “smize” and now newly named “squinch” for many years now. But as a headshot photographer here in Los Angeles the world of models and actors you’d be surprised that not too many know about the squinch at all.
The crazy thing is that the word squinch in my opinion sort of minimizes the strong impact the squinch really offers to my head shots. Everyone sees the difference immediately once I teach them the technique. “The jaw” is another technique that makes or breaks a headshot and once you see the difference you’ll never NOT use it in any photograph. More on the jaw in another blog article, back to the squinch.
I like to refer to let’s just say George Clooney. He is one of the best squinchers around in the hollywood elite. Pay attention to all of the stars on the red carpet during award season (yes there is a season for that). I’d say 90% of the A listers have been taught to squinch or smize in one shape or form. They are coached on how to stand with the correct body position according to the line of the dress and body type etc. And they’r taught to squinch. Now up till now it’s been called smizing by Ms. tara banks, but I think Peter Hurley is on to something by calling it the Squinch. I think the Smize has been trumped by the Squinch.
The confidence and not to mention the cool factor the squinch gives you in your headshots is amazing. Look at my clients before and after below on this squinch blog. The normal so,so head shot that any other ordinary photographer without the proper PH2 associate training would say, “yeah that’s a good shot”. The “after” contains the squinch and the SHABANG factor to the image and now you got a cool factor turned up to level 11. There is a night and day difference to the energy of the head shot. It technique looks easier than it really is. Squinching takes time and practice. But under my care or a PH2 professional, you’ll be squinching in your photos for the rest of your life. I promise you.
It never surprises me when I get the “wows” and the OMG’s when I show my clients their head shots for the first time. Their jaws are agape and just can’t believe the difference a few coaching techniques make. This sometimes is life altering and gives me so much pleasure. I always get the “I’m not photogenic” answer. I love to prove those people wrong.
The reason (just on the surface) I feel the label or fad name “squinch” sort of minimizes the impact it makes to my clients head shots. Is because I see it every day where some people cannot believe their eyes. They have never seen themselves that way. Some actually cry. I just stay quiet and let them process what they see. It really is a moment. A moment I look forward to having because up till now (knock on wood) everyone reacts in a similar way. That to me makes my job the best job in the world. I never thought that what I do would make that much of an impact in peoples lives. They all enter my studio as a client, but they all leave as a new found friend. It’s amazing once that moment hits, how a perfectly good stranger can just open up to me and trust me with some very personal stuff. That’s when I just stop and listen.
I love what I do. I am so very lucky. That I am blessed with a gift that involves a level of human connection that exceeds the images I capture. What I capture is more than just the best dang ol portrait. No, it develops and creates a friendship and a confidence that cannot be replicated by none other than me. That essentially is what differentiates me with any other photographer.