Have fun when you take those blog photos! Or, flex that orbicularis oculi!

Last night I was reading a few pages in the baby book What’s Going on in There?: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life.  I started it ages ago, but these days I only seem to be able to read about three pages a day!  The few pages in question were about “social smiling”.

Did you know that true smiling isn’t voluntary?  I didn’t!

According to the author, Lise Eliot, while you can consciously command the muscles of your mouth to smile, true smiles “involve a specific muscle that surrounds the eye, the orbicularis oculi, and movement of this muscle is entirely involuntary.”  Therefore, to truly smile you need to engage your limbic system, which essentially means you need to be amused!

I guess Tyra Banks was right when she said to smile with your eyes – smize!  I got to thinking about it, and I realized that some of my favorite blog photos were taken when I was having fun with my husband or laughing at myself while I was throwing silly poses in front of the tripod.

Sew Well - Silk jersey Renfrew bow top

Polly Tops made with Mood Fabrics silk - Sew Well

Maybe I’m flexing my orbicularis oculi here?!

Sew Well's BurdaStyle Twisted Dress in Mood's Silk Jersey

I definitely am here!

So, the take home is that you can either practice “smizing” to get those perfect blog photos or just make sure to have a bit of fun when you’re in front of the camera.

And, to me, having a bit of fun is inherently more … fun, right?  The more you know!

Anyway, I couldn’t help but share.  Also, I think I’m going to try to bring back the Science of Sewing series for at least this month and throw out a tiny little photography tip each week.  Hopefully I can think of enough tips!

What do you think?  Do you smile with your orbicularis oculi?

14 thoughts on “Have fun when you take those blog photos! Or, flex that orbicularis oculi!

  1. Hi Amy, I especially love your third photo — you’re having such fun there! Love reading about your sewing adventures; you’re sew inspiring! Would welcome some tips on photography!

  2. That’s an interesting tidbit of information! I agree some of my best photos are when someone taking the picture is making me laugh. And I’ll have to recommend that book to my sister. 🙂

  3. i think sometimes i smile while my whole body–those times when i suddenly stop and think *people must think i’m batshit crazy*…. hey, have you heard about how children learn to laugh & smile as a defense mechanism? something about us being the only life form with no other natural weapons at birth, so we learn to disarm by smiling. (i know, i remember scientific things SUPER well.)

    1. Crazy. I have to admit though that I like thinking my little one laughs and smiles because she’s happy. It’s kind of creepy to think that she might be smiling so I won’t try to eat her. Super creepy. I’ll have to look that one up!

  4. I noticed that when I take photos outdoors in historic settings I’m happier, and I think it shows. My guess is that I’m a big ol’ architecture geek so the setting naturally makes me happy/comfortable, and it distracts me from the slight anxiety of taking photos of myself. I look forward to your photo tips!

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