How do i get myself (subject) to not have "dead eyes"

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by ph0toe, Apr 7, 2021.

  1. ph0toe

    ph0toe TPF Noob!

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    i guess this is more personal than skills, but no matter how i photograph myself with self timer or have someone else do it i always have dead eyes. its very unflattering and no amount of camera skills can fix that. i smile, i turn to side i do everything and nothing is fixing it. any idea?


     
  2. wfooshee

    wfooshee No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For myself, I have no idea what you mean by dead eyes...
     
  3. smoke665

    smoke665 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    One word "light". Either supplemental flash or a reflector.
     
  4. Soocom1

    Soocom1 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Would have to see an example.
     
  5. adamhiram

    adamhiram No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's all about the catchlight in the eyes, that's what often gives them that sparkle. Whatever the light source, its reflection in the subject's eyes will give them more life, and is probably what you are looking for.

    Using some of my own examples:
    • This is a studio portrait where the catchlight is from a strobe in an octobox used as the key light.
    • In this example, the subject is facing a large bay window, which you can see reflected in the eyes.
    I hope this helps!
     
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  6. Jeff15

    Jeff15 TPF junkie!

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    Have you a shot we can look at..??
     
  7. SquarePeg

    SquarePeg hear me roar Staff Member Supporting Member

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    You need to smize- smile with your eyes. think about something you like and make your eyes twinkle. It’s a skill.
     
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  8. JBPhotog

    JBPhotog No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can also add a catchlight in post, if that helps the dead eyes look.
     
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  9. PJM

    PJM TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Can you demo that for us? :1247:
     
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  10. weepete

    weepete TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    A couple of tricks that do work, you'll want to smile so as your eyes wrinkle a little, that helps. Another tip is to think of one of your best memories and let yourself smile. Sounds daft, but it really works, you can even practise it off camera. Interestingly it also changes your voice in a subtle way that other people can tell, even with no visual cues. Get that and catchlights you should be good.
     
  11. wfooshee

    wfooshee No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I used to have the hardest time with one of my stepdaughters. She'd taken dance, and had that posed, pasted-on smile down pat. "Smile for the picture!" and nothing, just teeth. No glow, no eyes, not even cheeks, hardly. it was a grimace, not a smile!

    I'm just adding this to point out that a genuine smile includes the entire face, and especially the eyes. It has to be real to do that.

    It may be that all you are missing is catchlights in the eyes. An example would certainly help!
     
  12. nokk

    nokk No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    you need catchlights in the eyes. if you make them look too glassy then you'll just look high or demonic, so don't overdo it. if you don't have them, or want to strengthen existing catchlights, you can add/increase them in with the dodge tool, or in photoshop use a white brush on a new layer and play with the layer blending modes & opacity. overlay is usually good to start with.
     

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