Portrait Tip: Bring Your Subject’s Smaller Eye Closer to the Camera

Here’s a quick and simple tip for better portraits by Reddit user rmx_:

Everyone has a lazy eye. By that, I mean one eye is always smaller and/or more closed than the other eye. In some people, it is very easy to spot; in others, nearly impossible. The “beautiful people” have more symmetrical faces, but still, one eye will open more than the other. (Denzel Washington has one of the most I have seen […])

[…] here is the tip: get the smaller/lazier eye slightly closer to the camera. Oh, and don’t tell the person what you’re looking at their eyes for! You’ll make them self conscious. Simply ask them to look at your finger and move their head to follow it, and then guide them left or right as necessary. Chances are, the movement needed will not be so much that you have to adjust your lights.

You can read more about how facial symmetry relates to beauty in this Wikipedia article.

(via Reddit)

Image credit: Man portrait by Yuri Samoilov

  • Richard

    That’s an excellent piece of advice, thanks.

  • Paul

    that’s not always the right thing to do. depending on the shape of the eye, the farther eye may be accentuated by revealing the more rounded side (nose-side).

  • Alan Dove

    This is just one of several asymmetries that we all have, even the beautiful people. For example, one eyebrow is higher and/or more sharply arched than the other, and one side of the smile goes higher – frequently the same side as the high eyebrow. I’m not sure that putting the smaller eye closer is always going to be the right choice. It does sound like a reasonable rule of thumb, but always remember that every face is different.