How to nail a perfect smile in every photo

Gone are the days when stiff and straight-faced was the only acceptable look in a corporate portrait. Smiles are in but how do we get them looking their beamiest, brightest and most genuine?

Here are a couple of tricks to give you the open smile of exactly the kind of person people would like to do business with:

Drop the “Cheese” – we’ve all heard it a million times but saying “cheese” creates a falsely wide, tight smile. Say “Money” instead and your smile will be softer. You’re trying it right now, aren’t you?

Push your tongue up – if you prefer a closed mouth smile, push your tongue forward and up to the roof of your mouth. It will help keep your cheek muscles taut. 

Don’t forget the eyes – your smile may be perfectly formed but if you’re not feeling it on the outside your eyes will be an instant give away. If you are getting awkward close your eyes and open them slowly just before the picture is taken, you will look fresher and more alert.

Most important of all…

Think happy thoughts – the best way to create a natural looking smile is for it to be real, so cast your mind to favourite memories, tell a rubbish joke or stick on some music.

Now it's time, find a photographer you feel comfortable with and get your grin on.


Leigh is a London based environmental photographer, specialising in personal branding shoots and corporate headshots. No stuffy studios, just professional, natural portraits for modern entrepreneurs.