Why do people INSIST you smile for pictures?

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
802 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2015 - Backyard Forest

You can definitely tell the difference between a fake smile and a genuine one, so if you don’t feel comfortable getting your photos taken, you’ll probably never capture a genuine smile shot unless it’s candid and you’re not expecting it. 

I love smiling photos, but not if they look over posed and fake. 

I think the biggest teller of a fake smile is the eyes – you have to smile with your eyes too! The classic Tyra Banks smize!

Post # 5
2429 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

I guess I feel opposite on this situation. I always smile for pictures, and think pictures of people not smiling look really awkward. 

Maybe it depends on your family and friend group? All of our family pictures have everyone smiling.

Post # 6
8678 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

So, I randomly googled.


This is not welcoming or warm:









However, this is:




There is a reason why happiness is associated with smiling.

Post # 7
8282 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

I can’t stand when people feel you must smile showing your teeth all the time. I rarely show my teeth in pictures only cuz I feel it looks less natural & posed. 

Post # 8
65 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

When I used to photography children for a living, it was SO irritating that most parents ONLY wanted photos of their children smiling. I can understand having some, because it’s nice to see your children happy, and smiling is cute…but non-smiling, serious faces with big huge eyes are SO cute too!

Post # 9
11300 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

@Hyperventilate:  For sure. I look awful when I try to smile unnaturally. DH says that I look like I’m wearing someone’s skin, but that my natural smile makes my face light up. It’s hard to get a good natural smile in forced situations. Tell him that, if he wants you to smile, he needs to help you out by giving you a reason to.

Post # 10
1881 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Ummmm because people like pictures of happy people? I don’t want pictures of moody or angry people, or people trying to look like Vogue models. I want pictures of the people I love looking happy. 

Post # 11
2878 posts
Sugar bee

I hate to smile in pictures. This doesn’t mean I pout or look angry or sad. I just prefer my neutral face to my unnatural, way-too-toothish smile. I use the half-smile, mouth closed when I really have to. So it looks cute without being overly forced. 

Post # 14
2878 posts
Sugar bee

@Schrodingers-Car:  The problem is, when I smile, not only do you see all my teeth, but my upper lip doesn’t cover my upper gum (is that the correct word in English ?), and it has been something I’ve been really self-conscious about ever since I’m a kid. So I really don’t like my pictures taken for that reason. But people don’t think about that when they urge me to smile in a photo, they don’t get how embarrassed I feel. So most of the time I just escape the picture frame and try to laugh it off, saying ”I don’t want the picture to steal my soul !” (just like they used to believe in the 19th century I think). My worst fear is having pictures of me on Facebook. My friends and family know they are not allowed to put any of me on their pages. 

Post # 15
919 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Schrodingers-Car:  Haha I actually really want to get this “Don’t tell me to smile” shirt http://jezebel.com/5988938/we-need-this-dont-tell-me-to-smile-sweatshirt

I never understood forced smiles in pictures either. In school pictures when we’d have to say cheese and the photo was taken, I’d freaking look like I was grimacing as I was saying “cheese”…just looked awful and I don’t get why cheese is a photo word lol.


I also don’t like smiling in pictures (unless I’m genuinely happy, though I love making goofy faces) because the way I grew up, my mom was always taking us places and taking loads of pictures, like ten shots of the same pose until you got it right, you had to look perfect to make up for the fact that we were actually a really dysfunctional family. I also was abused by someone as a child who freaking took a picture of me while we were alone in a bedroom and he kept urging me to smile (what a creep!) and another time he made me sign a picture of me (he wanted me to write him a freaking message but I just signed my name) that he kept hidden in his drawer (he was married). So that whole custom just rubs me the wrong way. Going a little off-topic but as I got older I’d get men on the street telling me things like “smile, beautiful” and all that stuff and it would really disturb me because it just brought back really bad memories.

Sometimes I still get frustrated with my parents when they try to get me to smile for pictures. I’ll smile with my mouth closed and that’s the wrong way to smile, I have to show my teeth and everything and if I’m smiling while making a goofy face then I didn’t do it right and it just really annoys me, I much prefer candid photos. Also, I’ve never had good teeth so being pressured to show my teeth in a smile for a photo just pains me.




Post # 16
9412 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

@vorpalette:  +1, exactly. If you say, “smile!” to me then I will proceed to glare at you. My man knows this and rather than asking me to do something fake and unnatural (that I won’t do anyway), he does or says something funny to capture real smiles.

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