The Squinch. Master it and you will always look great in pictures.
— Me
Am I scared in this picture (left)? No. Do I look scared? Yes. Yes, I do. Enter the "squinch" (right).

Am I scared in this picture (left)? No. Do I look scared? Yes. Yes, I do. Enter the "squinch" (right).

My husband mastered the squinch between conference calls. It is easy with a visual reference and a little practice, and the results can be dramatic!

My husband mastered the squinch between conference calls. It is easy with a visual reference and a little practice, and the results can be dramatic!

The Squinch, which is NOT a squint....

A photographer I admire, Peter Hurley, once said that "confidence comes from the eyes, and so does fear."  The squinch (also his term)  should be in every person's photographic tool kit, whether they are in front of or behind the lens, because with a tiny flick of your eye muscles, you can turn fear into confidence. Once you're familiar with what it is, flip through any magazine anywhere and you'll see that virtually every person in every picture is "squinching." It's the look you get when you see something that intrigues you, or the "thousand yard stare" a professional gets when s/he's mulling over a next course of action.
 
Here it is in a nutshell: many people, unsure of what to do, freeze in front of a camera, like a deer in headlights. Many also try to cover the fact that they don't know what to do by trying to arrange their features into some semblance of a "neutral" and hopefully not UN-attractive expression. I am guilty of this myself! But here's a tip. We're not fooling anybody.

Enter the Squinch, shown above.  Pull those little muscles beneath your eyes closer together, like you're tightening your shoes. A hint more of a smile from me would have warmed this look up better, but that’s the problem with selfies - you can’t really see yourself. YOU, on the other hand, will have ME to give you a little nudge this way or that, as necessary.  The point is not to look sinister, but rather engaged…and intrigued. As a wise person once said,

Intrigued people are always intriguing.
— Also Me

Always resist the urge to jut your chin up and out (my husband is doing this in his before picture and many many many people do this by default). Chin down and forward is best.
 

I'll be there to guide you, and you may already do these things naturally - some lucky souls actually do. But now you are familiar with the concept and the "lingo" and that way, our communication during the shoot will be clear and easy.

Some recently successful Squinchers of mine - if they can do it, so can you: