Helpful Hint – Eyes

Let’s talk about eyes in photos. If you don’t already know you will soon learn that eyes can make or break a shot.

Keep your eyes in the frame.

Photographer – Dawn Hilldebrand, Designer – Trash by Tony

I love this photo but I don’t love how my eyes are focus so far to the side. All you see is a whole lot of white. If I had focused a little closer to the camera then you could see the iris and pupil. Having a bit more color in the eye minimizes the creepy factor as well as creates, connection and depth.

Keeping your eyes in the frame is not as easily done as one might think. It is actually quite easy when looking away from camera to look too far away. In this case less is more.


The rings around the camera above will help you visualize where your eyes are in the frame.

  • Section 1 is direct eye contact. This is probably the easiest ways to make a direct connection with the camera. It can make a powerful statement.
  • Section 2 may appear as direct eye contact or as just slightly off. Like when someone is looking at your ear instead of your face. Be careful when looking in this section as it can make you look distracted or unfocused. Really great f you are going for “dead” eyes.
  • Section 3 you are clearly not making eye contact but you are still connected to the camera. Its like something just behind the camera caught your attention.
  • Section 4 you are clearly not trying to connect to the camera with your eyes but you are not too far away either. This is where the picture will become more autonomous rather than inclusive with the viewer.
  • Section 5 the “look away” or “far off look”. Here your eyes are clearly moving to the periphery of the frame. Again autonomous as if the photographer is looking in from the outside.
  • Beyond section 5 you begin to enter the white eyeball stage. Not always bad but certainly something to be mindful of.

Each and every stage has its uses depending on the look you want. Be come comfortable finding the different sections to increase your looks and adaptability.

Quick Exercise – Selfies

Start by facing the camera (your phone should do fine) take a picture looking directly into the camera (not the screen if you are using your phone).  Now, without moving your head shift your eyes a little in one direction. Take another picture. Continue to shift your eyes further over with out moving your head. Take pictures at different intervals. Remember how far away you were looking from the camera when you study the pictures. This will give you an idea as to the whereabouts of those sections around our camera.

Modification – same concept but this time start with your face at a different angle to the camera. Use the same method as above, not moving your head just shifting your eyes. Remember the sections are just based on your eyes not where your face is in relation to the camera.


One thought on “Helpful Hint – Eyes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s