woman holding placard with drawn cartoon smile in red over her mouth

Did you know that instead of saying “cheese” when you smile for the camera you should actually say “money”? Your Fort Collins family dentist knows you’ve been working on keeping your smile in tip-top shape, so here are some tips on how to keep it looking natural when you turn it on for the camera. Say “money”!


  • Goof off.


You’re almost always smiling when you’re being silly, and it never looks like one of those fake cheese smiles. You can make motorboat sounds with your lips, sing, do a silly dance, whatever it takes to get you to relax and forget that there is a camera there. You’ll get great pics of your silly self smiling your best.

  • Let your face and jaw muscles relax.


We often clench our facial muscles, and even more so when we’re trying to pretend we’re smiling naturally. Take a moment to consciously unclench the muscles in your face and jaw and let them relax. Then smile. Now it really looks like you!


  • Think about something that makes you laugh or makes you happy.


This is one of the oldest tricks in the book to get photography subjects to smile naturally. Thinking about things that make you laugh or make you happy will naturally bring a winsome smile to your face. Then your photographer can get the perfect pic!


  • Close your eyes.


Well, open them again for the picture. But especially if you’re feeling nervous or anxious, take a few seconds to relax. Take a couple of deep breaths. Close your eyes to help you compose yourself. When you open them, it’ll be a lot easier for a more natural smile to play across your lips.


  • Don’t say “cheese”.


If you say “money” instead, the word helps your lips form a more natural smile. “Cheese” doesn’t give you a natural smile at all. We’re still trying to figure out where that one came from, too. And, the thought of money makes almost everyone smile.


  • Ask the photographer (or anyone there with you) to tell a joke.


We smile easily when we laugh, and it’s always a natural smile. This is in the same vein as doing something silly. Triggering a laugh can almost always trigger a smile too. Even if the joke is really groan-worthy, it will still get you going in the right direction for a nice, natural smile.


  • Imagine that someone you like is taking your picture.


Imagining that someone you like is behind the camera can almost always get you to smile happily and naturally in that direction. It can be anyone, even if they’re not real: a cartoon character works just as well as anyone else if it makes you smile! 


That’s all we’ve got for smiling tips for today. Which one always works for you? Do you have a favorite or a go-to? Do you have any tips or tricks to share with us? We’d love it if you shared them with us. At your Fort Collins family dentist, we do our best to give you the perfect smile. Contact us today to book your next appointment. We look forward to seeing you!