Photography is about a lot of things, and many of them are technical. But the one element of photography that everyone can see immediately, and can judge for themselves, is expression. A winning smile, broad and happy, is always a favorite. One can hardly go wrong with a smile. Nor can one go wrong with what, among photographers, is called a composed expression. This is when the person looks deeply into the camera with soulful eyes, a strong chin, and perhaps a trace of a smile on their lips. The effect this produces is one of confidence and presence. Mothers love their children deeply and desire always to feel close to them. And so mothers want images they show their children smiling and happy. Mothers also believe in their children, that their children can face anything that life brings their way. So mothers also want images that show their children as strong and kind and confident, all at the same time. And this is what a composed expression shows to mothers. As in this senior portrait of Tyler. His eyes are deep and strong. His hint of a smile is winsome. He looks ready to meet the world in the way in which he was raised—with kindness and courage. No wonder that the composed expression, among photographers, is also called the forever expression. The expression on the person’s face looks like they’re ready for whatever forever. And what could warm a mother’s heart more than that?
Tom Launius, CPP