Tips + Techniques

Peter Hurley Talks Portrait Tips with Tamara Lackey [RF Video of the Week]

May 16, 2014

By RF Staff

Portrait photographer Peter Hurley sat down with Tamara Lackey for Adorama TV to chat about how he got into portrait photography and what lead him to discover the art of squinching, which eventually materialized into a squinching video that blew up online last year.

Hurley actually started off as a model, or as he puts it in the video, "the model/actor/bartender guy," so taking photos of models came naturally when he wanted to explore photography because he already had the established connections he needed with various agencies.

After photographing a friend and proving himself worthy of shooting portraits and headshots, he won over access to the models he needed to build his portfolio, but he came across a bit of a hurdle: every time a model looked straight into his lens, they looked "weird," Hurley says.

Eventually realizing he needed to ease them into a flattering look with direction, Hurley has since learned that it's all in the eyes, even understanding which muscles of the face are responsible for that special "SHABANG"-able squinch (not to be confused with a squint). He even used his method on some of us in the office!

Hurley offers more portraiture and headshot advice on his tip website,

Check out our other Videos of the Week, and email Libby Peterson with submissions.