Skip to content
Home » Photography Tips and Guides » 9 Tips for Photographing Eyes: How to Capture Emotion in Your Images

9 Tips for Photographing Eyes: How to Capture Emotion in Your Images

Do your eyes ever feel like windows to your soul? This is because our eyes are one of the most expressive features on our face. They can portray a whole range of emotions, from happiness and love, to sadness and anger. If you want to learn how to photograph eyes properly, then read on! In this blog post, we will give you 9 tips that will help you capture the emotion in your images.

Conveying Emotion Through The Eyes

The eyes are one of the most important facial features when it comes to conveying emotion. When we see someone , we usually look at their eyes first. This is because our eyes can convey a whole range of emotions, from happiness and love, to sadness and anger. If you want to learn how to photograph eyes properly, then you need to know how to capture this emotion in your images.

Here are some tips that will help you do just that:

1. Make Sure Eyes Are In Focus

Photographers often strive for sharp, in-focus images. To achieve this, most cameras offer an autofocus feature. However, sometimes the autofocus system isn’t accurate, resulting in blurred or fuzzy photos. In these cases, photographers can make autofocus microadjustments to fine-tune the camera’s focus.

However, there are some situations where making autofocus adjustments isn’t ideal. For instance, if the subject is moving, it’s unlikely that the autofocus will be able to lock onto the subject long enough to take a sharp photo. Additionally, making too many microadjustments can result in the autofocus getting “confused” and becoming less accurate overall. As a result, it’s important to know how to focus manually.

2. Avoiding The Red-Eye Effect

The human eye is one of the most beautiful and complex structures in the natural world. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the most challenging subjects to photograph. One of the biggest problems faced by photographers is the “red-eye effect.” This occurs when light from the flash reflects off of the blood vessels in the eye, resulting in a eerie, inhuman appearance.

There are a few simple steps that can be taken to avoid this problem. First, try to take photos in rooms that are well-lit. This will help to reduce the amount of light that is needed from the flash, and will also minimize the risk of reflections. Second, ask your subject to look away from the camera before you take the photo. This will give you a chance to focus on the eyes without having to worry about the red-eye effect. Finally, if you are using a flash, try to position it so that it is not pointing directly at the eyes.

3. Capturing The Right Eye Position In Frame

Eyes are said to be the windows to the soul, so it’s no wonder that photographs of eyes are some of the most compelling images we see. But how do you make sure you capture the right eye position in your photo? Here are a few tips:

  1. Compose your shot so that the eyes are positioned near the center of the frame. You can use the rule of thirds as a guide, but don’t be afraid to experiment.
  2. Once you have your composition set, it’s time to focus on the eyes. If possible, use a shallow depth of field to blur the background and make the eyes stand out.
  3. Finally, pay attention to the direction of the eyes. Eyes that are looking into the camera are said to be more “engaging” than those that are looking away.

4. Catchlights

The key to capturing a great photo of someone’s eyes is to create catchlights. Catchlights are tiny reflections of light that appear in the eyes. They help to bring out the color and texture of the iris, and they also make the eyes look bright and alive.

To create catchlights, you need to position your subject so that there is a light source behind them. The light can be natural or artificial, but it needs to be bright enough to create a reflection. You should also experiment with different angles to find the best way to capture the catchlights in your subject’s eyes.

5. Making Eye Contact With The Model

One of the most important things to remember when photographing eyes is to make eye contact with your subject. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to get caught up in the technical aspects of photography and forget about the importance of connecting with your subject.

Making eye contact will help to create a rapport with your subject, and it will also make them feel more comfortable in front of the camera. Additionally, making eye contact will help you to better understand the emotions your subject is feeling, which will in turn help you to capture those emotions in your photos.

6. Enhancing Eyes With Makeup

Enhancing eyes with makeup is a great way to make them stand out in photographs. Here are some tips on how to do it:

  1. First, apply a thin layer of foundation or concealer over the entire eye area. This will help to even out the skin tone and create a smooth base for the rest of the makeup.
  2. Next, use an eyeshadow primer to help the color stay in place and prevent creasing.
  3. Then, apply a light-colored eyeshadow to the entire eyelid, up to the brow bone.
  4. For a more dramatic look, use a darker shade in the crease of the eyelid. Finally, add definition by lining the eyes with eyeliner and applying mascara.

7. Giving Direction To The Model

When it comes to photographing eyes, it’s all about giving the right direction to your model. Depending on the look you’re going for, you’ll want to adjust both your camera angle and your model’s gaze. For a more intense stare, have your model look slightly above the camera lens.

This will cause their eyes to widen and their pupils to dilate, giving the photo a more dramatic effect. If you’re going for a softer look, have your model lower their gaze so that their lashes are just grazing the top of their irises. This will create a more gentle and romantic look. No matter what style you’re going for, making sure your model is comfortable and relaxed is key to getting a great photo. Have them take breaks often, and make sure to chat with them between shots to keep the mood light.

8. Using The Right Lighting

By using the right lighting, you can give your photos of eyes a dramatic and captivating look. One way to add interest to your photos is to use backlighting. This involves positioning your subject so that the light source is behind them, creating a halo effect around the edges of the iris.

Another option is to use sidelighting, which entails placing your subject so that the light hits them from the side. This can create shadows that highlight the uniqueness of each person’s eyeball. Finally, you can use a flash to add a bright burst of light to your photo. By experiment with different lighting techniques, you can create a variety of looks that will add interest and emotion to your photos.

9. Capturing Reflections In The Iris

One key is to capture the reflections in the iris. The iris is the colored part of the eye, and it contains tiny muscles that control the size of the pupil. The pupil is the black circle in the center of the iris, and it changes size to regulate the amount of light that enters the eye. When light hits the iris, it reflects off of the surface and creates a beautiful shimmering effect.

To photograph this, you’ll need to use a reflector. A reflector is a piece of white or silver material that reflects light back onto the subject. By holding a reflector under the eye, you can bounce light back up into the iris and create a stunning effect.


By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to capturing beautiful and emotional photos of eyes. Remember to experiment with different techniques to find the look that you’re going for. And most importantly, have fun!