‘Facial Expressions’ A Visual Reference for Artists by Mark Simon – Book Review

Facial Expressions, Visual Reference, Artist, Mark Simon, Book, Front CoverFacial Expressions‘ is primarily intended for the audience of artists as a drawing tool.

That is, artists use this paper bound text’s hundreds and hundreds of expressive head shot photos to create drawings, cartoons, etc.

As a Photographer, I’m always on the look out for ways to draw out expression and emotion in my images for added interest and context to my poses.

For me, ‘Facial Expressions‘ is used with clients and new models to demonstrate visually a range of emotions and expressions which are possible as a way of helping my subjects expand their emotional range in front of my camera.

It often seems folks come in and are like, “I’m looking pretty and smiling, … You want more?!?!?” 

Facial Expressions, Artists, Adult, White, Female, Head Shots

Click to view full size

As photographers we will run into this.  I get it a great deal with fresh young pretty models … seems this pattern has served well to this point…

The contents of ‘Facial Expressions‘ is pretty much 16 black and white photos per page, arranged in a four up, four across pattern.

There are models of various genders, skin types and ages, with content arranged by age of models, from younger to older.

There are also few special sections with images of couples, things like models wearing sports head-gear, etc…  While these sections may be of use to the sketch artist, they are of less use to me as a photographer.

Models are not particularly model looking.  They are Joe and Jane Blow.  They are not necessarily or usually made up pretty.

Facial Expressions, Adult Blonde WomanThis is an 11″ x 9″ x 0.75″, 256 page book of Facial Expressions.  Not pretty models.  Not hot models.  Not great posing.  Just many many Expressions.

Each model gets a few pages where they show a range of expressions, from silly, scary, you name it.   Perhaps some you cannot name as well….

There are really no discernible rhyme nor reason for the expressions nor their arrangements.

For me as a photographer, arrangement by expression type would have been much more useful.

So I could have found just the happy look I needed, etc.

Still, this is one book with lots and lots of all kinds of expressions.  For a wideness of variety of expressions in one compact package, it’s not bad.

Facial Expressions, Visual Reference, Rear CoverIf you desire an inexpensive ($10-$15 used to new on Amazon) uncategorized book of expression photos, this could work for you.

To use this book:

  • Just thumb through
  • Find expressions you like
  • Direct your subjects to imitate the look …

Then shoot, shoot, shoot…

Click here, to check out ‘Facial Expressions’ on Amazon.

For other posing guide books also consider:

Posing Techniques for Glamour Photography ” by Rolando Gomez, for review click here.

Posing for Portrait Photography“, by Jeff Smith, for review click here.

Or my favorite, “Posing for the Camera” by Shepard and Meyer, for review click here.


For a listing of Books Reviewed on GlamourPhotography.co, click here.

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