Ever since we were all just wee babies, we’ve been learning to recognize facial expressions. It’s a critical part of social living. You’d think that all that practice would mean that we’re now experts in the field. False.
What we know is skewed by both our personal experience and specific cultural norms. It may have not have been a full and accurate representation of universal aspects of expression. Bummer.
Since the majority of people have never taken the time to learn about this involuntary display of emotion, and how to recognize the small subtleties that respresent the difference between one expression and the other, we’re all pretty much newbies. Most people still manage to live happy, productive lives, despite this handicap. Photographers, on the other hand, are at a serious disadvantage if they don’t start to study facial expressions. It is arguably one of the most important things to understand if you do any sort of people photography.