How to Prevent Lazy Eyes in Pictures
A photographer’s biggest responsibility is capturing their clients looking pretty and confident.
If you can’t achieve the confidence part, chances are, the clients won’t be happy.
People with lazy eyes are sometimes insecure about how their eyes look in portraits.
And while it’s a genetic condition that they can’t do much about, a photographer can always do something to change it.
Whether by adjusting the picture’s angle or editing the photo, you can make a lazy eye seem more natural.
If you want to know how to prevent lazy eyes in pictures, you landed on the right page! But first, let’s understand what lazy eyes are.
Lazy Eye in a Nutshell
Unless you have a medical background, you probably don’t know what lazy eyes mean.
All you know is that they may look awkward in some portraits, and that’s understandable.
Well, to make it simple, a lazy eye is a medical condition that causes one eye to drift outward or inward, while the other eye is stationary.
That eye has a naturally reduced vision than the other, and it can eventually suffer complete vision loss.
A lazy eye can only be treated during childhood if it’s diagnosed early. Unfortunately, when a person matures with it, there’s little left to do.
More often than not, it’s a genetic condition, but it can also happen due to trauma, different vision levels in both eyes, and corneal ulcers.
It’s curable in some cases and incurable in others.
Why You Should Try to Prevent Lazy Eyes in Pictures
Although they don’t necessarily have to be insecure about it, most people with a lazy eye prefer that it doesn’t appear in their pictures.
A lazy eye can squint uncomfortably when the flash goes off, resulting in an unbalanced photo.
It’ll also cause both eyes to appear uneven, which can make the client feel uncomfortable with the picture taken.
Additionally, a lazy eye can cause a head to appear tilted when it’s not.
In all cases, it messes with the output of your photograph, and some people ask specifically not to make it show.
Most of the time, your client won’t know what to do to prevent the lazy eye. That’ll be left to you, so here’s how to do that.
How to Prevent Lazy Eye in Pictures
While a lazy eye may not be curable in some cases, you can always learn how to hide it in pictures.
There are some methods to make it look natural or to give an illusion that it’s normally resting rather than drifting inward.
Here are four different methods by which you can prevent lazy eyes in pictures.
A well-planned head tilt can make a world of difference when it comes to a lazy eye.
While a lazy eye drifts on its own accord, tilting the client’s head while capturing the photo will make it seem like it’s in line with the other eye.
For example, you can rest your camera in its position, then ask the client to tilt their head away from the camera, keeping their eyes focused on it.
Of course, the lazy eye would be the one away from the camera.
This position only shows the lazy eye partially, which may make your client more comfortable with it.
Changing the Focus
A lazy eye may take a few seconds before it drifts away.
When your client looks into the lens, the eye will start drifting until it settles. However, in the first couple of seconds, when they focus on the lens, the eye will look normal.
You can always use that to your advantage by changing the focus.
The way it goes, you let the client take their position comfortably and rest your camera where it should be.
Instead of looking directly at the lens, the client should focus their eyes elsewhere. Then, just when you’re about to capture the photo, tell them to return their eyes to the lens.
Take the picture as fast as you can so the lazy eye doesn’t have enough time to drift away.
That may be a bit tricky depending on the lazy eye condition. If it’s drifting outwards, tell your client to focus on the exact center of the lens.
On the other hand, if it’s drifting inwards, it’s better if they don’t focus entirely on the center of the lens.
It’d be better to converse with the client beforehand to know what they’re comfortable with.
You can even hold a handheld mirror to their faces and let them experiment with a few positions first.
With that being said, make sure to traverse around the topic slightly at first.
You don’t want to insult them if they want their lazy eye to appear in their picture normally.
Changing the Angle
When the subject of the picture is sitting in front of the camera and staring at it, the lazy eye will be more obvious than ever.
It’ll be glaring at the lens, so there will be no way to hide it.
If you change the angle of your camera or the angle of the subject, you’ll prevent the lazy eye from making an unwanted appearance.
To do so, move the camera to catch the client from an angle that doesn’t show the lazy eye. For example, if their lazy eye is the right one, capture your photo from their left side.
Even if they’re focusing both of their eyes on the lens, the lazy eye won’t appear because of the angle.
You can also use the focus trick with this one to achieve a perfect photo.
Set the angle of your camera, then ask the client to direct their eyes to the lens only when you count to three.
The lazy eye won’t have enough time to drive before you capture the photo, so it’ll come out looking natural.
Editing the Photo
If you already took your photo and there’s nothing you can change, you can always resort to editing it.
Although it’s not ideal, you can resort to Photoshop to clone the correct eye or opt for another editing method.
In all cases, you’ll edit the lazy eye out of the picture.
Of course, you’ll have to ask your client first to make sure they’re comfortable with editing their photo.
To edit a lazy eye out of a picture, you have two choices: either adjust the eye on Photoshop, so it matches the other one, or if this is not possible because of the angle, you can try eye cloning.
We’ll be honest with you; eye cloning isn’t the ideal editing option because it may end up looking unnatural.
However, if you know your way around Photoshop and know how to do it, it’ll hopefully turn out alright.
All you have to do is search for a picture of an eye that resembles your client’s eyes. Then, edit the new eye and adjust it over the client’s floating eye.
Afterward, make the necessary adjustments and tweak its color to look exactly like the other one, and you’re done.
Now that you know how to prevent lazy eyes in pictures, you’ll hopefully make your client comfortable with their new photographs!
Remember to talk with them first to know what they’re comfortable with. Some clients will prefer to leave their lazy eyes intact in the photo.
In that case, you don’t have to do more than adjusting the angle to get the best out of the photo.