I love it when people share a look behind the scenes with their tips and tricks. This is one of my favorite portrait photography techniques that you may not have heard of- the squinch. It's a posing technique developed by successful model-turned-popular headshot photographer Peter Hurley. Like every posing technique, it's not one that is guaranteed to work with absolutely everyone, but I like to use it when photographing high school senior guys.
The Squinch is a very subtle tightening of the muscles around the subjects' eyes. It's not a full-on squint, but a slight lifting of the lower eyelid to create a more confident look. In the two photos below, I first instructed Bennett to give me a slight smile/serious look (photo on left), and then directed him in performing the squinch (photo on right). See the difference? It's a very small difference, but I think it takes a photo from being okay, to being great. What do you think?
Pro-tip: I also like to call this look the smolder.