Photos of Facial Expressions

Facial Expression Photos

Some of the world's best works of fine art- not to mention cartoons and comics- stand out because they're brimming with expression. We are far more likely to respond to and connect with faces that mirror real emotions.

Back when I used to doodle, I would reference others' drawings, as well as photos, to find facial expressions that matched the emotions I wanted my subjects to depict. Sometimes it was hard to find a good match, since most basic facial expression reference guides only feature the basics: happy, sad, angry, relaxed, tired, and normal.

While I have moved on to other forms of artistic expression, I've still maintained a strong interest in facial expressions, so as I've been editing videos of myself talking (an excruciating and awkward experience, I assure you), I've snagged screenshots of particularly interesting or strange ones.

Over the months, I've amassed quite the collection, and it only just occurred to me that I should share them as a reference guide. I hope you find them to be useful!

Also, I'm putting all these photos under a Creative Commons Attribution license, so you're free to use them so long as you name me as your source and link back to this page.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
"Heheheh" faceGrossed out faceHar-de-har har face"Watch out, kids" faceOverly pompous faceDisdainful and disgusted facePeaceful faceHorrified and emotional faceFace saying "FUUUUUUUU#K"
"Heheheh" face
"Heheheh" face | Source
Grossed out face
Grossed out face | Source
Har-de-har har face
Har-de-har har face | Source
"Watch out, kids" face
"Watch out, kids" face | Source
Overly pompous face
Overly pompous face | Source
Disdainful and disgusted face
Disdainful and disgusted face | Source
Peaceful face
Peaceful face | Source
Horrified and emotional face
Horrified and emotional face | Source
Face saying "FUUUUUUUU#K"
Face saying "FUUUUUUUU#K" | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
"I am impersonating a turtle" faceDoubtful faceFOR THE WIN faceOld person scrutinizing something face"He shall pay for his insolence" face
"I am impersonating a turtle" face
"I am impersonating a turtle" face | Source
Doubtful face
Doubtful face | Source
FOR THE WIN face
FOR THE WIN face | Source
Old person scrutinizing something face
Old person scrutinizing something face | Source
"He shall pay for his insolence" face
"He shall pay for his insolence" face | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
"Hey look there's an elephant flying right at us" face"AND THEN WE SHALL CLEAN ALL THE THINGS" faceSurprised and doubtful faceI shall use you for my own evil purposes faceSurprised faceFace saying "sh!t!"Doubtful and slightly insulted face
"Hey look there's an elephant flying right at us" face
"Hey look there's an elephant flying right at us" face | Source
"AND THEN WE SHALL CLEAN ALL THE THINGS" face
"AND THEN WE SHALL CLEAN ALL THE THINGS" face | Source
Surprised and doubtful face
Surprised and doubtful face | Source
I shall use you for my own evil purposes face
I shall use you for my own evil purposes face | Source
Surprised face
Surprised face | Source
Face saying "sh!t!"
Face saying "sh!t!" | Source
Doubtful and slightly insulted face
Doubtful and slightly insulted face | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Fantasizing face"Why the heck not?" face"IT'S A TRAAAAP" faceSarcastic "everything is fine" faceMocking face
Fantasizing face
Fantasizing face | Source
"Why the heck not?" face
"Why the heck not?" face | Source
"IT'S A TRAAAAP" face
"IT'S A TRAAAAP" face | Source
Sarcastic "everything is fine" face
Sarcastic "everything is fine" face | Source
Mocking face
Mocking face | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
"I'm better than you" faceEye rolling face"You poor fool" face"Whatever, dude" faceSwoony face"OH! Something shiny!" faceDerpy face
"I'm better than you" face
"I'm better than you" face | Source
Eye rolling face
Eye rolling face | Source
"You poor fool" face
"You poor fool" face | Source
"Whatever, dude" face
"Whatever, dude" face | Source
Swoony face
Swoony face | Source
"OH! Something shiny!" face
"OH! Something shiny!" face | Source
Derpy face
Derpy face | Source
Click thumbnail to view full-size
Doubtful and trying not to laugh faceFrustrated faceCrazy rage faceCreepy faceHurt faceTrying not to laugh faceKind of disgusted face
Doubtful and trying not to laugh face
Doubtful and trying not to laugh face | Source
Frustrated face
Frustrated face | Source
Crazy rage face
Crazy rage face | Source
Creepy face
Creepy face | Source
Hurt face
Hurt face | Source
Trying not to laugh face
Trying not to laugh face | Source
Kind of disgusted face
Kind of disgusted face | Source

What about you?

What would YOU do with photos of your facial expressions?

  • BURN THEM!!!!!
  • Keep them private
  • Share them as a useful reference point
  • Blackmail myself with them
  • Print them and distribute them to the world (since I'm so drop dead gorgeous)
See results without voting

Hope This Helps!

I hope these (embarrassing) photos of my contorted face have been helpful. My face ain't great for many things, so at least I can use it for educational purposes!

At any rate, my body of photos of facial expressions continues to grow as I edit more videos, and I snag screenshots of new ones every week, so let me know if there is any particular facial expression I have left out that you would like to use as a reference point.

Oh, though don't ask for a photo of me stabbing myself in the face. Did that already. The blood spattered the camera lens, so no dice.

More by this Author


Comments 65 comments

Julie DeNeen profile image

Julie DeNeen 4 years ago from Clinton CT

Very cute...question though, how do you make those pictures do that thumbnail slideshow thing? I like it!


livelonger profile image

livelonger 4 years ago from San Francisco

What a great resource, Simone! I can easily imagine that lots of people would enjoy these. Maybe you can grant a CC license provided, of course, those who use them give you a link to this Hub. :)


ashish04joshi profile image

ashish04joshi 4 years ago from India

You know what, I simply love your display picture...and that 'fantasizing face' is too good!!!

And yeah, some of the thumbnails are way too awesome...who clicked them all?


Outbound Dan profile image

Outbound Dan 4 years ago from Niagara Falls, NY

Awesome and entertaining slideshow; I may have to work on writing something like that. Though, I don't think I can contort my face as much as you. I generally only have one facial expression - mild solemn amusement.


MickiS profile image

MickiS 4 years ago from San Francisco

These are awesome, Simone! Such a colorful collection of expressions. My actor friends would be proud!


snakeslane profile image

snakeslane 4 years ago from Canada

Simone, these are excellent self portraits. I would be interested to see the same series taken by some one else. My favorite is "I shall use you for my own evil purposes" face, but they are all so expressive. I do like the layout, you've demonstrated the versatility of Hub Pages photo gallery well, along with the versatility of your face! Useful, entertaining, and awesome Hub. Voted up for sure. Regards, snakeslane


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

What a unique variety of self portraits. Expressions certainly do relay a lot of information about the person. Interesting hub. voted up.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Heya Julie DeNeen! It's one of the options in the dropdown menu of the Photo Capsule. I recommend making use of it- it's a nice feature!

Thanks Livelonger- hahaa. I shall indeed amend all these photos to be CC-BY. Why not?

Hahaa, thanks ashish04joshi. Human faces sure can be amusing!

Thanks Outbound Dan! If I were to have just one facial expression, I'd definitely wan it to be mild solemn amusement. Lucky you!!

Hehee, thanks MickiS. I'm just glad to have found a way to put these screenshots to good use.

Thanks snakeslane- I think the reason these photos come out OK is that they're from video clips. It can be really hard to get good facial expressions when taking snapshots of people because as soon as you put a camera in front of someone, they get these frozen camera smiles on their faces- it's so frustrating!!!

Thank you, Pamela99! They most certainly do. I suppose my expressions reveal me to be absolutely mad. Ah well.


Haunty profile image

Haunty 4 years ago from Hungary

This is probably the most entertaining Hub I've seen. The I-shall-use-you... face is an insta-fav, with the crazy rage being a close second. I tried to figure out the expression in your avatar using this reference guide and I might be wrong, but I think it's the sarcastic, everything-is-fine face.


leroy64 profile image

leroy64 4 years ago from Dallas, Texas (Oak Cliff)

Great hub. By the way, I think there are some females around here using your last expression, the one with the caption "kind of disgusted face". At least when I talk to them. You have started a trend.


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Haunty, you're precisely right.

leroy64, there are many, many females who use that expression. I just think it's their default.


brittanytodd profile image

brittanytodd 4 years ago from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii

What a fabulous and entertaining hub, Simone! Not only are your facial expressions great, but I realized I want all of the clothes you wore! Great work.


carter06 profile image

carter06 4 years ago from Cronulla NSW

This is such an interesting thing to do...love the 'face saying f.....k photo, hope it's not after reading one of my hubs:)

Great photos by the way...up & awesome...cheers


spartucusjones profile image

spartucusjones 4 years ago from Parts Unknown

Hey, my fearless leader! I got a kick out of this! The photos of your facial expressions where truly priceless.


klarawieck 4 years ago

Simone, you, crazy, crazy girl!!! Hahaha... I've laughed my (beep) off with these photos. You should go into acting. Actors with expressive faces always take the oscars. That could explain Keanu Reeves' frustration. I have to say though, you are a very beautiful girl and can get away with making funny expressions because you still look like a pretty girl making funny expressions. Not all of us can do such things!

This was awesome. Thanks for posting and for being so natural and cool.

Klara


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

This is hilarious - I love the "peaceful" face with the storm trooper mask in the background. You have to love a person who can be peaceful in the presence of the Dark Side! I may have to print out the "Watch out, kids!" face and put it above things we don't want the kids getting into, haha!


homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 4 years ago from Texas

This was really ingenious! And fun!


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 4 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

I'm pretty sure my favorite is the "creepy" (The Shining) face, but a close runner up is all of the rest of them!

Maybe I can use my face in some horror video.

You really come up with some great ideas for hubs and I am bookmarking this one to use the CC-BY license for these great photos!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Oh oh Simone....you are a TREASURE! I LOVE these pix and I spent like the last 45 minutes staring at your mug and LMAO!!

My favorite - all time - is the "and we shall clean everything" face! Of course!

Thank you - I'm for shizzle using this as a reference:))) hahahahahahaha


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

You should be on the stage! Thanks for a fun Hub. I laughed like a mad woman. Wonder how I looked at the time? Hmmmm


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Saturday morning entertainment on HP. Loved it! I kept thinking as I clicked each thumbnail and then scrolled down to the next set, that "this has to be the end - she can't possibly have more faces and captions?" And darn, I was wrong. You are so creative and funny Simone, really enjoyed this!

Sharyn


Sherry Hewins profile image

Sherry Hewins 4 years ago from Sierra Foothills, CA

You have such an expressive face, and whatever self-deprecating you say, you must be supremely self-confident to share these with the world, and on behalf of the world, I thank you.


missolive profile image

missolive 4 years ago from Texas

We are TOTALLY losing you to VOGUE with that, 'I'm better than you face" ....gorgeous daahhhhling :)

This was fun to watch and read. I really enjoyed this. I can see this is as a fun HP series....

Forum Faces and Thoughts

Writer's Block: The Look

Facial Reactions to Tweets

Moderators: Behind the Scenes


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

OMG this makes me laugh! I can't wait to share it! I vote up :) now there's a smiling face...


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Very funny and some real sweet faces.

I show what I feel on my face. I have to be very careful. Yesterday in quilting when they were talking politics I had to make sure I looked down. I didn't want them to see how much I disagreed with them.

Voted Up.


shea duane profile image

shea duane 4 years ago from new jersey

my fav... i'm better than you face.


John Sarkis profile image

John Sarkis 4 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

Excellent Simone...I'm in a customer service related field...I took a seminar and was given a little mirror to hang on my cubicle so I can look at myself when I'm speaking with patients. The logic is if you're smiling you'll most likely be more pleasant sounding; if you're frowning you'll most likely not be so pleasant sounding. ---Hate to admit it, but it actually works.

Nicely done!

John


NateB11 profile image

NateB11 4 years ago from California, United States of America

Very fun, entertaining, and engaging hub! I love the pictures, very expressive! The diversity of them alone would make them very useful for many different articles. If I come up with an article relevant to one of the images, I might be using them! Thanks for the great hub!


Om Paramapoonya profile image

Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

HAHA.... These are awesome! My favorite is your "surprised face," though I think you look more possessed than surprised :P


CassyLu1981 profile image

CassyLu1981 4 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

hahaha, so awesome! The many faces of Simone Smith :) The world is a much better face for having these out there!


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 4 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

I say share them. Great idea. Maybe I can use the "look out kids" faces in one of my education articles!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina

That's quite a collection of expressions. My favorites were the cussing faces and the peaceful, angelic face (especially since it has the Star Wars items next to it).

Very interesting. Voted up, useful, funny and awesome.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Too funny! I really enjoyed this.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

According to our culture, all the expressions can be categorized into nine types. These pictures express all nine categories.


Daisy Mariposa profile image

Daisy Mariposa 4 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)

Simone,

As you know, I've been publishing a series of painting parody Hubs, using HubPages writers as my models. I've published six articles so far and have plans for several more.

Your time has come, Simone. I put Jason Menayan on Mount Rushmore. Now, what am I going to do with you?


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 4 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

I love me some Simone Smith!!!!!!!

Oh I post some truly awful pictures of myself....I'd hate for people's imaginations alone to provide posterity with what the devil looks like from their minds.


meloncauli profile image

meloncauli 4 years ago from UK

You are brave Simone! I hate having my picture taken. Bravo!


thougtforce profile image

thougtforce 4 years ago from Sweden

So awesome and so many expressive faces! I am amazed over the many variations and also amazed over your creativity. Fantastic work and very brave too!

Tina


Millionaire Tips profile image

Millionaire Tips 4 years ago from USA

Wow you are so gloriously expressive! I too think I just have a few expressions, and generally people tend to read them wrong. Maybe I need to create a repertoire of faces that make it easier for people to read.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

What a unique and useful idea! I have a feeling you're going to be seeing your face plastered all over hub pages :) Seriously, so many times a facial expression can aid the feeling of a hub. This is going to come in handy for sure.

Great job and very interesting mix of expressions. I really think this is an innovative hub Simone!

Voted up, useful and interesting.


Anil and Honey profile image

Anil and Honey 4 years ago from Kerala

hai very nice hub, photos are very attractive and beautiful.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

EXCELLENT!!! I love this! Voted UP and across the board....PLUS: colorful, expressive, moving, inspiring, goofy, angry, upsetting, calming, cooling, warm, friendly, multi-faceted, surprising, intense, confusing, realistic, moody, bright, humorous, educational, artistic, proper, .........Can I stop now?????


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Hehe, this is AWESOME! I love the pictures with Star Wars in them - the earrings are awesome! I so have to share this. You have such a photogenic face with priceless expressions. Hehe.


Victoria Lynn profile image

Victoria Lynn 4 years ago from Arkansas, USA

Great resource! Like cclitgirl, I like the pics with Star Wars. You have some cool pics on the wall, too. Your expressions are right on. Could you add a "I'm so pissed off I could spit" face? Thanks!


vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

What a unique idea! Plus, you made me laugh. : ) I especially like derpy and crazy rage face. You have such an expressive and photogenic face! Voted up up up and shared!


suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 4 years ago from Taos, NM

Quite an entertaining hub! Your self-portraits are charming! Keep on entertaining us!


Terri Meredith profile image

Terri Meredith 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

You make me laugh! Years ago when I was a bartender, two friends of mine came into my work and unbeknownst to me, were following me as I went about my business. It was a big night with a special event so I didn't give a thought to the huge reporting camera on the one guy's shoulder. Later, I discovered that he had been recording me and I was soooooo embarrassed by the crazy expressions he captured. I won't say what I had to do to bribe him not to include them in his video. I don't think we realize just how many thoughts we convey with just a facial expression. Great job!


angela_michelle profile image

angela_michelle 4 years ago from United States

What about overjoyed?


tsmog profile image

tsmog 4 years ago from Escondido, CA

Okay. Imagine the 'old person scrutinizing face' face now. This hub made my day. I can go to work now having a smile that will last passed two in the morning. And then I will look kinda like the 'creepy face' driving home thinking I need a burrito and soda wondering will I sleep.

My first reaction could be, jump real, real fast to the "I shall use you for my own evil purposes face. Next, jump to the 'Overly Pompous face' for a moment. Think of your bud livelonger a moment or two. Now, zip over to "FUUUUUUUU#K" remembering I am not anymore narcissistic than the next person, and then ponder 'crazy rage face' while I say, "what about that Yawn!" a smile and lol . . .

I could run and play with this all day long. (think 'har-de-har-har face' now), yet I know you know that I know you are better at the 'I know better face' than I could ever be, so not to get egg on the face more than I have now I will end with sharing I have the 'why the heck not' face and am going ahead and posting this comment.

Thanks!

tim


Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA

You are so hilarious.

Rated up and everything.


poshcoffeeco profile image

poshcoffeeco 4 years ago from Cambridgeshire

Simone,

you just have a funny face. Not everybody can carry this off, but you do it so well. Great alternative hub.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

I really the "I'm better than you" face!


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

What a great idea for a hub. Very interesting expressions for sure. And what a great variety.

Up and interesting.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

That should have read:

"I really like the "I'm better than you" face!"


Simone Smith profile image

Simone Smith 4 years ago from San Francisco Author

Thanks for the flattering comments, everyone!

And hahaa, I know that feeling moonlake! I suppose expressiveness can have its downsides when you don't want people to know what you're thinking.

John Sarkis, that seminar sounds super interesting. I love the mirror trick. I have heard in many places that it makes a difference when you smile while talking on the phone- and I KNOW that one can hear the difference.

Hahaa, I'm glad I've covered the nine categories, Vinaya Ghimire!

I'm glad I'm not the only one who posts unflattering self-portraits, Wesman Todd Shaw. :D

I hate having my photo taken too, meloncauli! But we might as well face our fears, right?

It's a shame you weren't able to use those for your own purposes, Terri Meredith! Though I, too, would have been horrified if someone recorded me without my knowledge.

Good point, angela_michelle. I'll have to snag an overjoyed expression and add it in.


ishwaryaa22 profile image

ishwaryaa22 4 years ago from Chennai, India

An interesting repertorie of self portraits! You are indeed very expressive. Facial expressions are very important in any medium, be it films, comics, theatre and now photography, thanks to you. An engaging hub. Well-done!


lezsaysit profile image

lezsaysit 4 years ago from New York, NY

Hilarious! I love the surprised and doubt face!

Very entertaining.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

hahhahahahahah I like! Okay I have a few photos taken like this and have used them in some of my hubs, but your collection is so much better! Yay, now I know what face to use in some of my hubs .... if you wouldn't mind appearing in them! LOL Great hub, fantastic idea Simone! Thanks for making it creative commons :D


ignugent17 profile image

ignugent17 4 years ago

Funny, beautiful and entertaining :-)


Relationshipc profile image

Relationshipc 4 years ago from Alberta, Canada

THIS was cool. I love facial expressions. I'm quite expressive myself, and I get some of the funniest shots during video too. I took 4 years of American Sign Language, and I'm pretty sure I was expressive before that - but I know that it has a lot to do with some of the expressions I make. So, that said, I loved #8 and #23 - and I can see use for #35. Great idea!


Robert Erich profile image

Robert Erich 4 years ago from California

Hahahaha! You are hilarious Simone. I enjoy your feedbacks, articles, and faces. Lol. I hope you have a great week and keep living life with great expression.


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 4 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

This was a funny hub, Simone! Your photos are hilarious and entertaining! And I checked out your great new Profile page. It looks awesome! Cheers!


danielabram 4 years ago

Nice face :-)


michael ely profile image

michael ely 4 years ago from Scotland

Haha. Really good.


KenDeanAgudo profile image

KenDeanAgudo 3 years ago from Tiwi, Philippines

i love the projections and faces lol hahaha very pretty and creative

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