say cheese without the cheesy
January 6, 2013 7:12 PM   Subscribe

What is something funny I can think about while I'm getting a portrait taken? I like to have a sincere smile when getting photographed.
posted by Jason and Laszlo to Grab Bag (25 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Watch some standup on YouTube until something really cracks you up. Then think of that.
posted by jeffamaphone at 7:16 PM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

This image used to make me crack up for whatever reason... something about his face. I'm not saying this is your solution, but find a funny image or gif or video or whatever... maybe look through some tags on Tumblr.
posted by jorlyfish at 7:23 PM on January 6, 2013

Seconding jeffamaphone, specifically, Mitch Hedberg. You'll be just fine with a head full of his stories and/or one liners, e.g.,

When someone tries to hand me out a flyer, it's kind of like they're saying, "Here, you throw this away."

You're smiling already, right?
posted by she's not there at 7:33 PM on January 6, 2013

Bring a friend and have a real conversation with them. Funny/laughing smiles are different than relaxed/friendly smiles.
posted by xingcat at 7:33 PM on January 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

YMMV, but i cannot look at this image without laughing for a legit 10 minutes every time i look at it.
posted by raztaj at 7:43 PM on January 6, 2013 [5 favorites]

Instead of trying to think of something funny to produce a natural smile, try thinking of an extremely happy yet somewhat bittersweet memory - for example, someone you had a passionate affair with when you were in your early 20's or an elderly relative, now long dead, who spent some special time with you when you were young. I've found that such types of sentimental memories can draw a slow and steady smile much easier than trying to force a quick funny thought. The downside is, of course, you may be left with a lingering feeling of loss, but at least you'll have a great photograph.
posted by item at 7:43 PM on January 6, 2013 [4 favorites]

Chimpanzees wearing clothes, working in an office and driving golf carts.
posted by bricksNmortar at 7:54 PM on January 6, 2013

Read an episode of Louis Vs. Rick
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:54 PM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Tomorrow I'll does it for me.
posted by capricorn at 7:55 PM on January 6, 2013

My friend used to think it was "Jesus Marion Joseph." Like one whole name. That still makes me laugh.

That and Fresco Jesus.
posted by thank you silence at 8:05 PM on January 6, 2013 [2 favorites]

I remember a Benny Hill bit where he is playing Leonardo da Vinci, painting the Mona Lisa. He's saying "Come on Mona, give us a smile. Just a smile. For me. Please". He then sighs and opens his painter's smock, flashing her. She smiles. He paints the picture.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 8:17 PM on January 6, 2013

At an estate sale for a friend's grandfather, the auctioneer sold a box of men's gloves.

The problem? My friend's grandfather lost his left arm in a factory accident years ago. It cracks me up thinking about the buyer who got home and opened the box, just to find 50 years' worth of only left-handed gloves.
posted by tomwheeler at 8:18 PM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

If you fake smile and fake laugh for a while, it'll likely turn into real mirth :)
posted by panaceanot at 8:46 PM on January 6, 2013

For smiling, think of Super Hans (from Peep Show) .
posted by Francolin at 9:03 PM on January 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

I was reading an old Onion AV Club comment thread today. Someone mentioned that they'd like to put in their will that their family has to wear Klingon costumes to their funeral. Not for any Trekkie reason, but just to be weird and embarrassing.

I have been laughing at the mental image of a boring/square middle American family in Klingon attire at a funeral for no particular reason, all damn day. I'm smiling just thinking about it right now.
posted by Sara C. at 9:04 PM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Mefites kindly provided a lot of funny stuff in response to this previous question:

Browse through some of that and you'll certainly find something to make you grin at the right time.
posted by bunderful at 9:04 PM on January 6, 2013

Lately, this GIF does it for me, every time.
posted by Myself at 10:40 PM on January 6, 2013 [3 favorites]

A friend of mine once dreamed that he had gotten the words "FANTASTIC JIM" tattooed on his inner thighs. In the dream he was so upset because he didn't know anyone named Jim, and couldn't remember why he'd gotten the tattoos at all. I laugh every time I think about this.
posted by milk white peacock at 10:41 PM on January 6, 2013 [7 favorites]

There are a couple of scenes from Bad Santa (don't judge me) that I can pretty reliably laugh at just by replaying mentally:

How could they drop me onto my own head?

Fraggle-stick car
posted by contraption at 10:50 PM on January 6, 2013

I've been told that a better way is to think of someone you know who you feel great affection for, and imagine them behind the camera, then smile at that person with the warmth you feel for them.
I think an expression that radiates warmth and love gets better portrait results than one that radiates mirth.
posted by anonymisc at 11:13 PM on January 6, 2013 [1 favorite]

Ruprecht! No!
posted by Summer Spies at 5:05 AM on January 7, 2013

Mel Brooks
posted by Dolley at 6:04 AM on January 7, 2013

Sometimes it's not the thing itself but the memory of someone cracking up that makes me smile. Last night we were looking through a dubious forum and saw an image of something so NSFW that I don't deign to describe it here, held up near a My Little Pony t-shirt. This tickled my friend so much that he barked like a seal. I keep cracking up today thinking of how utterly amused he was by somethign so silly.
posted by mippy at 6:15 AM on January 7, 2013

To get genuine smiles out of kids in group shots, I always tee them up with "Get ready...set...say.....SPIDERPOOP" (rather than 'cheese'). Guaranteed to cause big laffs all around.

So, think about SPIDERPOOP. To mix it up (if I have to a second shot), I'll sometimes use CHICKENBUTT.
posted by jquinby at 6:51 AM on January 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

This cartoon cracks me up whenever I see it -- or remember it.
posted by trillian at 7:25 AM on January 7, 2013

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