Let’s start with what “squinch” means. According to the Merriam Webster:
transitive verb 1: to screw up (the eyes or face); squint 2: to make more compact.
It’s professional portrait photographer Peter Hurley who gives this advice. Hurley is not new to this kind of hints. Back in February he published a video tutorial about how to improve portrait photographs by focusing on the jawline of your subject (video below). For Hurley squinching is [quoting PetaPixel]:
the action of squinting your eyes in such a way as to portray confidence and self-assurance as opposed to the fear and uncertainty that you project when you stare wide-eyed at the camera
Squinching is not squinting, as PetaPixel explains:
One final clarifying point, and Hurley is big on this: squinching isn’t the same as squinting! The difference is minor but important. When you squint, your top and bottom eyelids close up and your eyes end up all but disappearing — you look neither confident nor self-assured.
With ‘squinching,’ you’re lifting and tightening the lower eyelid, while only letting the top one come down a hair. It might seem like a slight difference (and it is) but it’s a big deal when you get in front of the camera.
Try it out!