Jowling - Photography Fun For a Rainy Day

Jowling – Photography Fun For a Rainy Day

Note: File this one under ‘bizarre’, ‘silly’ or ‘things to do on a boring rainy day’…

Looking to take a portraits with a quirky twist? Try ‘jowling‘ (also sometimes known as slap n’ flap).

How do you do it? Get your subject to relax their facial muscles completely (to the point that they have no facial expression)…. open their eyes and mouth (try to keep them open)… then to shake their head from side to side as fast as they can. Start snapping (use a flash and fast shutter speed to freeze the ‘action’)! Here’s what jowling looks like:

OK – so I suspect that most of these shots are taken at parties when the facial muscle relaxation is aided by a drink or four – but this jowling thing is bigger than you might think – it even has it’s own website – – complete with it’s own ‘how to’ page, galleries and more!

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A couple of other things to try with Jowling

Share Your Jowling Photos With Us

Now you know how to take Jowling shots – why not take some and head over to our forum and share them in a Jowling Thread that I just set up.

Read more from our category

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • Premal July 23, 2010 10:52 pm

    Never thought of this before! I have to try this! Fun..Fun...

  • Singapore Wedding Photography June 27, 2010 09:55 pm

    looks real fun. at least to be the photographer. I wouldn't want my own picture to be published though :)

  • Valorie June 19, 2010 04:27 am

    Hmmmm....not sure I want to be in FRONT of the lens for this, but could be fun!

  • Sondra June 18, 2010 12:51 pm

    That is DISGUSTING!! I love it!!! LOL

  • Harry June 18, 2010 06:47 am


    Well that "dude" in the Mickey Mouse t-shirt sure has funny "chest lumps".

  • Reddon June 18, 2010 06:40 am

    Amazing.. I Just couldn't stop myself from laughing out loud. I shall have to try it!

  • Kathy June 18, 2010 04:31 am

    OK, so I don't think I'd ever be that bored to try this but hey, if you think it's fun..go for it!

  • Axel June 18, 2010 02:36 am

    Can't get much out of this one, it does not strike a note with me.
    But hey, if you love stuff like this, go for it.
    Happy Days, Axel

  • Marc June 16, 2010 10:57 pm

    Never knew this had a name!

    This one is slightly alcohol fueled:

    [eimg link='' title='Don't Ask!' url='']

  • cja June 16, 2010 06:13 am

    Must be guy humor-- I don't think these are terribly amusing.

  • Ed Quilty June 16, 2010 04:40 am

    For added effect get someone to stand beside the jowler with a clenched fist and it looks like they have really hit the jowler, add some water and you have a 'Rocky' picture!!

  • Katya June 16, 2010 03:32 am

    so much fun!!!! I'll have to try it.

  • Susie June 16, 2010 01:10 am

    Omg this looks so fun:)

  • Justin June 16, 2010 12:30 am

    Haha great fun! I always do this for my nephew for fun but never thought of taking a picture of it :D

  • Judy June 15, 2010 10:57 pm

    Sorry. I have to say "yuck"

  • Ian McKenzie June 15, 2010 02:04 pm

    Haha looks like fun. I love the third one by Scott Robbins. The girl in the back is all like *sigh* people these days.

  • Mei Teng June 15, 2010 10:31 am

    Totally hilarious! The expressions are priceless! :) My fav is the one by Jonaldinger.

  • Rina Minca June 15, 2010 10:11 am

    wierd, but I think it's cool - I wanna try it!

  • Russell June 15, 2010 08:55 am

    OK, now that's disturbing. Amusing and fun, but still disturbing. :-)

  • Cornell June 15, 2010 08:08 am


    Thank you!

  • Jacint Chapo June 15, 2010 06:23 am

    That's crazy! I like it!! :)

  • Crane March 8, 2009 11:06 am

    I I'll try it. For sure!!!
    BTW, I noticed that photographing eople while they are speakig can have great results. Some time ago I did it with my sister and her lips were so big in the picture that I like to say that photography made her look like Angelina Jolie... It's so funny!!!!

  • Adam January 10, 2009 07:44 am

    I just cut out my jowling picture and added it to a painting my wife is working on..

  • Teresa July 7, 2008 09:38 am

    Great photos! At first glance, I thought they were taken in a wind tunnel or in front of a fan.

  • A. Marques July 7, 2008 08:09 am

    Hmmm... Really only for a heavy rain day.

  • Peter July 5, 2008 05:07 am

    This looks like a great starter exercise to get kids comfortable in front of the camera. Thanks for the great fun tip.

  • Olmec Sinclair July 3, 2008 12:12 pm

    Funny! I want to try making pictures of my girlfriend like this.... How can I get her to agree...?

  • Terri July 3, 2008 04:54 am

    These are great! Thanks for the giggles!

  • subcorpus June 27, 2008 11:58 am

    i'm gonna try this for sure ...

  • Kunal Daswani June 26, 2008 10:39 pm

    Heres my attempt: - Good fun!

  • Andrew June 26, 2008 09:26 pm

    Wooh cool idea to cure my boredom.
    Gonna go try this now.

  • CROCDUDE June 26, 2008 04:00 pm


  • Bastaman June 26, 2008 01:55 pm

    Fantastic, Superb


  • jim mitchell June 26, 2008 11:56 am

    It should read flash OR fast shutter speed. Not both. Although with new digital cameras that may no longer matter. It used to be that you only used one shutter speed with a flash. Does digital change that?

  • Jimmy Dowhip June 26, 2008 11:14 am

    LOL, that is the funniest thing I have ever seen. Hilarious!


  • Serpico June 26, 2008 10:41 am


    the technique is called "punch face"

    because it looks like you have just been punched in the face

    and has been a favorite pastime for 5 or so years..

  • Adam June 26, 2008 10:24 am

    I've seen this before, but it was called a ghost punch. *shrug*

  • Bob Fish June 26, 2008 09:58 am

    Why don't you save them have a loose retina and have them stand with their mouths open and photoshop or gimp them into the same contortion

  • Scott June 26, 2008 09:40 am

    we do this all the time... we call it shakey face! the trick is to keep your eyes open and your mouth loose!

  • photosticker June 26, 2008 09:38 am

    This is really old!


  • Ashley June 26, 2008 09:31 am

    We call this "Shaker Faces". Awesome.

  • Brown Note June 26, 2008 09:15 am

    Looks like they where hit in the face with a

  • Michael June 26, 2008 08:46 am

    What a hoot! I'm going to have to try that. This is why I like this website so much. You guys are always coming up with so many interesting ideas.

  • Chris June 26, 2008 08:23 am

    Ahahaha! I'll have to try this. Thanks.

  • Beth June 26, 2008 05:12 am

    OMG. :O

  • Rebecca June 25, 2008 11:23 pm

    Thnaks for the smile on my rainy day. 8)

  • Niki June 25, 2008 11:19 pm

    If you put someone's fist into frame it can look like the subject has just received a sock to the chops. :-)

  • David Terry June 25, 2008 09:42 pm

    Jowling at a wedding reception:

  • GregB June 25, 2008 07:22 pm

    Very funny. Just think what you could do if you used PS too!

  • Canonball June 25, 2008 04:30 pm

    Get a life Bilka,even though you are at the bottom of the fun tree, others do like a break from the norm,and playing around with different lenses and speeds and lighting isn't learning?

  • Bilka June 25, 2008 03:25 pm

    It is like the wheels fell off the wagon. I want the 2.5 minutes of my life back that it took me to read this waste of time. This isn't funny or entertaining. How can this possibly help readers learn and hone photographic skills? I can certainly understand a diversion but this is out and out junk.

  • Mr.Gadget Australia June 25, 2008 12:12 pm

    Fish face much? ;)

    Thanks for sharing.

  • PixelHead June 25, 2008 12:10 pm

    Way too cool. I am so doing one of those tomorrow for my 365 days Flickr group.

  • mswebb June 25, 2008 11:07 am

    My wife studied economics and one of the theories involved the "invisible hand". I guess this is what happens when the "invisible hand" gets ticked off...

  • cbinsa June 25, 2008 09:18 am

    I can hardly wait to get my (young adult) kids and their friends to do this for me!

  • wilsonian June 25, 2008 08:37 am

    Funny that it's all dudes :)

  • Nick June 25, 2008 07:29 am

    Can you imagine how cool it would be if you were to throw water on him while he was shaking his head? Great idea I am going to give it a try!

  • NB June 25, 2008 04:01 am

    Okay. That was stinkin' hilarious.

  • Randy June 25, 2008 02:59 am

    This is awesome. I can't wait to try it. LOL.

  • Vijay Kumar June 25, 2008 02:32 am

    I am definitely going to try this - Live caricatures are timeless

  • AC June 25, 2008 02:02 am

    Now this is just weird - but looks like a ton of fun!

  • Raymond Chan June 25, 2008 01:50 am

    lol! This looks so interesting to capture. The shot of the last guy looked as though he was er.. punched. Thanks for sharing!

  • Pete Langlois June 25, 2008 01:46 am

    Funny. I'll have to try this with my son.

  • Rosh June 25, 2008 01:23 am

    I don't think I've seen that before. What fun. Unique portraits are always great for the portfolio.


  • Robert June 25, 2008 12:43 am

    Is #2 Homer?? Look at that mouth, it must be Homer(in a younger and better shape though)