How to shoot the best portraits
You don't have to be a professional photographer to take beautiful portraits of your family and friends. Just follow these simple tips and tricks to capture spectacular portraits.
Photography do's and don'ts
Photography tricks and secrets
When shooting portraits, consider the background as well as your subject's clothing. For crisp portraits, take photographs against a solid-colored background -- a bright wall or an open expanse of grass, for example.
For family portraits, the subjects shouldn't be dressed completely matchy-matchy. Instead, ask them to wear clothes in the same color family but not in the identical color.
Don't wait for special occasions or holidays to shoot portraits. If you make photography a part of your everyday life, your children will get used to being in front of the camera, resulting in some amazing portraits.
Arieanna Schweber, mother of 2-year-old Aiden, says:
Portrait photography tips from the pros
Portraits of wiggly children can be difficult to capture in closed environments. "My youngest daughter is 2, and she does not like to sit while I take her picture," says Erin Myers, of Erin N. Myers Photography. "I find that my most successful photos of her are when I can get her interested in interacting with me. Go outside where there is a lot for the child to explore. Ask the child to find you a leaf or flower off the ground, or ask her to tell you a story."
Eyes are important in portrait photography. "If I'm taking a photo of my son for a candid portrait, I try to focus on his eyes; that makes the photo pop," explains Schweber. "I tend to go in very close for those photos. Sometimes, coming from the side a little bit and not centering Aiden in the shot gets a more intriguing photo.
"Although I like blurred backgrounds, that's often not possible with every shot of a toddler running around," Schweber continues. "Instead, I focus on taking photos when the background doesn't distract -- when there aren't other kids running in the background or garbage cans or things like that. For example, I find this closeup of Aiden as a dragon much more compelling than the busy full-body shot I took a moment earlier."
Watch: How to make your photos look retro
Turn your mainstream photos into retro coolness. This Photoshop video tutorial shows how to apply a retro photo effect using professional, non-destructive editing techniques.
More photography tips