Look through the many photos you've taken with your camera, and you're sure to have lots of favorites. Many of these photos are favorites because they are pictures of the people you love. Those cherished relationships are the reason you take photographs and are most likely the reason you started scrapbooking. Here are five tips for taking better portraits of your loved ones, so you can create many more memorable photos of your family and friends.
1. Follow the rule of thirds.
The rule of thirds is a rule you've probably heard of before, but it's a rule worth repeating. It's a principle that artists have used for centuries. When you look through the viewfinder of your camera, visualize lines dividing your photo into thirds both horizontally and vertically. Then place your subject at a point where two of the lines intersect. By doing this, you add interest to your photo.
Photo by Rhonda Stark.
2. Focus on personality.
All of us had portraits taken during our childhoods where we posed with a smile. While these types of photos are wonderful, we also need to take photos that focus on a loved one's personality. As you take photos, talk with the subjects about a fun time you shared, or ask them to tell you about their family. Watch how their personality comes to life right before your eyes.
Photo by Rhonda Stark.
3. Determine the distance.
Before you take photos, determine how close you want to get to the subject. Do you want a close-up shot showing just the subject's face and shoulders, a three-quarter length shot that shows your subject from the waist up, or a full-body shot that shows the surroundings around your subject? Knowing this before you begin taking photos will help you get the shot you envisioned from the start.
Photos by Candice Stringham.
4. Gather the group.
Are you the "official" family photographer? If you are, consider investing in an inexpensive tripod, and take your own group photos. Set the self-timer, and jump in the photo with the group. Everyone will be relaxed, which will show in the photos, and you'll get the shots you're looking for because you arranged them.
5. Be patient.
Give yourself plenty of time to get a great shot. Keep taking photos and relax. Even less-than-perfect photos can successfully capture wonderful memories.
We want to see your picture-perfect portraits!
Follow the five tips above and send us the gorgeous portraits you've taken. E-mail low-resolution files (250KB max) to firstname.lastname@example.org and put "cover photo" in the subject line. We'll be reviewing the photo submissions for potential cover photos on Creating Keepsakes magazine. Note: To be selected for a cover photo, portraits should be of people that have strong eye-contact with the camera and are smiling.
--Lori Anderson, CK Online Managing Editor