Picture Taking Tips

Easter, engagements and weddings, graduations, Mother’s Day—with all the photo ops that spring offers, you may be itching to unleash your inner photographer (which is much cheaper than hiring a professional). If you own a smartphone, it’s easy to catch great candids while you’re on the go.

Try some of these picture taking tips as you’re snapping pix of your graduate, the happy newlyweds or your camera-shy mom.

Look your subject in the eye. Direct eye contact is as engaging in a picture as it is in person. Aim your camera right at your subject’s eye level—this angle will create an inviting feel that pulls the viewer into the picture.

Use flash outdoors. Bright sun can create deep facial shadows. Eliminate the shadows by using your flash to lighten the face. On cloudy days the flash will brighten up people’s faces and make them stand out.

Move in close. Your goal is to fill the picture area with the subject you are photographing. The closest focusing distance for most cameras is about three feet, or about one step away from your camera.

And if you are being photographed:

Relax. Lean against something, interact with a pet or a child or intertwine your arms with someone else’s—these will help you look natural. Also, do something with your hands. Clasp them in the front or back, or hold on to something to help relax your body.

Beware of the “double chin” effect. Pay attention to the camera position. If the lens is at your eye level or above, that’s a good angle. If the lens is below your eye level, then you run the risk of looking like you have an extra chin. Also, try projecting your chin out an inch or so more than you normally would.

Keep your eyes open. Try this trick—close your eyes and have the photographer count to three. On three, open them, and you won’t be caught blinking.

One last tip—turn your best pix into a calendar, a great gift for Mother’s Day next month. For a limited time, create one for free.

Final Word: Sometimes you want more than candid shots from your smartphone or camera. If professional pictures are in order, be sure to check out this offer from Sears Portrait Studio.

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