Tips for Taking Better Photos

Education, Home & Family, Traditions
on October 26, 2008

Announcing time to take a picture makes some family members skedaddle. Try these tips to help you get great photographs and have fun at the same time.

  • Make it fun. Play music and serve snacks. Interact with your subjects to loosen them up, suggests Greg Harring, a photographer in Boulder, Colo. If someone seems uncomfortable, acknowledge it. Joke around. Make eye contact and smile.
  • Coordinate clothing. Ask the group to wear solid colored tops, says Robin Buckley, a photographer in Grass Valley, Calif. (pop. 10,922). Patterns and stripes draw the eye away from your subjects. Aim for tones that work harmoniously together.
  • Build a pyramid. To pose a large group, think of a pyramid. Have some people sit, some kneel and some stand. Anyone seated on the ground should turn their legs to the side, away from the camera. Children can sit on laps or stand next to someone who is kneeling.
  • Pay attention to lighting. Dont take photos with the sun directly behind you. That makes your group look into the sun and squint, Buckley says. Indirect light from the side is the most flattering.
  • Take lots of pictures. The more pictures you take, the greater the chances of getting a photo in which everyone looks good. Push the button gently to avoid camera movement.
  • Make eye contact. Before snapping the picture, scan the group to be sure all faces are unobstructed. If necessary, adjust positions. Dont forget to tell everyone to say cheese!

This article was originally published as Tips for Taking Better Photos on