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Tip of the week ... how to take a snappy portrait

Plan ahead. Don

Tip of the week ...
how to take a snappy portrait

Plan ahead. For any picture you intend to distribute to the public, “decide on everything before you start shooting,” from clothing to setting. The former should be simple—no bold patterns. The latter should have proper lighting.

Don’t use direct light. “To avoid accentuating Mom’s wrinkles,” employ indirect light. Find a place, indoors or out, where the sun reflects off white walls. “Reflected daylight is incredibly flattering.”

Ditch the tripod. “Sure, it keeps the camera steady,” but you’ll like the results better if you can move around and take shots from several different angles. Particularly if you’re photographing pets or children, “you need to enter their world.” That means getting down on hands and knees.

Play with Photoshop or other photo-editing software, and learn a few simple but useful effects. Just be sure to save the original. “If you modify some areas too much,” you may want to revert back.

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