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Pictures of the people we love make us smile. Be ready with your camera and you’ll be rewarded with memories that rekindle emotions for years to come.

Have fun!
Don’t work too hard to position your subject. The goal is for him or her to relax and fall into a natural pose. Try shooting in your subject’s favorite place, or at least a comfortable place. Meaningful props, like a trophy, a musical instrument, or even a fish, can add interest.

Get close
Fill the camera’s viewfinder or LCD display with your subject to create pictures with greater impact. Step in close or use your camera’s zoom to emphasize what is important and exclude the rest. Check the manual for your camera’s closest focusing distance.

Take candid pictures
Ignore the impulse to force your subjects to always pose staring at the camera. Variety is important. Take candid photos to show them working, playing, leaning against a banister chatting, or relaxing.

Use natural light
You may be surprised to learn that cloudy, overcast days provide the best lighting for pictures of people. Bright sun makes people squint, and it throws harsh shadows on their faces. On overcast days, the soft light flatters faces. Indoors, try turning off the flash and use the light coming in from a window to give your subject a soft, almost glowing appearance.

Avoid harsh shadows
Avoid harsh facial shadows by using the soft lighting of a cloudy day or a shady area. On sunny days, if your camera has several flash modes, select fill flash. This will fire the flash even in bright sunlight. This “fills” the shadows on nearby subjects, creating more flattering portraits in direct sunlight. Check your camera’s manual.

Use the self-timer
Don’t forget to get into some of the pictures yourself. Set your camera on a flat surface or a tripod Check what you’re aiming at in the viewfinder, then set the camera’s self-timer so you can join the scene after you press the shutter button. Read your camera manual for detailed instructions on