In most portrait photos, the subject's eyes look directly into the camera. Have your subject express a variety of emotions to capture a unique photograph. You could also try to have the people in the picture look at something in the frame.
Take your pictures quickly. The longer you hesitate, the better the chance that your subject will move away, break their pose, or become tired and stop smiling. Start taking shots as quickly as you can, and don't worry about getting the camera perfect before the first shot. The faster you shoot and the more photos you take, the better your chances are of getting a good one.
When composing your picture, pay attention to the weather. If it is overcast outside, try to keep the sky out of your picture as much as possible. Black and white pictures are also a good choice if you want to shoot outside on an overcast day. If the weather is nice and sunny, you will get a lot of great pictures, just make sure your subject isn't squinting at the sun.
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