When you first get a new compact digital camera, the first pictures that you take are likely to be of family or friends. Regardless of how these photos turn out, they will have a very personal meaning that can grow over time. Precious memories that are preserved in photos have the potential to bring out certain emotions in us as we remember the people that we care about and the memories that have helped to shape our lives. Even though friends and family are the subjects that we tend to photograph the most often, they can at times be difficult to photograph well. The following tips can help you to take great pictures of your friends and family that will help you to preserve all of your most precious memories:

  • Take pictures of people at their best. Even though we all want to look our best in a photograph, this isn’t always possible. On the other hand, the photographer shouldn’t have to flatter their friends and family by making them appear better than they actually are, but the photograph should do them justice and depict who they really are. In order to produce some great photographs of people, it is important to think about your photo opportunities ahead of time. Think about what you want the photo to portray. You want your photos to appear natural and accurately depict the personalities of your friends and family.
  • Practice expressing personality in your photographs. Within someone’s face, you can see many aspects of their personality. Learn to hone in on certain gestures or expressions that accurately reflect the person that you are photographing. However, you shouldn’t forget about the other elements in the family photograph that can also bring out more of your friend or family member’s personality as well. From their clothing, their hairstyle, their composure, or their environment, there are many things about people which can help to make great photographs. It helps if you can decide ahead of time what aspect of a person’s personality you would like to depict, then wait for the moment to strike.
  • Allow for a relaxed atmosphere, and keep the people that you are photographing relaxed. People are more comfortable and relaxed in their own homes or environments where they frequently visit. Even the friends and family members that you are most accustomed to can get a little nervous when you have a camera in your hand, so it is important to keep people as relaxed as possible. Before taking photographs of friends and family, get all of the technicalities out of the way ahead of time. Make sure that your camera is on the correct settings so that you don’t have to deal with this during your photo session. Decide on your lighting and angles beforehand as well. The more confident that you appear to be, the less nervous they will be as well. When you are taking pictures, talk to them, try to make them laugh sometimes, this can help break the ice and also allows for some great photographs of your family and friends.