• Force the flash. Indoors or out, you'll want the flash to fire, since it provides evenly distributed illumination and helps freeze the action. Switch your camera's flash setting so that it's always on.

• Make it bright. Don't bother using the red-eye reduction flash mode on your camera. By the time your camera has finished strobing and stuttering, your kid will be in the next zip code.

If red eye is a problem in your flash photos of kids, make the room as bright as possible, shoot from an angle that isn't dead-on into your kids' eyes, and touch up the red eye later on your computer, if necessary. (See the box in Section for more red-eye tips.)

• Fire at will. Child photography is like shooting a sports eventyou'll take lots of bad shots in order to get a few gems. Again, who cares? The duds don't cost you anything. And once you've captured the image of a lifetime, you'll forget all about the outtakes you deleted previously.

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