Taking Portraits

Most snapshots feature two, three, or even more people vying for attention with something in the background, like a waterfall or someone's minivan. But as you know from the previous chapter, the best pictures don't show everythingthey show a single thing really well. If you want your photos to stand out from the crowd, it's time to explore the art of portrait photography. After all, how would you rather remember your son's third birthday: by a snapshot of him standing across the room awkwardly modeling his new outfit, or by a closeup that conveys his personality? Only a portrait can capture the mischievous arch of an eyebrow, or the little dimple he gets when he's thinking of something funny.

Taking good portraits isn't difficult, but it requires a few new skills. You have to examine all the details in the frame more closely than ever, and pay more attention to how light works. In the end, it's worth it. The portraits you take are likely to be your most treasured photos.

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