At some point in your life, you're going to want to get some kind of "the way we were" formal portrait. Many people do this themselves using a camera with a timer. There's no reason to shell out hundreds of dollars for a portrait if you can take a quaint one yourself.

The eyes and mouth are the crucial element of all pictures of people, so you work outwards from there to decide how much you need to include in the frame to capture the real person. No matter what, make sure that you have great light to capture the eyes and mouth. If it helps, place a lamp (without its lampshade) nearby so that the camera captures every nook and cranny of your subjects' faces.

Don't shoot the person straight on with their shoulders squared to the lens. That's what police mug photos look like. Posing at a quarter angle is the most natural look, with the head slightly inclined. Also, don't try to shoot the whole body, but also try not to cut it off at noticeable points, such as the shoulders, elbows, waist, or knees. Cut in between these points to soften the look and suggest the continuation of the body.

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