Kelly Sansom with Gallery Photography has some ideas that could help.
1- Turn off your flash!!!
a. Flash kills the mood of any scene. It makes everything flat, one dimensional and boring. I only use a flash when absolutely necessary, such as at night or in a very dark room.
b. Natural light enhances people, surroundings, objects, etc. It is part of the story. Whenever possible, leave it alone!
2- Look for good light first, then background
a. A common mistake people make it that they will see a background that they like, and then struggle with making the people look good in the existing light.
b. A better approach is to find good light (which is easy to do) and then find a background within that light.
c. Backlight! Place your subject so the sun is behind them. Just remember not to let the sunlight hit your camera lens.
d. The background is not nearly as important as your subject.
3- Careful composition
a. Subject placement can make a huge difference in the look of a photograph. I very seldom center a full body shot of anyone. There are two ways to compose for the most impact… using the rule of thirds or placing your subject in one of four quadrants of the frame.
b. Whatever the most important part of the image is should be placed in one of these locations. (Eyes, face, feet, hands, etc…)
c. Don’t be afraid to turn your camera sideways. Too many times, people hold the camera horizontally because it is more comfortable. Try shooting on a diagonal
4- Get closer to your subject
a. Extreme close-ups of babies and kids are great. Fill the frame with whatever the subject is. If it is a flower, fill the frame with the flower.
b. Some cameras have limitations on how close they can get, so be aware of these and get as close as you can.
5- Change your perspective
a. Don’t always stand and look at your subjects from your normal vantage point. It is so much more interesting to stand above something or below something or someone, or even behind!
b. Place your subject where you think you want them, shoot a few pictures, and then walk around them to see if there is anything interesting from a different perspective.
6- Let Kids be Kids!
a. Sometimes we get so caught up in getting that perfect posed image. The best images are usually the ones of the kids just being themselves. Let them have fun and be crazy, and the pictures will show that
Check out Gallery Photography at 163 South Main in Bountiful, Utah, or call them at (801) 397-0448 or visit their website at www.galleryphotography.com. And if you sign up for both of the Beginning and Intermediate Photography classes, you’ll get a $50 discount. Call for details.