Most people who have a digital camera use it, among other things, to take pictures of other people. How many times have you heard: “Smile”, “Look into the camera”, “Hold still”, etc? Well those commands may be OK for a formal portrait, and those are just fine, but this type of picture doesn’t really capture the essence of an individual. What you want is a picture that looks natural, not posed. For this type of shot you’ll want your subject to do something other than to stare directly into the lens and have the result look like a mug shot. This article is written by someone who maintains the same train of thought when it comes to taking people pictures with your digital camera.
Here’s more on the way to pose an individual for a naturally good portrait.
Personally I like taking “candid” pictures when the subject is unaware that he or she is being photographed. I position myself a short distance away and try not to draw attention to myself so the person doesn’t stop and “pose”. By using a digital camera you can take many pictures and then review them and keep the best. Remember, with a digital camera it costs nothing to “take” a picture; you only pay for what you print. Of course you can always do what the great fine artists of the past did and render a self portrait if no one is around to take a picture of you.
I doubt you’ll end up with as hideous a picture as I did.
This article provides some advanced tips for portraiture and concentrates on outdoor portraits which is my preferred place to take photographs. Take a camera with you whenever possible, and look around, you’ll find a picture somewhere.