A really fun activity to do when it comes to photography is photo-shoots with a friend. Last winter, my best friend, Haley, allowed me to do her senior photos. At first it may be a little awkward to position someone (for example, telling the person to sit with their legs out and their head tilted a certain way). It took me awhile to find positions which looked good. Once both you and the other person relax and feel a bit more comfortable, it becomes easy to tell them where to go and how to pose, which ends up being the most fun part of the process.

When taking photos of people, do not worry about how the photo comes out in the moment. It is important to take as many photos as possible. Furthermore, when I got my senior photos done by Melissa Siguenza, she gave me advice for doing portraits. She told me to try different positions from different angles, because something may look really good in person and in the moment, but you may not like how it turns out in the photo. So, when I did Haley’s photos, I made sure to do just that, and she was absolutely right.

Of course, doing portraits does not always have to be a professional thing where you do something such as senior photos. Sometimes it is fun to just grab a friend and do random sessions to help you improve your skills. I used to do that with my neighbor frequently, especially when the seasons were different. It is really relaxing and fun to just be able to mess around with a friend and take photos.

When doing portraits, it is important to remember you do not always have to pose someone. It is always fun to experiment by taking photos of them doing something naturally; for example, when they are walking. When I did Haley’s photos, she started to play with Cattails and that moment made for a really good photo. When you do something like that, you will get someones genuine smile/laugh rather one they force when knowingly taking a picture, and it really gives the whole thing a happier feelings.

Another note to take is your subject does not always have to look directly into the camera. By having them look away or slightly off from the lens, it gives the photo a natural feelings to it. Along with this, they do not always have to smile either. Serious expressions give a dramatic look while having the photo still look just as good as a smile.

See more of my work here. Also check out Haley and Alix, where other photos of them I took are exclusive.

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