One of my favorite things to photograph is people. Last week when I introduced this lazy series, I mentioned that I’m no professional. But there are some general things I have learned to help make people photos a bit better, no matter what kind of camera you have. This is also referred to as portrait photography, but that is kind of fancy so I like to call them face photos.

1. When photographing faces, get close. I know it seems obvious. But when I want the face, I want the FACE. Especially with kids. Grown ups tend to shake, giggle, or threaten physical harm when you get too close. But with kids, start out as close as you feel comfortable.

Then, GET CLOSER. Bring the camera to the point where you feel uncomfortable. Then move in another inch. Yes, that is what I said. This is where a zoom lens comes in handy, as you can get close without being annoying.

2. Lose the background. In photographing people, I prefer the background to be blurry. It keeps the focus on the face. If you have a fancy camera like a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex), you can control some of that depending on the size of the aperture. But if you are lazy or don’t have a fancy camera, fill the frame with face and person so the background is unnoticeable.

You can’t imagine how messy this room was when this photo was taken. But who cares about the room? You want to see those beautiful blue eyes.

3. Don’t wait for the smile. Remember film? You had 24 or 36 chances to get a good shot. Those days are over. Click before, during and after the shot you want. Some of my favorites happen this way.

Provoking your subject with potty humor works sometimes too. In fact, I highly encourage it.

Related Posts and Link Love:

Tips for the Lazy Photographer: Indoor Lighting

Browse more face photography at I Heart Faces.

And for those of you who aren’t quite so lazy, check out Digital Photography School on aperture and depth of field (ie. blurry backgrounds).