Among the most common photographs taken are those of casual portraits. Most often, the casual portrait is a spur of the moment, unposed snapshot of family and friends. There are few guiding rules to capturing a good photo of one`s friends and family.
Simple and uncluttered backgrounds draw the viewer`s attention to where you want it most on your subject(s).
Use a wide aperture when you have a cluttered background:
You will minimise the distracting effect of a cluttered background by using a wide aperture to throw the background out of focus.
Horizontal vs. Vertical:
Portraits of individuals often look better as verticals. Group shots look better as horizontals.
Arrange by size:
Placing the tallest person in the centre of a group shot will give the appearance of a more balanced composition.
Moving away from your subject(s) to include the entire person or group only causes the individual(s) to get smaller.
Use bounce flash when possible to eliminate red-eye.
Watch for reflections:
Shooting flash against a reflective object may cause distracting highlights and reduce colour contrast.
Facial expressions are everything in a portrait. Keep the situation light and spontaneous.