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People and portraits are the most popular subjects for photographs. But short of asking someone to smile and say "cheese!" how do you capture the personality and character of your subject? Consider these helpful hints:

• Use sunlight to your advantage. For outdoor pictures, position your subject so the sunlight brightens their left or right side. Don't face them towards the sun—squinting isn't attractive! Then use your flash or "flash fill" mode to fill in any dark shadows and light their face evenly.

• Consider different angles. Instead of having your subjects look at you straight on, ask them to turn their bodies to the side but still face you. This slightly over-the-shoulder look can highlight the hair and profile. Finally, zoom in on your subject as close as you can. Close-ups force the viewer to focus on the person and not the distracting (and unnecessary) elements in the background.