Sonya Sones
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Laurie Halse Anderson
the lovely Laurie Halse Anderson
I love taking pictures.
It’s sort of like writing an instant poem— 

I click the shutter
and capture an image.

I especially love taking photos
of authors and illustrators.

If you’d like to see a whole bunch more of these,
check out my Pinterest board.

If you’d like to hire me to take your author photo,
or any photo, write to me at

And if you’d like to see a daily photo by me,
follow me on Instagram.

Seven Simple Photo-Taking Tips
Here are seven simple tips for making people look their best—the portrait-taking gospel according to Sonya:
Don’t worry about including the person’s whole body. Make their face the focus of the shot by letting it fill most of the frame.
Try to use a “wham, click, thank you, ma’am” style of shooting. Most people hate being photographed. They don’t want their soul stolen, plus they’re worried that the photo will make them look fat or wrinkled or zitty or all three. So make the whole ordeal as short and sweet as possible.
When you are shooting people outdoors, put them in the shade. When you photograph them in the sun, they get hideous haunted-house shadows under their noses and their eyes, which is not a good look unless it happens to be Halloween.
The most beautiful time of all to shoot portraits is at “magic hour”—the last hour of light before the sun sets. So wait until then, then work some magic! This is the only exception to the rule about not shooting people in sun. Sun at that hour is lovely…
When you are shooting people indoors, use the natural light streaming in through a window. Or use  lamplight, if no window light’s available.
Avoid using a flash like the plague, whether shooting indoors or out. It makes people look ugly. Even people who are beautiful.
Most people look best when the photographer is a little bit higher than they are. So ask your subject to sit down, or try to elevate yourself by standing on a step or even standing on the seat of a chair. Your tippy-toes will do in a pinch.
Copyright 2004-. Sonya Sones. All rights reserved.