As far back as the 1850s, the family portrait was an uncomfortable affair. Back then, you would need to hold your pose for up to eight minutes for the camera to register an image. To keep you from moving, the photographer might strap you into a chair and prop your head up with a steel vice. The procedure was so arduous that some photographers resorted to drugging their subjects or even threatening them with guns [source: Leggat].
While photographic technology may have come a long way, the family photo can still be an awkward and excruciating ordeal. Around the world, there are thousands of photo albums bedecked with cringe-worthy snapshots: A trio of scowling teenagers trussed up in wool turtlenecks, high school sweethearts forced into an uncomfortable prom night embrace, or a picture so poorly lit that it's hard to tell Grandma Hazel from Aunt Gladys.
Your photo album doesn't need to be a catalog of embarrassment. Even with a basic point-and-shoot camera, you can be on your way to creating captivating portraits, thrilling action shots and touching candid photos by following a few simple guidelines.
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