This tip will help you out whenever you want to take a portrait photo of kids, family members, friends – but there’s seemingly no natural place to have them pose. Maybe you’re stuck in the restaurant parking lot and you’ve just gathered before you go in – something like that.
If you are in this situation, your best friend will be a plain wall in open shade.
99% of your portrait photos taken under these circumstances will look better if you can manage to find this wall/shade combination.
The above portrait was taken in front of an ugly, but interesting, parking lot wall. Two steps to the subject’s left was a sharp patch of sunlight. If standing in that sunlight he would have been blinking in the sun, and also have sharp shadows across his face.
In this shaded photo, there is still plenty of light, but no sharp shadows and no distracting background.
The emphasis here is on the subject, and not the subject + restaurant sign, or subject in front of a row of ugly cars. That’s why it is an effective photo.
That and the fact that he’s pretty darn cute!