Regardless of the camera you are using, these steps can help get great results:
- Frame the subject; photograph only what makes the image matter. Keep distractions out of the picture, make sure all hands are either completely visible, or completely invisible (don’t cut them off at the edge!), and position the subject out of the center for drama.
- Position the subject with intent; look at everything in the frame and make adjustments to anything that needs it! Create a pleasing background: not too distracting, nothing intersecting with the subject’s head, don’t shoot against the wall (shadows usually don’t look good), don’t shoot towards anything shiny in the background; you can get nasty reflections from glossy cabinets or walls and certainly from shiny metal, and make sure there isn’t any bright light in the frame; this will just make the subject look dark. It can be fun to position the subject directly blocking a bright light (like the sun) for a silhouette look.
- Light the subject; the interplay between light and shadow is what makes a photograph. Make sure some kind of light is falling on any and all faces; if you are outdoors, position people in the shade looking outward toward light. The flash on your camera will generally do a better job if it only has to augment the existing light, rather than provide all the light on the subject. Note that natural light generally looks more natural than flash. A window or even a regular household lamp can provide a great light for a face. Remember also that light is what makes a person look “real”; if all the light comes from the camera position the person can tend to look “flat”, but if more light is landing on one side than on another they take on a more three-dimensional look.
- Coach; sometimes what people are wearing is just as important as expression or scene. If possible, coach the subject on what to wear; clothes should not draw attention away from the faces! (Well, unless you’re trying to sell clothes…)
With those steps in hand, your photographs will look great.