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Steve Wylie wrote:
Here are some more thoughts (posed as friendly but important questions for you to ask yourself) when positioning and posing your subjects. In the first shot, why is she holding a dead tree branch? And what does her facial expression say about her (or to you)? In the second shot, is that tree limb about to fall on her head? If not, why is she holding it up? Would she ever stand there like that if you weren't making a photo of her? And what's that building and frame-thing in the background? (The background should never compete with the subject, unless it's an integral part of the image - in this case, it's not.) In the third shot, does that deep shadow help the photo? How would you diminish it? (Two ways: move her away from the rock wall, and/or soften the direct sun with a scrim held just out of frame to block the direct sun. I would do both.) Number four, in my opinion, is the best of the bunch. Soft light, nice, pleasant expressions, a pleasing backdrop, a good color palette with no clashing colors. The only suggestion I'd make for this one would be to slightly angle your daughter a bit toward the camera and crop a bit lower, so as not to chop off your youngest son's hands.
It's always good to examine your "frame" before you hit the shutter, and ask yourself questions like these. I do it every time I do an environmental portrait.
Hope this helps.