illustration of a family posing for a photo(Photo: Paul Slater)

Consultant: Teri Bloom, photographer

• For the most flattering pictures, shoot from slightly above the subjects.

• Use soft lighting and a telephoto lens if you have one. It tends to flatten unflattering features.

• Get close. It's a family photo, after all, not a photo of the family room.

• Take lots of frames. The more people in the shot, the more likely one of them is going to blink. On average, one out of every five shots is usable.

• No props.