You have a camera and a willing subject, but you're not sure how to break your portraits out of the flat blandness that plagues many snapshots. Over at the photography site Digital Photography School, they've put together a list of best practices for avoiding the boring portrait blues. They all focus on breaking out of your default camera-pointed-right-at-subject's-face/subject-starring-down-camera-like-hungry-wolf setup. The photograph I grabbed from Flickr here (Photo by Kevin N. Murphy.) is an example of tip #7, introducing a prop into the photo. Another way to go about injecting interest into your photos is to take a well-established rule of composition and break it:
The Rule of Thirds is one that can be effective to break - placing your subject either dead centre can sometimes create a powerful image - or even creative placement with your subject right on the edge of a shot can sometimes create interesting images.
While the tips they offer are all about composition, don't neglect the hardware side of things. Check out previously reviewed list of photography hacks from David Pogue to increase your photographic arsenal cheaply. If you have a favourite portrait to share, link it and explain its craft in the comments. Photo by Gianmaria.