It really is a good investment to spend money on a nice digital camera. You can take as many pictures as you want. If you take 200 pictures, there has to be at least one good one. Of course it's always nice to get a professional to do it, but I know when I go to Sears and get my kids' pictures taken, I can easily spend at least $150 (I like to get the CD so I can post them on my personal blog and then into my blog book)! If going to a professional is just not in the budget, but you want family pictures, have a friend take them for you. You can use your camera or if your friend has a better camera see if you can use theirs. Offer to take their family photos in exchange. And if you have a nice camera and don't need a family picture, you can always just take you kids by themselves if you need a picture for whatever reason (i.e. Christmas Cards). I find some of the best pictures on in nature or next to really old buildings. For my Christmas card pictures this year, I took my kids into the woods. I dressed them "formally" and the pictures came out awesome. The best time to take pictures is when it is overcast outside. I wouldn't recommend going out when the sun is blazing unless that is the only time you can do it. I did have to pose them so I could get a decent group shot to send out, but the best pictures are the ones that you let happen naturally. Just let your "subject" walk around, do their own thing and click away. Sometimes the funny faces or the crying faces turn out to be my favorites. It doesn't matter if you take 500 pictures. It's not going to cost you anything to take more pictures. I think we took 260 in probably about a 20-30 minute time frame with my small kids. You can download Picasa 3.5 for free to edit your pictures. I have Adobe to edit my pictures and can't figure it out. I find this to be much easier. I even used it to create my header on my blog. For Thanksgiving, my uncle used my camera to take a family picture, but it was crooked. I was able to straighten it out through Picasa. Just remember to copy the picture and re paste it into your folder before you edit. Just in case you mess up, you still have the original. I did that recently! Opps!
Do you have any tips to take better pictures?