"Use a long lens such as 135mm - the 'people' lens. A wide-angle distorts the face, although it can be effective for parties. Find a simple, mid-toned background and use a wide aperture to throw it out of focus. I like to use tree leaves or a wall as a background and a 200mm lens set to f/2.8. Center the eyes in the shot, not the head, to provide balance in the shot. When photographing children, crouch down so that you're shooting at their eye-level."