This tutorial covers using the basic methods that come with the game - no hacks, no photoshop, etc. The more talented (of whom there are many on this site) will have to cover that. This tutorial is primarily about using the in-game camera button, with a little bit about the "Take my picture" interaction.
First of all, major life events - birth, birthdays, engagement, woohoo - either in bed or a hot tub, marriage, going to college, leaving college all have animations. (I haven't seen them, but I assume first kiss and death are also included). If there are other animations please feel free to post.
You have to turn these animations off. This
(about half way down) tells you how. With the special event camera disabled, you will have a chance to photograph these events as well.
Before I had a computer, I was a big photography nut. Alas, my cameras sit in the closet now while I play sims.
Most of this article will be more about photography than anything else.
When you see something interesting coming up, hit <pause>. Now you can advance the action frame by frame by repeatedly hitting <pause>. This is an advantage that real
photographers don't have.
When you see something you like, rotate around to get the best angle. Also move in close - you don't want "See that speck in front of Mount Rushmore - that's Aunt Minnie". You should pay special attention to the mouths, since then sometimes be ugly, even scary, in still shots. Be patient, you may even need to advance a frame or two.
OK, you now have the picture you want. What about the background? There are viral postings on the web of happy bridal couples on the beach with a half-naked cretin in the background. Always
check the background! If it's in a house, you may want to put up walls. Maybe the first wall option is enough, but you might find the background going through interior walls to the toilet. You may need to use the second wall option - interior walls as well - but then you may need to zoom in closer or try a different angle and reframe. I still forget this - here
I forgot to put up the walls for the food throwing, but did remember for the toast. In shots outside a house, you should put up the whole house if it's in the background. Also consider the lighting. If it's at night, you may need to put up a light fixture - even temporarily. You can use lightposts outside as well. In the photo here
of Zoe and Valera reading outside, I put in an indoor floor lamp for more illumination. Some scenes here
show lack of illumination. You can also (temporarily) move furniture, etc out of the way of your shot while the game is paused. Take your pic, then put it back. Again, you have some advantages over real-live photographers.
In addition to the camera button on the main screen, you can also use the self action "pose", which allows several standard poses. There are hacks which go waaaaay beyond these.
Then use the "Take my picture" action on another sim. You'll get a frame which you can really
adjust to get the right shot. Here
Chaya came over to take some pics of Ella. One picture shows Chaya taking a picture, the next ones show the pics she took. Ella was "posing" at the time.
Finally, every photographer should
know, take lots of pictures, but then throw out 3 out of 4. Show only the best. I've sat through far too many slide shows where I was thankful for a dark room!
I'll just repeat here. When doing a portrait painting, use "Paint Still Life" rather than "Paint Portrait Of". You have many more options to pose your subject (or do a self-portrait) and you don't have to have the subject there to resume painting.