Valentine's Day Photo Expose': Take A Portrait of Your Love, Without The Drama.

Ever since its invention, the camera has been a tool for making love immortal. From the pocket tintype portraits of soldiers during The American Civil War, to the digital engagement pictures that come across facebook every .023 seconds. It's the human condition to want to immortalize and share that special person in our lives.

Here's some tips on getting portrait photos of your one and only, without the drama:

1. Photograph them doing something they love. It's easy to capture the fun loving essence of your soul-mate, when they are comfortable and having a good time. The smiles are natural, the joy is genuine.

2. Know their insecurities and work around them. This sounds like a no brainer but it's literally the key to the photo kingdom. If your special someone hates their left/right ear proportions, can't stand that 1 mm childhood scar above their eyebrow, the left side of their face, etc. Then avoid the problem areas. Take it from their "favorite side." Selectively use angles and the distance between you and the subject to get the shot. Avoid the insecurities and you won't get caught before you even get out of the gate.

3. They always think they look fat, learn to work with it. Whether it's the size of their arms, their chin, the body in general, it's always a touchy issue. Even some celebrities I work with are insecure on levels the likes of which have never been seen. Do me a favor and learn this, always shoot from a higher angle. Find a step stool, safely stand on a chair (not a swiveling chair, I have stitches that proves it isn't a good idea), even have the subject sit down and photograph them while standing up. This is magic for solving body perception issues. It will make someone look better almost every time.

4. Take pictures of different expressions. Have them smile at the camera, smile looking away from the camera, looking pensively at the camera with curious eyes, or even try a candid. Love is complex, expressions should reflect it. Fake personality on the wrong person creates an awkward photo. Some people just don't look good smiling from tooth to tooth. Find that essence that makes your heart flutter.

5. Don't retouch. Photographers are always falling on this double edge sword, when it comes to taking photos of their love . Personally, I won't retouch photos of my signifigant others. Why? It's the worst feeling ever, having someone you love, begging you to retouch their photo. They look over your shoulder as you take away the wrinkles, the bags under the eyes, the blemishes. It's the ultimate "I love you, but here's how you should look in a perfect world" trap. You can't win, seriously, i've tried. Remember...people like to be retouched, they don't like to watch you retouch them.

Love is easy to feel, it's harder to capture in a photo. The point of these tips isn't to hide who someone is or what they really look like. Rather, it's about positioning yourself to create something real, lasting, and overall makes someone feel loved.