Proper exposure is crucial for making great digital pics as overexposure makes your pictures too bright and facial features are lost in the bright flash. Meanwhile, underexposure leaves your pictures dark and devoid of recognizable objects. While a full lesson of this subject matter could fill an entire textbook, you should start by taking control of three basic camera items: flash, exposure setting, and ISO setting.
The first step in preventing overexposure in close range photos is to take a few sample pics in the given environment with flash off, as this will let you see if ambient lighting is sufficient for good pictures. Just using ambient light will make your pictures come out as they appear to the naked eye. However, if the pictures are too dark then turn your flash back on and take another test picture.
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Generally, most new cameras have very bright flashes and at close range cause overexposure (i.e. people's faces will be very white and won't have any detail). You can counteract this problem by lowering your exposure setting (how to depends on the model). This will reduce the amount of light the camera will accept and keep your pictures full of detail and color.