duanefromga wrote: ... Can I use my Mac to take a picture in the same way I would take a picture with a camera?
You can use your Mac's built-in camera to take pictures, but not in the same way you use a camera.
duanefromga wrote: How do I go about taking a picture of someone else with my Mac? ...
Software operates all your Mac's functions, including its camera. Unlike simply pushing a button when using a separate camera that can do nothing but make pictures, you must first launch an app that offers the camera functions you want in order to use your Mac's camera.
To find which apps those might include, you can use your Mac's Finder > Help menu command to search for "camera" (without quotation marks) help topics like this one: Use your Mac’s built-in camera. (Your Mac's Finder > Help will show the same info as clicking this linked web page.)
Try the simplest camera software app, Photo Booth, first. After you launch Photo Booth, if you need more help, you can use the Photo Booth > Help menu command to search for more info.
This article offers great basic tips about how to position, light, and use built-in cameras. Although its subject shows it was written for iMacs, it is equally applicable to your MBP.
You can also use some of your other apps like iMovie and QuickTime Player (v.10 and above) to capture video of other people. If you like, you can extract single frames of the video to use as still images.
Of course, iChat can record images of people with whom you connect.
You can even use keyboard shortcuts to capture a picture of someone using one of these apps (⇧⌘3 or ⇧⌘⌃3, and ⇧⌘4 or ⇧⌘⌃4) provided that his image is visible on your Mac's display.
For more specialized functions than those offered by the camera software already included with your Mac, you can search the Mac App Store for other apps that can use your camera.
BTW, Apple has changed the names of built-in cameras in recent years. Apple currently calls cameras built into Macs and Apple LED displays "FaceTime HD" cameras. However, whether cameras in Help articles are identified as "iSight", "FaceTime", or "FaceTime HD", the info and suggestions are applicable to your built-in camera regardless of the camera name used in the artilces.
There used to be a small multimirror plastic attachment called the Huckleberry. It clipped to the top of the screen and refocused the iSight optics on whatever was behind the open laptop display--i.e., facing you. The Huckleberry apparently is no longer being made, but there may be knockoffs or, if you're handy, you could make your own.
Alternatively, add a USB camera and point it at your subject. You'll get a better image with a second camera than any iSight-redirecting mirror gadget can provide.
You're most welcome, duanefromga.
If you cannot turn your Mac around or ask the other person to sit in front of your display, adding a low-cost compatible external webcam is the best solution.
Some examples are here: http://www.mac-compatible-web-cam.com/
Be sure you check that the one you buy is compatible with BOTH your Mac, its Mac OS, and the app you are using to capture the images. Don't install any software that comes with the cam. All you need is already on your Mac.
How you select the other camera depends on which app you are using. More info here: http://discussions.apple.com/message/16330808