Candid photography is a great method to capture intimate, honest photos – the type of images that will tell real stories regarding their subjects.
But how can you capture stunning candid photos? How can you produce candid shots that you can be proud of?
In this post, I share 11 suggestions to take your candid photos to another level. Note that these tips are usually not about taking sneaky, voyeuristic, or true paparazzi shots. Instead, they’ll help you add an authentic, candid feel to photos you take of loved ones, portrait subjects , images at occasions , and more.
Let’s get started.
1 . Take your camera all over the place
The best way to consider spontaneous photos? Always have the camera! That way, when the moment presents itself, you can quickly flick the particular On button, snag a few shots, and (if just about all goes well! ) obtain a great result.
When I’m on a shoot, I’ll use my DIGITAL SLR – but when I’m between shoots, I carry a point-and-shoot camera. If I visit a good opportunity, I’ll whip it out and catch the scene. Of course , a person don’t need to head out and purchase an expensive second body – these days, smartphone cameras are very high quality and more than adequate for most candid photography.
Also, taking a camera everywhere helps people become more comfortable with you taking their own photo. I find that my buddies and family just expect me to have my digital camera out, so when I do open fire it up, it’s not a signal in order to pose, it’s just a regular part of our interaction. And when I do take an image or even two, the subjects are relaxed and the photos seem natural.
second . Use a long focal duration
To capture candid photography without being observed, try shooting with a long lens – a 135mm prime , an 18-200mm zoom , or a 70-200mm zoom , for instance. As you’ve probably already guessed, the farther you are from your subject, the particular less likely they are to know that you are taking pictures, and the more organic and relaxed they’ll respond.
Depending on the atmosphere, though, a long lens could be pretty noticeable, and it may actually make people feel unpleasant (like they’re being spied on). So choose your own lens widely, and if you happen to be concerned about people’s reactions, think about picking your most small zoom.
That way, you can get your candid pictures from outside people’s private space, you can go undetected, and you can maintain a feeling of intimacy in your compositions.
3. Kill the flash
Perhaps the most obvious method you can signal to another person that you’re photographing them? Using a flash (especially the adobe flash on the top of your camera! ). After all, there’s nothing like a blinding flash of lighting to get people’s attention plus kill a moment.
So if possible, maintain your flash off for genuine shots. When you’re shooting in low light, rather than using flash, try enhancing your
You’ll obtain a brighter exposure, and you’ll avoid making your subject matter uncomfortable.
four. Take a lot of shots
Back in the film days, it was important to conserve your own photos. But if you use an electronic digital camera (and I’m guessing you do! ), there’s no real need to hold back; instead, be aggressive with your shooting. Don’t be afraid to take a lot of images of the same subject.
In fact , I’ve found that, when shooting a burst of images of a person, I can sometimes get some surprising and spontaneous shots that I’d not have captured otherwise.
So switch your own camera to its continuous shooting mode (i. electronic., burst mode), and fire off several shots at the same time. You’ll significantly increase your chances of capturing an unexpectedly ideal candid image.
5. Position yourself intentionally
While candid photography is all about capturing the spontaneity of a minute and getting a perfect shot in that split second of time, if you think forward and foresee what is about to unfold, you can increase your chances of success.
So at a wedding, get to the church early (or actually go to the rehearsal) and think about what will happen during the ceremony. Where should you stand to capture each moment? Which usually way will people become facing? What will they become doing? What will the light end up like?
If you ask these questions beforehand, you won’t waste time playing around and repositioning yourself once the action happens. And you will be in the perfect spot in order to capture candid moments if they do occur.
6. Photograph people doing things
Personally, I find that images of people doing things are much more interesting than images of people sitting around performing nothing. And they tend to feature more natural compositions, too.
For one, your subject will be focused on something which adds energy to a photo. It also adds context and an element of story (and these elements takes their focus off you! ).
Timing is usually everything in candid picture taking, so wait until your own subject is fully focused on their activity. This will provide a feeling of authenticity into your shots, where your subject matter is unaware and the viewer can look on hidden.
Note that your subject doesn’t need to be performing something especially involved or complex – they might be dance, talking, playing a game, and so forth
seven. Photograph people with people
When you photograph several person at a time, something very interesting happens:
You introduce a connection into the photo. Even if the two (or more) people aren’t really interacting, you’ll still get increased depth and also a sense of story.
Of course , the best candid compositions will have several interaction between your subjects, since that will add emotion towards the shot – but also without interaction, you can still capture some stunning images.
7. Shoot from the hip
Here’s a quick tip for shooting unnoticed , courtesy of street photographers:
Choose a relatively wide lens, such as a 35mm.
Set your camera’s shutter to its quietest setting.
Placement the camera down lower, either at chest height or at your hip.
And then, when your subject moves into position, open fire off a burst associated with shots without raising the particular camera to your eye.
This technique can be very hit or miss, and you may wish to think about
9. Swap out your perspective
Pictures taken from standing height can look fine, and certain, there are plenty of great shots used with the camera held because eye-level area. But if you wish to mix things up and capture some truly striking photos, why not change your perspective ?
For instance, get down lower and shoot upward, or find a nice vantage stage and shoot downward. You are able to climb stairs, walk over bridges, crouch on the ground – whatever you need to do to get the photograph (while staying unnoticed).
Also, if you do like the low-angle shot but you feel uncomfortable crouching while doing candid photography (it is definitely somewhat attention-grabbing, after all), try shooting from the cool (as discussed in the previous tip). While your shots risk turning out crooked, it’s a fascinating effect that some professional photographers like and can lend a feeling of randomness and realness to some scene.
10. Frame images along with foreground elements
If you want to create more three-dimensional, layered compositions, I highly recommend crafting with your subject as the center point – but then including a good element in the particular foreground , such as a tree, a person’s shoulder, the particular frame of a doorway, and so forth
Feel free to obtain creative. The point is to add the foreground element that can contribute context and depth towards the shot, but you can have fun extending your aperture for out-of-focus foreground
The ultimate goal is to generate that sense of standing outside looking in . It’s a great complement to a candid second, and when done well, can add a sense of mystery to the composition.
11. Consider posed shots into honest territory
It may sound strange, but one of my favorite times to capture candid images is whenever other photographers are taking formal ones.
Why? Well, during presented images, everyone is focused on the directing photographer, not you. So if, for instance, a wedding photographer is shooting a series of posed images, you can capture some wonderful candid moments simply by standing off to the side and taking a few images of your own.
I’d furthermore recommend zooming in with a telephoto lens to capture more intimate scenes, so you might also try zooming correct out to get shots from the subject plus the photographer.
By the way, if you’re the only photographer at an occasion or photoshoot, and you’re the one taking the posed photos, I’d recommend continuing to shoot right after everyone believes you’ve finished. It’s frequently these shots – taken moments after the posed pictures end – that seem the best, because people rest, smile naturally, laugh, and appear at each other.
Candid photography tips: last words
Hopefully, you now feel much more self-confident as a candid photographer, and you’re ready to start taking a few beautiful candid shots of your!
So grab your camera, remember these tips, and have fun shooting.
Now over to a person:
Do you have any tips for candid digital photography? How do you capture those gorgeous candid moments while photographing unnoticed? Share your thoughts in the comments below!