6 TIPS FOR GREAT “CANDID” PHOTOS

cheerful diverse schoolgirls embracing near brick wall
Photo by Mary Taylor on Pexels.com

Candid photography, when I mention it, seems like an easy subject to talk about…. or is it?  So many people seem to think that it is to just capture pictures of people when they are not expecting it.  And that certainly is part of it.  How many people pictures are you missing by not being ready for that?   I think there is more than just that. 

I found this great article written by:  Patricia Strasser from PictureCorrect  that, after I read it, went yes, this really hits home to a large group of photographers, especially those involved in “Street Photography”.   This particular type of photographer has developed a special art in it’s own.  I am part of a couple of these special groups on Facebook, and have found that their photos are amazing.  Capturing the every day life of people on the street, is all part of candid photography.  So, I want to put this article on this blog so everyone can benefit from this, not just those who specialize in Street Photography. 

Candid photography focuses on what the subject is naturally doing and not on what the subject must be doing. It is a photo similar to that of a stolen shot. Most images taken in candid photography are of people not looking directly at the camera. Read on for five helpful tips to successfully snap a candid photo:

Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

1- ALWAYS CARRY YOUR CAMERA WITH YOU:

Bringing cameras along with you as you go about your everyday routine will help you take better candid pictures. You must be alert to any situation and be very observant about what is happening in your immediate surroundings. Taking candid pictures is naturally easy, but you can’t take a second picture that looks like the first one, because every moment is unique. So when you see an opportunity to take candid shots, focus on that, and then click the shutter. Point and then shoot must be the initial reaction.

2- AVOID COMPLICATED LIGHTING TECHNIQUES

Using complicated lighting techniques is not always advisable when taking candid photos. Always remember that having a perfect photo is not really necessary. What is important is for the photo to capture real-life, unscripted shots.

Photo by Brian Gordillo on Unsplash

3- BLEND IN WITH THE ENVIRONMENT

Taking candid pictures requires great discipline. This is because it requires the photographer to blend in with the environment. Candid photographers should not be too obvious if they want to produce the most unscripted shots of frozen moments. Take photos without holding the camera up to your eye as often as possible. For example, you could put the camera near your waist to take the shot. This will also help you to see the pictures from another angle.

4- USE A LONG LENS

Using the camera’s fullest zoom will also help you get a good, candid photo. As long as you are not seen, the subject will act naturally. When you are a fair distance away from the subject, you can use the telephoto lens. Avoid taking pictures of people’s backs.

5- CAPTURE THE SUBJECT IN BLACK AND WHITE:

Converting the picture to black and white is another great idea, because it will help you capture the subject’s emotion. Taking pictures of people who are doing things or are in constant motion is the best situation for taking candid shots. Capturing the essence of a person’s task in black and white will emphasize the emotion on the subject’s face.

grayscale photography of a man carrying dog
Photo by Matt Reiter on Unsplash

6. ASK FOR PERMISSION

Never forget to ask permission when appropriate. Although for some shots it is okay not to, asking for permission is always a safe and appropriate decision. This will prevent conflict and intrusion of someone’s right to privacy.

Photo by Valerie Elash on Unsplash

The best way of capturing a candid picture is to experiment often. Explore everything, try every angle, and don’t forget to look at other photographers’ work for inspiration.

About the Author:This article was written by Patricia Strasser from Foto TV. It was founded in 2007 by Marc Ludwig and is headquartered in Cologne.

Published by 123photogo

I have been a photographer for many years. Worked in retail selling cameras and accessories for over 20 years. Taught many photo classes, and have even been a judge in several county fairs. Now, I want to share photo instructions and entertainment with all other photographers around the world.

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