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.
Let’s look at 6 steps to get the best candid photos:
Candid photography focuses on what the subject is doing, NOT what the subject MUST be doing. It’s kind of like catching them doing something silly, or at least doing something they normally would not be posing for.
1- ALWAYS CARRY YOUR CAMERA WITH YOU:
If you are a serious photographer, then this should not be a problem. If you just like to dabble in photography, then at least start carrying your camera with you everywhere. Everyone loves candid photos, but the person who catches the most, is the winner.
2- AVOID COMPLICATED LIGHTING TECHNIQUES
Don’t use complicated lighting techniques. Remember, this is not a posed picture generally. You want to capture people in their “unnatural state”.
3- BLEND IN WITH THE ENVIRONMENT
This is fun especially if you are on the street with a lot of people. All of a sudden you see someone doing something crazy and fun, and out of nowhere, there is you in the crowd, snapping photos. If this is a person you don’t know, kindly go up to the person, and mention you are a professional photographer, and you would like to use their photos as some of your work.
If you are taking pictures of strangers, you might want to get a “model release” so they don’t come back and sue you. I have seen card size model releases that might be a good tool to have. Get their signature and name, and when you took this photo, and even a contact email if you want to send them a copy.
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. The back is just not a good normal photo.
5- CAPTURE THE SUBJECT IN BLACK AND WHITE:
Black and white is not a dead art. And when you take a photo of a person in black and white, you tend to capture the person’s mood, or character even more than if you did in color. Try it and see.
6. ASK FOR PERMISSION
Always ask for permission if you can. Or if you didn’t, then go up after you took the photo and talk to them about your photo you took of them. Refer to rule # 3.
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.
Author: Lanny Cottrell / 123photoGo