Candid photography is highly admirable as it captures the moment as it is. These pictures focus on natural actions rather than having people pose for photos. Candid photography is becoming increasingly popular, which is why knowing how to take this style of photo accurately is imperative. There are several candid photography tips that you can follow in order to capture the perfect view. It is very important for you to utilize the proper modes and features your camera has to offer in order to capture the perfect shot.
1. Always be Prepared to Capture the Moment
It may seem unnatural, but one of the candid photography tips is that you take your camera with you everywhere. Having a quality point and shoot camera on hand will let you quickly snap photographs without notice. If you interact with people frequently, having your camera with you at all times becomes something they are accustomed to. As a result, they are more inclined to act naturally whenever you pull out your camera to capture the photo.
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2. Make Use of Your Camera’s Zoom
The further away from the subject you are, the more likely they are to act naturally. They may not even realize you are taking a photo of them at all. Zooming candid photography tips ensure you are able to achieve the most natural candid photo imaginable from a distance while still capturing fine details.
3. Candid Photography Tips #3 Avoid Using the Flash
Candid photography tips suggest that you do not use flash as it may compromise the natural atmosphere of the photo. If people are suddenly startled by the flash, they may flinch or react negatively to it. Instead, the best camera for candid shots is one that includes a natural light mode that you can easily turn on, along with opening up the aperture, in order to capture an undisturbed atmosphere.
4. Shoot a lot of Images
Taking advantage of the burst mode is one of the best candid photography tips you can ever listen to. If you shoot multiple images very quickly, you are more likely to land that perfect candid photo. People may do something surprising or spontaneous and capture it through bursts of images increases your ability to catch the perfect shot. This tip and many others on this list also apply for those who want to get into street photography, since these two have a lot in common. If you are serious about candid photography, we strongly recommend also reading our article on street photography tips.
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5. Take Photographs from Different Perspectives
Take photographs from the hip or chest level in order to produce an element of surprise. If people know you are taking pictures, they are more inclined to stop what they are doing in order to pose for the photo. Candid photography tips like this suggest being sneaky or stealthlike so you do not catch a person off-guard. When practicing this method, it is important for you to set your lens to a wider angle. You will not have the ability to look through the camera to focus on something, so widening the view ensures you will catch everything in front of you.
6. Frame Elements in the Foreground
Use a tree branch, shoulder, or even a door frame to create the feeling that you are hiding out-of-sight from the target. If people viewing the photograph believe you are hiding from the target’s sight, they are more inclined to believe the photograph is natural and not a posed image. These candid photography tips can be interpreted as taking posed shots in candid settings. If people are taking posed photos, select a different angle from the photographer and shoot the target from there. You can also pan or zoom in to create a more dramatic photograph.
7. Avoid Manual Mode as Much as Possible
The best camera for candid shots includes two semi-automatic modes. These modes are called Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority. Both of these work extremely well for candid photographs due to the speed in which they capture the image. Candid photography tips that focus on the capture mode are crucial. With Shutter Priority, you have the ability to set your ISO and shutter speed value so you camera adjusts for the proper exposure on its own. Aperture priority works in low light situations to adjust the shutter speed to incorporate the ideal exposure for the photograph.
8. Change the Auto-Focus Mode to Avoid Blurry Photos
Both Canon and Nikon have autofocus settings that force the camera to autofocus before it takes a picture. The problem with candid photography is that the subjects are naturally always moving. Rather than forcing your camera to focus in on one object before each photo, set your camera to Continuous autofocus mode. This will prevent you from capturing blurry photos as your camera will be ready at moments notice to lock in and capture the target.
9. Get Out There and Shoot
Out of all of the candid photography tips provided, this is the “make it or break it” tip. You will need to be extremely comfortable out there taking random pictures of people at any given moment. Shyness is not an option when you are trying to capture great moments. You must be willing to put yourself in front of the story and capture it quickly. Confidence in your ability to jump into unknown territory and start taking pictures without hesitation is also a plus. People can sense uncertainty and this will surely disturb the all-natural candid photography atmosphere you are trying to capture.
10. Select the Right Shooting Format Before you Begin
Most photographs save in JPG file format, which drastically limits the editing flexibility you have once you captured the photograph. Instead, saving your photographs in RAW format will ensure you can use a program like Lightroom or Photoshop to edit and correct the photos without limitations.
- Erin Manning
- Publisher: Wiley
- Edition no. 2 (12/06/2011)
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Erin Manning
- Publisher: Wiley
- Edition no. 1 (10/08/2007)
- Paperback: 272 pages
Now that you know all the tricks of the trade, it is time to get out there and capture that perfect candid photograph. Remember to act natural, take advantage of the modes your camera has to offer, and most importantly act confident. Your next shot may be the best shot of your life, but you need to get out there and capture it.