Candid photography has gained a lot of traction over the years. These unposed appearances and unscripted moments when captured at the right time can effectively narrate a story or two. Traditional photography, on the other hand, requires the subject to be aware of the photographer and might even have to tweak their pose with regards to a scripted outcome.
So the important thing to address is – what is candid photography? It is often described as, “any photography that is real and in the moment.” Often, people assume this means the photographer has to be hidden from the subject to be able to capture the desired result. However, that could not be further from the truth. Candid shots are best captured when the photographer is up-close and personal with the subject as well as engaging with them.
This means there is no rehearsed pose or emotion, it is genuine and always shines through. So then you might wonder, for a photographer – what are candid shots? It is a decisive moment. To be able to productively optimize your environment to work as an advantage in your photograph along with your subject – it is the result of a lot of practice.
Here are some tips on how to take better candid photo:
Shoot in Burst Mode
When working with people and focusing on candid photography, time and moment are extremely crucial. This is why continuous shooting mode can be beneficial in this regard. The window of opportunity during a moment is slim and the aim is to always capture the ideal moment. In this mode, you can take a number of photos in quick succession as opposed to in the normal shooting mode. With this, you can be sure to capture every emotion, movement, and expression.
Blend into the Scene
Candid photography is extremely powerful! This is perhaps because as a moment is in motion, it is not being interrupted by a traditional photographer. To be able to deliver images to speak volumes, the professional photographer must blend into the scene with his subject. For example, if at an event, try dressing to not get attention and avoid using flash. It helps the subjects, even if they know you are photographing their event, that you do not interrupt their activity to get the rawest image, emotion, and experience. It is the one time you don’t have to get people to coordinate with you for photography – use that zoom lens or shoot from the hip area!
Engage with your Subject
Sometimes, your subjects might not loosen up even while you’re blending in. There’s a simple rule for this – when in doubt, engage with your subject. Having a friendly conversation with them might definitely get you to help them become more comfortable around the camera. This is the key to a lot of things when you get someone to talk about what they’re passionate about – their focus is likely to shift from what is bothering them to their happy place. When people are in their natural element, they will make for great pictures.
Ditch the Flash
When trying to go unseen, blending in, making your subjects comfortable – using flash is a big no-no. The aim is to take well-exposed photos in low light areas as well, like indoors. For this, try widening your aperture and raising your ISO to about 400. This will help keep the focus on the subject and not the surroundings whilst adding shallow depth of feel.
One of the things about candid photography is, you never know what is going to happen next. At a moment you might be shooting something close and the next, something meters away. The best solution for this is to use a zoom lens as it offers great versatility. You can invest in a zoom lens that also offers a wide aperture. The chance of you being able to swap lenses will cost you potentially important interaction between your subjects. Additionally, you can zoom into the action of a moment without being intrusive. This helps capture emotions comfortably between subjects.
Candid photography is the product of a lot of patience and practice. You can use these tips to help enhance your photography skills. Remember to always use the right equipment and camera settings as well.