A candid photograph is a photograph that is made either without the subject’s knowledge or without their explicit permission, hence they are captured unposed. As simply and as direct as that is the definition of Wikipedia for candid photography. Well, everyone knows what candid is and when you can tell if it is candid or not. When you see a candid photo, for sure it looks a lot different because the emotion of the subjects is so real that you also tend to feel the feelings of those in the picture. A candid photo’s emotion is contagious. You can feel what the subjects feel at the moment of the shot.

Candid photography is one of the types of photography that gives really impressive results. It is also more challenging at times and would also be easier because you do not have to prepare a lot of stuff expect yourself. You need to be alert when a good candid shot can be taken. It is also less expensive for you do not have to hire a model and let them wear expensive costumes. So, if you want to venture into the world of candid photography, here are some tips for you:

1. Keep your subject’s mind off the lens.

Keep your subject’s mind off the lens
Image: Rbrandt85

This means that you should not let your subject pose. Some people act as if they are unaware that someone is taking a picture but it still appears differently. That is still posing. It would be a lot better if the subjects are truly unaware of it and are just doing things like how they would do it. They won’t act naturally if they know that someone is taking a picture because they will be conscious. You will be able to get a better candid photo if you really take a picture of those who are unaware of the camera.

2. Take pictures of movements and expressions.

Take pictures of movements and expressions
Image: fotoimpressions.com

The best candid photo is the one that shows a good expression and an interesting action. You can look for expressions from those who are merely staring blankly or maybe someone laughing hardly. It would give a good effect for your picture will look alive. You can also look for actions. Your subject might be doing something like someone working or dancing on the street.

3. Click fast and often.

Click fast and often
Image: toon_ee

When you can see a good subject, the best thing to do is get many shots. Doing this can assure you that you will be able to have a good image afterwards. Click fast so you can capture actions that are distinct and would give a good story. Do not hesitate to take a lot of pictures in different angles. After that, you can choose from the pictures you took which one is the best shot.

4. Include good visual elements.

Include good visual elements
Image: azrael-x64

Look into the scenario. If you see some other visual elements that look interesting, these can also be part of the picture. It can add story to the image and can also aid in framing it. A visual element can help frame a subject and guide the viewer’s eyes towards it. But be sure to choose one that looks good in the picture.

5. Let the viewer concentrate on the subject.

Let the viewer concentrate on the subject
Image: oo-rein-oo

There are instances that your backgrounds are so cluttered that it might ruin your image. So, when you take a picture, look around the background and make sure that it doesn’t look cluttered. A cluttered image can distract the viewers and would have the tendency to look away from the subject. Use a wide aperture camera so you can focus on your subject and do away with the clutter around it.

6. Blend with the environment.

Blend with the environment
Image: danny st.

While taking the picture, it would be good if you try to blend in with everyone so that they won’t notice that you will take a picture. Then if you see something that looks interesting, then go get that. You will surely be able to get a good shot especially if you are positioned well. It would be better not to be obvious to the subject because it is the best way to get a candid photo.

7. Try to compose.

Try to compose
Image: toon_ee

When taking candid pictures, you still have to compose it in order to come up with a good result. Doing that will make the picture look a lot better with a good impact to those looking at it. It can also give a better story to the viewers as well. There are different ways of composing a photo. You can read more about photography composition at Photography Composition Points to Take Note Of.

8. Try it in black and white.

Try it in black and white
Image: oo-rein-oo

It will also look more dramatic if you use black and white instead of colored. An image that is black and white can give a different effect. It can also drive the viewers attention to the subject because there are no other distracting colors around it. It can be effective in relaying a message to the viewers.

9. Grab an opportunity for a candid shot.

Grab an opportunity for a candid shot
Image: renez

Well, there are no second chances for a candid shot. So, when you have the chance to do it, do it at once! You will not be able to get the same shot again. Also, do not hesitate to take lots of pictures because this way, you will be able to choose which ones are better.

10. Experiment shots.

Experiment shots
Image: oo-rein-oo

For a better candid shot, do not just stick with a single focus, a single frame, a single angle and everything involved in your taking pictures. Do not be afraid to experiment. Take a picture with different angles. Choose elements that can be a good frame for your photo. Doing that will make your picture look attractive. Experiment and you will surely be happy with the results.

It’s Your Turn Now

Candid photographs are really a lot different from those pictures that are posed. There are more stories you can make from it and there are more real emotions in it. Have you ever tried taking candid photos? What were the things that you did to make it look good? Try adding some tips to the list above. It could be a great help to everyone interested in it.

Kareen Liez

About the author: A Civil Engineer who has a construction business and a youth volunteer for a civic organization. She also contributes for a local newspaper due to her unwavering passion to write.