Candid photography goes way deeper than just pretending to pose for the perfect shot. Natural candid photography is an incredibly popular style of photography, as it captures raw and real emotions in the moment, and tells a tale like no other art form.
The perfect candid photograph is a perfect blend of spontaneity and skilful technique. To have the presence of mind to act fast and the expertise to capture the moment in splendour is the work of only the best in the industry. Do you think you have what it takes to make it as a candid photographer? If not, here are some tips that can get you there.
Top 5 tips to perfect your candid photography
1. Shoot from the hip
A good candid photographer knows that a major aspect of candid photography is to avoid all attention. So jumping up in front of a subject with your camera, may not help your case. It would be useful to hold your camera at hip level, look down at the screen, frame and then shoot your photo.
If discretion is what you’re aiming for, shooting from the hip sure does do the trick. You might end up with a couple of bad shots due to poor framing but if you take enough, you’re bound to end up with a winner.
2. Stay on the down-low
Candid photography requires discretion and stealth and does not fare well when the subjects are aware they are being photographed. Try to blend into the environment and not get noticed, so that you can capture pure, real moments of your subject.
One of the biggest give-aways is the flash going off when capturing a candid scene. Using flash is obviously a big no as it kills the moment; not to mention, the creepy stalker vibes that ensue.
3. Use the right lens
For beginner candid photography, the recommended lens would be a zoom lens. The further you are from your subject, the lesser the chance of them noticing you. Using a long zoom lens lets you shoot from outside their personal space and also achieves the intimacy of a close-up photograph.
Prime lenses can also be a great choice as they can be compact and convenient to use for quick candid photography. Experiment with different lenses to find out which one best suits your candid photography style.
4. Shoot in burst mode
Candid photography can require a lot of patience, waiting for the right moment to come around. So when the moment finally comes, you don’t want to miss it. Shooting in burst mode can improve your chances of zeroing in on that perfect shot.
While burst mode is recommended for beginners, you’ll soon progress in expertise and rely on your intuition and judgement to capture the right instance, instead of capturing a lot of moments at once.
5. Experiment with composition
Just because candid photography requires speed and spontaneity doesn’t mean you can ignore photography techniques just to get a photo in time. While it’s important to capture the right moment, it’s equally important to capture it the right way.
Think about how you want to compose the picture even if you don’t have a lot of time to plan things out. Change your perspective and try to incorporate more creative elements into the frame.
Capturing secret moments without any planning or forethought can be a bit of a challenge so candid photography isn’t the average photographer’s cup of tea. A good photographer may be able to stage a perfect scene for a shoot but a great candid photographer can create scenes out of everyday moments.