Gone are the days when friends and family were made to pose with the bride and groom or the birthday baby. Everybody now wants natural shots or candid photos. Candid photography is becoming more and more popular these days. Here, the subjects do not pose but are rather caught in the moment. This not only gives better, more natural photos but also reduce the awkwardness and camera fear in the subject. It is also great fun for the photographer for there is always the element of surprise and you’ll never know what you’ll get.
Here are some ways to take better candid shots:
Catch them in the moment
candid photos in itself mean pictures where subjects are in their natural state. This is achieved more easily when they don’t know that they are being shot at all. So the way to go when you are looking to take good candid photos is to catch the subject in the moment. This gives an emotion to the picture and the subject invariably looks good due to the sheer lack of awkwardness.
Lose the flash
the most important thing is to practice shooting in natural light. Not only does it not detract your subject but it also gives more perspective to the photo. The mood of the subject is much better reflected in the photograph when shot in natural light.
Shoot from the hip
if you don’t want the subject to even know that you are photographing him/her, be it in order to not distract them or to not offend them, the best way to shoot is from the hip. This will also give you a new perspective. Try using live view to compose a shot at first if you’re ending up with a lot of bad photos. Also use the Burst mode while shooting candid pictures. This way you get a good couple of pictures of the same moment to choose from, for the moment gone never comes back.
Tag along for professional shoots
A best place to take candid shots full of emotions and fun is during a professional shoot. When the photographer is trying to get the subject or subjects in the right pose/position, you can shoot the subjects in their natural state, having fun and making cute silly faces. Also, the lighting is always brilliant! So take your camera along when your family or friends go for a professional shoot and catch them in the moment.
Candid photography is all about improvisation. You obviously can’t carry around all your lenses, lighting equipment and diffusers with you everywhere and at all times not only because it’s practically impossible but you are also going to make it obvious to the subject that he/she is being photographed. So you must learn to photograph with the amount of light you’ve got and the setting that you are in to compose a good candid shot. This comes with a lot of trial and errors, and practice.
B&W is your best friend
you can add a lot to your image while shooting in monochrome, especially if you are looking to take portraits. Not only does it give a completely new perspective to your pictures but monochrome has a way of making the subject look ethereally beautiful by adding a bit of mystery to the picture.
it’s important for the audience to understand what you are trying to communicate through the picture be it an emotion or a message. So it is important to add context using the settings and surroundings. Here again you must learn to improvise, for you can’t use any props per se. It’s just your subject and what he, she or it has got with or around them.
Good lens (telephoto can work wonders)
it’s important to have a good lens and the right lens to shoot good candid photos. This one can choose keeping in mind where he/she is going to shoot. Telephoto lenses work amazingly for one main reason- they can make your subject look closer than they are which means you can shoot from a good distance. Also, try and keep your camera on Auto Focus when shooting. This way you won’t miss the moment while trying to get the right focus.
catching the subject in the moment might sound easy but if you want to catch them at the right moment you must be very patient. Your arms are going to hurt but trust me when I say the results are going to be completely worth it. You need to decide on the subject and wait for them to get into the right position or do the right action or show the right emotion to be able to get a good photo.
Carry your camera everywhere, EVERWHERE
if you want to become a very good candid photographer, you must learn to make your camera a part of your every fashion statement. Carry it everywhere. You never know when you will get an amazing picture. Always be ready to shoot. This way you’ll never miss a moment. Shoot anything and everything.
Most people don’t get offended by being photographed but if you find anyone stopping you from photographing them or being offended by being photographed, whether you are planning to publish the photographs or not, please respect their personal opinion and refrain from photographing them or delete the picture right there in front of them. This will increase their respect for the art and for the artists. Keeping this in mind, pick up your camera and shoot the next person you see!