Have you ever seen a photo that looks so effortlessly beautiful and natural, even if the people in the photograph aren’t posing? It’s not just about how well people pose, or how comfortable they are with a camera. It takes skill to be able to capture the perfect candid shot. But you don’t have to be a pro to get the hang of it!
Here are some candid photography tips you can start applying right now:
1. Make sure you can move.
It’s hard to take interesting photos when you’re just in one spot the entire time. Moving around means you’ll be able to frame and compose your shots better, even without interacting with your subject.
2. Engage with your subject.
If you’re taking photos of people, pointing cameras at them might make them self-conscious. This results in photos that look unnatural. Instead, engage them in conversation. The more they get used to the camera, the more naturally they behave. And when they’re telling a story, you’ll be able to capture emotion.
3. Don’t use the flash.
There are few situations where using a flash would make for the best photos. Candid photography is not one of them. Even with little lighting, you’ll be able to get interesting photos if you know how to set your camera right. Flash photography can also startle your subject, losing the moment you want to capture in the first place.
4. Shoot using ‘Burst Mode’.
This mode allows you to take multiple photos in quick succession. This is particularly helpful if your subject is moving very quickly, or you want to get their expression just right. You’ll have to sift through more photos, but then it’s better to have too many to choose from, than too few.
5. Blend in the environment.
When you’re trying to capture the story or emotions of an event you’re photographing - such as a concert or a protest - taking part in the action will give you a better sense of the emotions you should be on the lookout for. It will also give you a great perspective.
6. Shoot from the hip.
According to top photographer Annie Leibovitz, ‘shooting from the hip’ is when you put your camera near your hip and shoot, even without looking through the viewfinder. It gives your photos an angle you wouldn’t otherwise have, and you’ll be surprised at the results.
7. Always have your camera on you!
Part of the beauty of candid photography is capturing unexpected moments. The way you can do that is by always bringing your camera and anticipating action. Be aware of your surroundings and be curious about details. You can also get a lot of practice in this way.
Learning how to take candid photos might give you unforgettable photos that don’t just look beautiful, but tell compelling stories. You’ll also be equipped with the skill to capture unexpected moments you definitely don’t want to forget.