Taking a candid photo is more than just snapping a shot of someone that is not expecting it in the first place. Contrary to popular belief, candid photography too needs meticulous planning and dedication to get the perfect shot. It will not be wrong to say that candid photography is slightly more crucial than the other genres in that it requires the photographer to be on his toes at all times to hit the shutter at the right moment.
There are a lot of factors that go into taking candid pictures that stand out. But before delving into the details of the technique, let us get more clear with what exactly is candid photography.
What is Candid Photography?
Candid photography can be deemed as that genre of photography that is real in the moment. In simple words, any photograph that is not staged is candid. It does not necessarily mean that the subject is necessarily unaware of the fact that he/she is being clicked but they are not distracted or taken out of the moment due to the presence of the camera. Posing and direction are absent in this type of photography. It is more like documenting the moment rather than directing it to look a specific way.
Tips for a Stunning Candid Photoshoot
1.Choose the Right Lens
A key to good candid shots is the right lens. Usually, a long lens is used for candid photography since it lets you hang back from the scene and let the moment unfold naturally. The long lens helps you retain the intimacy of the moment in the picture even though you might be far away from that place. With the reach of a 70-200mm lens, you can get unobtrusive shots from quite a distance.
2.Whet your Observational Skills
The most important trait for getting perfect candid shots is an eagle eye. You must be able to scan vast landscapes and large crowds to find those photo-worthy moments that make an appealing candid shot.You must train yourself to spot memorable moments among the chaos and for this, it is very important to be vigilant at all times. Even before the shoot starts, examine the location for good light sources, interesting backdrops, and elements that can make the shot more note-worthy.
3.USe Burst Mode
Due to its unpredictable nature, candid photography may require you to take more shots than any other genre. For this, it is advisable to use burst mode or continuous shooting mode during candid photo shoots. In burst mode the camera clicks multiple shots in a fraction of second which can help you get that one perfect shot.
4.Lose the Flash
A bright flash going off in the subject’s face could be the worst nightmare in candid photography. Using a flash could interfere with the natural moment and make your subject cautious. Therefore, you must always keep the flash off to stay more discreet while capturing candid shots. Sometimes it could be a little challenging if you are shooting indoor at night with insufficient lighting. To compensate for the flash, increase your ISO and keep it between 800-1600. However, if the lights are fine, keep the ISO low to minimise the digital noise in the photo.
5.Make Your Subject Comfortable
Candid photography needs you to be very discreet and the camera may act as a barrier during the shoot Sometimes the subject might get cautious in front of the camera, therefore it is important to make them feel at ease for more natural shots. In candid photography it is very important for you to bring out the personality of the subject which can be done through engaging them in light conversations.
6.Take your Position
For taking good candid shots, it is very important to position yourself strategically. Placing yourself in places that do not get people’s attention will get you more natural shots Catching people in their moment is the essence of candid photography and moving around in the crowd might compromise on the quality of your picture. Hence, it is important to scout for a location from where the entire scene is accessible. Position yourself where interesting things are likely to happen and pre-compose the shots so when the subjects enter the frame, you are ready to shoot.
7.Pay Attention to Details
Details are important in almost all genres of photography, more so in candid. Since most candid shots are spur-of-the-moments, focusing on the details could be a little tough but it adds cherry to the cake. Details in candid photographs help to express the emotions more interestingly. You can do so by focussing on the objects or expressions that convey the personality and mood of the subject.
Hence, we see there are a number of factors that must be considered to take perfect candid. Besides the above-mentioned points, there are a lot of things that you have to keep eye-balling while you shoot. These tips are not ironclad rules but basic principles upon which you can base your candid photoshoot strategy and improve upon.