Candid photography is one of the most amazing genres in the world of photography. It means to capture subjects as they are spontaneously at that time. Technically, you can call candid photography unposed images without the knowledge of the subjects.
Candid photos are those taken without formal poses while enjoying candid moments. It is not that the subjects are entirely unaware of the fact that their photos are being taken. It is taking pictures of the subjects as they are at that moment.
The delight of Candid Photography
Well, it doesn’t mean that you start intervening in peoples’ private lives. Candid photography is generally done in an open environment with some moral and legal rules.
Moral and Legal Space for Candid Photography
By moral and legal space, it is meant that you can’t disturb the personal lives of the subjects. Similarly, a photographer is not allowed to use candid shots for commercial purposes or even publish them online without the prior permission of the concerned persons.
Equipment for Candid Photography
An ideal camera is one that lets it shoot in burst mode without film. Some DSLR companies provide such cameras. Among these companies are Nikon, Canon and Sony, etc. Point and Shot cameras can be the best option for quiet candid shooting.
The lens is another important part of making candid images as your subject could be moving while you shoot them. A 50 mm lens is suitable for distortion-free candid photography while you are in motion. Similarly, A 24-70mm lens would suit best in natural light conditions with a wide aperture. This lens will cover the whole set and record minute details.
A telephoto lens ranging from 70 to 200 mm is among the most popular telephoto lenses. You can capture your subject using zoom from a distance and can surprise them.
You can use these settings to your advantage in candid photography. Reducing ISO would help you to avoid digital noise during shooting whereas a fast shutter speed enables you to shoot fastly.
In case you don’t like the background, blur it and start shooting with a larger aperture. Manual shooting mode consumes a lot of time. To avoid this, use shutter priority mode for action shooting and aperture priority mode for low light conditions.
Use the autofocus feature in case your subject is moving in a busy area. On the other hand, use single-shot autofocus if the subject is isolated.
As candid photography involves bulk shooting, you must have some backup equipment. Having an extra battery is at the top of the list. In case you are shooting as a professional, then you may need some lenses, a tripod, and memory cards as per the requirement of the situation. Make sure you are well-equipped for the occasion.
Some Common Ways of Candid Photography
Following are some common-sense tips and tricks that would be of great help for candid shooting:
1. Wedding and Parties
Weddings and parties like degree awarding, birthdays, etc. are filled with candid moments. Couples and their relatives make out most of such events. Professional photographers are hired to shoot these memorable moments.
Such occasions provide the best opportunity for candid photography. You can take as many candid photos as you want as everyone is enjoying themselves. You can contribute to the happiness of others by showing them their spontaneously captured pictures.
2. Street Children Photos
You must have seen random photos of street children playing, eating, writing, reading, smiling, etc. with their particular backgrounds. Such photos depict the reality of those children concerning their social contexts. Those photos are an example of candid photography.
You can also do that. Just pick your camera, go practice and record some candid images. Show them to children and see how much they’re going to love them.
Wildlife photography is another popular form of candid photography. You must have watched candid wildlife images on national geographic. I like to see those to get relaxed and feel easy.
An easy way for you to capture some of the wildlife’s candid moments is to visit a nearby zoo. Because you’ll require legal permission and technical know-how to do so in the designated wildlife areas.
However, don’t be dishearted. You can practice candid photography on your pets or the stray dogs in your street maintaining a safe distance.
Traveling refreshes everyone. Tourists often share candid photos and videos of residents in their living conditions. This is of course done with the permission of the subjects.
If you travel often then you can try to take random shots of children or wildlife on the way around.
Some Useful Techniques
There are some easy-to-follow tips for you to become an expert candid photographer:
1. Carry A Handy Cam With You
You need to have a handy camera if you are looking around for some candid shots. An easy-to-carry cam would not be very much visible which would allow you to make candid images without being noticed.
2. Avoid Using Flash
The sound of the flash makes people forget their candid feelings and are attentive toward the camera which is not good for candid shots. You must keep the flash off while taking photos to make sure you capture the crux of the moments.
3. Get to Know your Subjects
You must have some familiarity with the subjects. Whether it is a human subject or not, getting to know your subject would help you to understand its feelings, moods, joyful expressions, etc. which can make you take memorable candid photos of them.
4. Practice Taking Random Shots
Candid photography is all about taking random photos without apparent knowledge of the subject. However, it would be better to have some practice before actually going to a mega event and start clicking purposelessly.
A little know-how of the subject and practice would enable you to become a nice candid photographer.
5. Inform your Subjects of Your Intention of Candid Shooting
Candid photography is based on the prior permission of the subjects. Now you may think that candid photos are taken without informing the subject so how come permission? You are right. Prior permission means to have consent before the even days.
You share your intention well before the weddings or parties so that the subjects don’t mind if they see you clicking during the event. Permission does not mean asking just before clicking for candid moments because then it won’t be candid anymore.
6. Not Judging the Subjects
A photographer should remain unbiased while taking candid photos. It is the most important thing in this genre of photography. When you see people as they are, accept them without any fixed standards, and appreciate them for whosoever they are, then you would take the most amazing candid images.
Candid photography is full of fun as it lets you take unlimited fun photos of subjects without instantly informing them. You can also observe how people feel being formal and informal and posed or unposed. Candid photography opens new doors to understanding particularly human behavior in different situations.
However, you must have the right equipment, prior permission, a little practice, and passion to take candid photos. Otherwise, you may not be able to assess the right moments for candid images. Good luck.