Candid photography is about catching people in the act of living. The joys and sorrows of life captured by an observant photographer. For most people the typical subject is a family member participating in a family activity. The subject, unaware of the camera, living in the moment. For those who come to enjoy the images they have captured, the opportunity exists to broaden horizons and take the camera on the road, capturing images of the community at large. Below are some suggestions to help you capture the best image possible.
.• Take your camera everywhere – the best candid shots are the spontaneous actions of people in every day settings. If you don’t have your camera with you, you will miss out on a lot of interesting shots.
• Shoot lots – the more shots you take the better you chances for “THE” one great shot. Use the burst feature on your camera to capture a sequence of shots when activity level is high or there is a lot of animation
• Position yourself strategically, be inconspicuous – you need to be inconspicuous to the subject of your desired photograph. Sitting in a corner of the room or skirting the perimeter of the a group will afford many opportunities for shots.
• Photograph people doing things; with other people – people actively involved in a task or with other people provide interesting, story telling images.
• Shoot from the hip – when it is difficult to be completely unobtrusive, then it is time for a head fake. The crowd knows the camera is there and you have taken pictures. Put the camera in your lap or hold it by your side, pointed in the general direction of the subject of interest. Take several pictures, check them out and if needed try again.
• Be creative with perspective and framing – Think about the surroundings and activity. Position yourself to get a unique perspective. Shoot over one persons shoulder to capture another in conversation. Use the head and shoulder to partially frame the image. When kids are involved, get down to their level. Make sure someone is nearby to help you get up again. Think about you options.
• Take posed shots into the candid world – often at wedding and other special event, there will be a paid photographer here. Take advantage of his/her efforts to pose shots by standing near by, but out his way and snap shots before and after he says cheese. Often the subjects will look much more relaxed in you photos than the paid pro’s.
Candid photography like any thing else takes practice and thought. You may not get many good shots the first couple of times you try, but things will sort themselves out and you will begin to capture wonderful images of friends, neighbors and strangers on the street.