1. Be Patient
Patience is an intrinsic factor in taking a good photo; wait for that perfect smile, or for your subject to turn to you.
2. Use a Telephoto Lens
If you’ve got one, telephoto lenses are a great way to go unnoticed. You can stand really far away and still capture a subject as though you were up close.
3. Add Context
Without context, photos lack depth. Position the subjects to the left or right of the frame to show some of where they are or what they’re doing. Another great way to add context is to shoot through the environment they’re in, like trees or people.
Candid photos tell a story and sometimes you need to bring in more of the surroundings into your photo in order to tell that story well.
4. Blend in
This is especially important if you’re working on a corporate job as it’s best to go unnoticed so that you don’t distract from the main event. Move slowly and quietly, and blend in by wearing similar clothes to the people you will be taking photos of.
5. Mix up your Perspective & Position Yourself strategically
The other beauty of shooting from the hip is that it gives you a slightly different perspective to take the shot from (ie shooting from 3 feet height instead of 6). This adds to the candid nature of the shots.
6 . Flash Free Zone
The quickest way to get people to notice that you’re taking photos is to fire off a flash. Find other ways to let light into your image by opening up your aperture, slowing your shutter speed or upping your ISO.
You might introduce a bit more noise into your images, but the idea is to capture the moment. And noise might actually be a good thing.
7. Take a lot of photos
We are blessed to be in the digital age when we can take as many photos as we like and simply discard those that don’t turn out. Take a lot of photos and you can bet that there will be at least a few that speak to your heart.
8. Don’t worry about perfection.
If you truly want a candid moment, take what the situation gives you. Sometimes you get lucky with light, and other times accept technical imperfections in order to capture the moment.
Our real moments aren’t perfect. This doesn’t mean you can’t create better photos by being more aware of the light and trying a different angle, but it does mean that you have to decide which is more important: the moment captured or getting a technically perfect photo.
For me, I almost always choose the former.
9. Frame Images with Foreground Elements
A trick that I often use in candid shots is to purposely include something in the foreground of the shot to make it look as though I’m hiding behind it.
10. Shoot in Burst Mode
People are unpredictable and you only get one chance when taking a candid photo, take lots of shots.
You’ll be surprised at what you find: And finally…
Don’t be afraid to think outside the norms. Try different angles and perspectives for your shots. The possibilities are endless that you will develop your own unique style that will make clients keep hiring you.
Often a change of shooting direction makes all the difference!
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