Photography Tips: Building Confidence to Shoot Candids

Candid photographs are favored by many for their natural and fun poses, but beginner photographers may need a few photography tips before they have the confidence to take these revealing and detailed shots. Most amateur photography captures 'the moment', and candid shots allow you to make the best of these action shots. In order to get the best from your candid snaps, follow these few simple tips.

Step 1 - Be Prepared... to Wait

You can not take candid shots if you allow your camera to go off like a machine gun: people will become inhibited, and this is exactly the opposite of what you need for a good candid shot. Be selective about what you are shooting, and wait for that perfect pose or gesture. If a glance or movement catches you attention, take the picture quickly! Things which grab you as interesting or exciting will probably produce good candid shots.

Step 2 - Be Discreet

Nothing says 'I'm going to embarrass you' like a photographer in the middle of a lawn, camera posed, eyes darting around. Instead, try and blend in, relax and enjoy yourself. The best photography tips advise the photographer to put people at their ease, so perhaps chat to a few folks. You could also stroll around with the camera just hanging from a string around your neck, rather than clutched in your hands. Once people see that you are relaxed, they are more likely to become relaxed themselves.

Step 3 - Engage People

Candid shots work best when the people in the picture are engaged in activity. Whether it is work or play, people are never more revealing than when they are engaged in something, and not looking at the camera. Good candid photography tips are to wait for people to become occupied in other things, and then call them or make a cheerful comment, snapping away as they look up.

Step 4 - Approach with Caution

People can become tense and watchful if someone strolls up to them armed with a camera. Get them to loosen up and drop their defenses by talking to them first, and letting them become familiar to you. For the best candid shots, you want to picture people in their natural state, as though you had caught a herd of wild beasts off-guard. Shoot people who are camera-shy when they are not expecting it (unless they are likely to get upset).

Step 5 - Don't Worry

Candid shots are often spoiled by the cameraman being too anxious to get the perfect shot: you want to get the subject of your photographs relaxed, but you will also need to be relaxed yourself to get the best picture. Remember that these photography tips are designed to help you capture the best candid shots, and therefore they don't need to be as perfect and stylized as a studio shoot. Candids should be natural and fun, the kind of shots that you wouldn't be able to take at a studio, so don't be afraid to have slight imperfections, and have fun taking candid snaps.

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