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A Guide to Candid Photography

In photography, people usually pose for photographs. Candid photography is where photographs are taken when people are not aware that they are being photographed. The photo may be taken with or without their permission. The idea behind candid photography is to capture emotions or situations in the best possible way.

Candid photos create a powerful effect since they are natural. If you want to be a good photographer, then you can start taking candid photos. In this guide, you can learn everything you want to know about candid photography.

The Basics of Candid Photography

Candid photography is a photography genre that focuses on capturing photos of a subject spontaneously. The objective of candid photographs is to capture reality and genuine emotions. Candid photos can be taken of individuals, people you know, or people in public places. Such photos look highly appealing and can help a photographer achieve success in their field.

A question that comes up is about the legality of candid photos. You are taking photos of people you don’t know who are moving around in public places. Is it legal or will it be considered an invasion of their privacy? When taken in public places, these photos are legal. It is ideal if you use the photos for artistic purpose. If you use it for a commercial purpose, there could be issues.

If you take a candid photo of a celebrity and use it commercially, you could face a legal suit. You must be careful while taking candid photos. Ideally, get approval from the people whom you shoot. If you shoot in a public place, then you will not face any problem provided you don’t use it for commercial purpose. Avoid taking candid photos in private places without the consent of the subject.

Applications of candid photography

  1. The best application of candid photography is on the streets. You can shoot people on the move and capture genuine moments. These photos can be used in different ways, including as stock photos and images.
  2. Candid wildlife photos are a great option. You don’t need to take anyone’s consent and are free to use the photos however you want. Animals can be captured in their natural environment.
  3. Candid wedding photos are popular. Commercial wedding photographers love to take candid photos since they look natural and capture emotions.
  4. Portrait photos are usually posed. But candid portrait photos have become popular. They look much more natural.

Tips for effective candid photography

1. Ensure you have the right equipment

You need a good quality camera (DSLR or mirrorless digital). You should be able to take bursts of photos that are of good quality. A telephoto lens is a useful accessory if you are taking long shots. 24 to 70mm lenses are good if you work in both natural and low light. You won’t need a flash since the photo is candid. But a bounce flash may be useful. Use a tripod to ensure good quality photos.

2. Keep your camera ready

Candid photos are natural. The photo you want can come at any time and you must be prepared. Keep your camera ready with all the settings done. You must be ready to shoot the moment you spot an opportunity.

3. Shoot in burst mode

The burst mode is the best way to take candid photos, especially in public places. Take multiple photos, so you can review them later to find out which is the best. Shooting in burst mode ensures you don’t miss out on the best shot.

4. Be on the move

If you are shooting a particular street, then you can stay in a fixed position. Else, it is best you keep moving around. When you are on the move, you will spot an opportunity easily. You can also position yourself to get the best angle. Move around until you find the perfect light and background for your photo.

5. Make the subjects comfortable

When taking candid photos of family or known people, make them comfortable. Talk to them and put them in the right mood. Watch them talk to each other, smile, laugh, and share their emotions. That would be the ideal occasion to shoot a candid photo. Candid photos of children look great and usually don’t require much effort. Capturing children at play is a great idea.

6. Shoot from the hip

Street photographers use this technique, where they position the camera at hip height. This technique will help you shoot photos without getting noticed. It ensures the subject is not distracted and doesn’t look at the camera. For this technique, use a 35 mm wide lens.

Candid photography is becoming more popular today. With the use of the right tricks and tips, you can click some noteworthy candid pictures and become an expert.

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