Candid photography is a style that, when done correctly, sets apart the amateurs from the professionals. It’s photography in its purest form, more akin to photojournalism than anything else. Anybody can take a photograph, but capturing a moment with your lens is something that only talented and dedicated photographers are capable of.
Candid photography is on the rise, both within print photography and social media, as audiences continue to crave the authenticity and spontaneity that the candid provides. Doing it effectively can be challenging, and requires immense amounts of patience. If you’re looking to take better candid photos, try these out-of-the-box ideas for improving candid photography that will work every time.
Master the Long Zoom
The number one obstacle to perfect candid photography is the subject. If you’re trying to capture people in the moment, that can prove very difficult if people know they’re being watched. Even those who have paid for a candid photographer for an event will subconsciously be contorting into contrived poses throughout.
True candid photography requires an element of surprise, so investing in a good long zoom camera means you’ll be further away and the subject will be less likely to notice you. For perfect long zoom photography at reasonable prices, try the Nikon Coolpix P1000, which has a whopping x125 optical zoom.
Find the Perfect Situation
Perfect candid photos are all about context. Sure, you could sit on a busy street all day and hope for some inspiration, but it pays to be more proactive. Think about the emotions you can to capture and flock to them. If you want to capture the romance of a reunion or the frustration of a long wait, head to Heathrow Airport and just set up shop in the arrivals lounge.
If you want to capture excitement and joy, head to a busy gaming venue such as a Buzz Bingo hall where you can watch people in huge numbers experience the thrill of a big win. If you want to capture the human condition at its more varied, head to an all-night branch of a Wetherspoon’s Pub, set your camera on the table, and start snapping.
Change Your Perspective
The number one mistake that most first-time candid photographers make is that they try to take their photos the exact same way they would photograph a building or a Domino’s Pizza. They hold the camera up, directly facing the subject, wait a few seconds, and press the shutter. Candid photography requires reimagining your perspectives.
Yes, shooting from the hip is incredibly important, but there’s a lot more to it than that. The best shots are almost always from unconventional angles. Try climbing up to a high up spot and seeing what kind of street life you can capture from up there. Instead of photographing at a height of six feet, try crouching down and seeing what results you get at the feet. A slight adjustment of perspective can yield wonders.
Following these tips is much more likely to get you the candid shots you really want. Step outside the box and see what you are capable of.