Candid photography is taking images of people without them realizing you are doing it. It is not asking your subject to pose, it is not faking the moment with a forced situation or specific look, and it is definitely not looking at the photographer’s camera and smiling when the shutter clicks.
However, it also does not mean hiding behind an alley or shrub (although you may if you wish!) to get the candid image you want. For me, it’s about being present; noticing a real life situation and capturing at the exact moment it happens. This moment is usually fleeting, so candid photographers usually wait for the right moment to shoot and then move on. That is possibly why the subjects don’t even notice they are being photographed.
I could give you a few tips on how to shoot candids (information on lenses to use, position of camera, composition…), but there are plenty of articles online where you can read how to go about shooting them.
In my opinion, though (and most articles do not mention this), the most important tip is practice. Whether it’s a planned shoot or you are shooting some street photography, many people will feel uncomfortable with a camera being pointed at them. So walk around and pick your views, blend in, take lots of shots. And then do it all over again until you feel at ease and everybody else forgets that you are there. The more you do it, the easier it will be to become part of the moment.
What is your experience with candid photography? I’d love to know! I leave you with a few of my favorite summer candids – I hope you enjoy them.