It isn’t a really big lie, just a lie to catch your subject off guard. Many people when they see a camera, while they try to act naturally, will glance at the camera out of the corner of their eye. They won’t be as natural as they could be. So, you lie to them. Tell them that when you get to the count of ten, you’re going to take a photo. Then take the photo immediately. They will not be ready because they were expecting you to get to ten. The confused looks on the subjects’ faces are well worth it to continue shooting. You’ll get some great shots, and they’ll be much calmer.
Another small “lie” is to pretend your camera ran out of batteries, or you’re out of memory. Once people think you’re done taking photos, they’ll be au natural, not expecting any more photographs.
When you’re shooting candids, blend in to the background of your surroundings. You don’t want to be pointed out by everyone “hey, that person has a camera!” Nothing will look natural if they are all expecting you to take a photo of them. Keep your camera at your side, and bring it up to your eye only to take the picture, and then set it back down. Don’t look at the shot, don’t change the settings, and don’t insert a new memory card in front of anyone.
Camera Settings and Technical Aspects
Since you rarely get a second chance when shooting candid photos, it’s best to keep the camera settings on automatic. Set your ISO to 400 so that you are using a fast shutter speed and can get the shot even when you’re moving about.
The Technical Aspects
1. Don’t let too many visual elements clutter your photo. It will distract the eye from the subject you’re capturing.
2. If there are a lot of elements in the photo, use a wide aperture to throw the background out of focus.
3. Keep the subject off-center. It makes for a more interesting photograph.
4. Avoid shooting into bright lights or the sun, if at all possible keep yourself in front of the sun.
This post is part of the series: Candid Photography Tips and Techniques
This digital photography article series gives you tips and tricks on how to capture the best candid photos with your digital camera.