Candid photography meaning – about candid photography

candid photo with couple in the garden
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People are generally social beings. We often interact with every individual we encounter, whether first acquaintance or long-term relationship.

But there are instances where we feel free or isolated whenever we are in the hype of our extreme emotions.

When photography takes place, it captures those moments. Through photography, they get the true us in just a snap. That’s where it is called candid moments.

We are saying that the candid photograph is captured without creating any planned post.

Hence, this type of photography grasps the real-life character without doing any added formula, but the pure truth.

Candid photography meaning

Candid photography, on its straightforward definition, is taking photos of unplanned moments. No need for planned posing, no choreography, no costumes, no paraphernalia, just the pure you and the moment.

Candid photography depicts life as it is. It is contrasting to any posed portraits which are carefully planned and crafted to appear suitable.

On the other hand, candid photos are just genuine and spontaneous shots in which authenticity is more important than perfection.

The critical factor in capturing candid photos is it appears in unexpected moments. Even the photographer must be keen in observing the scenarios to document those precious moments.

Because candid photos are more than just snapping a shot of someone who isn’t expecting it, it incorporates many factors to get the best candid shot.


candid photo


Candid photography frequently utilizes adequate natural lighting without any usage of flash. This is intentionally done to take pictures on subjects without them noticing it.

It is more authentic and sincerer when people are unaware that they are filmed. Hence, it is necessary to take photos outside where the sun somewhat gives light.

On taking shots indoor, these may require photography skills since you will adjust film sensitivity into higher settings to capture the moment better.

If possible, you need to acquire high-end cameras to capture pictures with a less grainy texture and portray a clear view, even in spaces with low lights.

Full-outline cameras have high-ISO setting mitigates commotion to verifiably low levels, taking into consideration spotless picture paced up to ISO 6400. It is an excellent advantage if you have cameras that have a fast lens.

It’s a good example typically having a photo coverage in a wedding ceremony, and usually, the couples hire another photographer to take candid shots separately.

This brings an added flavor to the documentation of momentous events as you will see other people’s reactions in a spectrum.

Although this is a good thing to consider in any event, this is very challenging on the part of the photographer as he must be good at this. Otherwise, he’ll be missing essential scenes.

About candid photography

To start in this type of photography, you need to be reminded to prepare a dependable DSLR camera.

You must hang it or place it within your reach so that when you sense and notice moments are coming, you can quickly grab and take a shot.

It an excellent tip to always take your camera with you as the people will be accustomed to you having your camera taking pictures, and they can act generally without the feeling of being uncomfortable.

In setting up your DSLR camera, you need to adjust higher your ISO setting when shooting on low light areas.

You can utilize a faster lens and open up your aperture. Nonetheless, if you have a setting in your camera, which indicates a natural light mode, you can manually turn it on.

You must set your camera also in the spontaneous shot instead of a single shot to capture a single moment in a longer span.


candid picture


The best shot may be captured one second after you have snapped your shutter button, so on any case, you can still document it.

It is also advisable that you keep close to the subjects of the event to get authentic shots better. Although zoom can still be applicable, it must be used on rare case scenario where the best moments are far from your reach.

Like photography, it is recommended that you should utilize a glimmer in shooting them so as the photo taken will be as real as possible.

The fact that candid photography is one of the most challenging photography styles, it is still achievable if you know the tips and tricks in doing this.

We have compiled useful tips to aid you in doing candid shots.

Candid photography tips:

Candid Photography can be a challenging job, especially when you do it the first time. You may capture pictures that are a blur, actions that are awkward, and mostly not excellent quality pictures.

Other times you may be hired to shoot in a particular event as a candid photographer, and your heart pumps faster as time had already past, yet you aren’t getting good candid shots.

Here are the compiled tips from us so you can efficiently and effectively capture candid shots. To be successful in this area, you might want to consider these tips to better capture moments.




Always take your camera with you

The best advice we could give to you in making spontaneous photographs is always to be ready to do so.

Although you may be shooting with your DSLR on a formal photo event, don’t forget to bring with you an extra point and shoot camera that that captures moments whenever you sense it coming.

Those moments are precious and need to be taken, as it is your responsibility to make the right coverage.

Having always your camera with you makes it easier and more comfortable for other people while you take their photos.

When you are in the event with your friends and family members, whenever you take out your camera and start shooting, they are already accustomed to your actions.

Hence, they, in turn, will interact regularly, and you get photos that are more natural and genuine.

Usage of Long Zoom

It is pretty apparent when you are in a situation where the subject is far from your reach you use zoom feature to take their photos.

Long zoom has a great benefit, especially when taking photos from afar because people whom you subject with will be less likely to know that they are photographed. With that, they will act normal and neutral.

By using a telephoto lens enables you to shoot beyond your personal space, and you can feel the intimacy while you take a shot from a raw scenario.

Disable the Flash

The most awkward and obvious way that a subject may know that you are taking the pictures is enabling the flash feature.

It kills the natural moment when people are hit by a blinding light. The attention is redirected to making the actions suitable to look at rather than making it real.

So by principle, you must turn off the flash if you aim for candid shots. To turn on, the flash is the rare scenario if the light has really a problem.

Essential to take note that when shooting in light locations, you must increase your ISO setting, use a faster lens, and open up the aperture to lighten up the output.

Explore the combination of these approaches to achieve optimum results.

Get as many shots

It is an important thing to note that when shooting for this type of photography, you need not only to shot a single picture but to shoot multiple images to capture a span of the event.

You need to set-up your camera to continuous shooting mode and get as much as many shots as possible to increase your chance of getting good pictures.


candid portrait


Right positioning

You need to understand that when taking candid shots, you need to position yourself right where you can have access to the possible locations where the critical moments would take place far from being blocked from other individuals.

Candid Photography is getting a perfect shot in spontaneous moments within a split second. It’s a matter of getting or missing the shooting, and there are no rewinds in real life, so you must be a keen observer.

In a conventional set-up of a wedding ceremony, you must consider these factors to obtain good results, such as the direction of where the people face,  what type of lightings available, what are the vital part in the program and where you should be at, is it indoor or outdoor and so on.

In this type of ceremony and applicable to other events as well, to be prepared and easily adjust, you must be early in the venue to think of all the considerations and plan ahead to make a good response in case difficult situations arise.

Right positioning also saves your time since you don’t need to look out for another place or running from one location to another when you should be shooting images and documenting the event.

Take photos in motion

Although it is the customary and conventional way of taking photographs of people who are doing nothing, just like sitting or standing up watching a magnificent scenery.

But it levels up your photography skills when you take pictures on people doing something or people in motion.

It brings more vibe and good energy when people are so pre-occupied with doing things and don’t bother any other people around him, and you took photos of that particular event. It takes great patience to capture such a scenario, and timing is everything.

You need to be very focused on getting the best time to snap your camera’s shutter button to get an authentic image.

The subject must be wholly unaware that you took their photo while doing their works.

Take photos more than one person in an image

It is already a good shot when you take photos on an individual perfectly candid. But it is more enjoyable when you take photographs of more than one person in a single image.

The image seems to convey a message and somehow brings a sense of interaction on the subjects included in an image. It adds depth and an understanding of the story behind those shots.

Realistic picture when subjects are interacting without any hint of falsity. This is a perfect shot for candid photography.

Shoot without raising your camera

When shooting in a particular event where you are in close contact with the people, it is a normal reaction for people to be conscious when a cameraman is within the range.

So the best-recommended tip is to capture photos without raising the camera. You must maintain your actions that they are not fully aware that you are already taking pictures.

You need to master the art to take pictures without raising the camera. To do this, you might as well consider using a more full angle setting for capture moments effectively.

It takes a lot of practice to master this skill, and you must learn it. It is best to practice, especially when working with DSLR since you can do unlimited shots, unlike the traditional film cameras.

Include foreground

To effectively frame the images, you must purposely include something in the foreground in your shot to make more real without hiding behind it.

This makes the image more engaging and realistic in nature.


Candid documentary



In conclusion, there are lots of things to consider in pursuing candid photography.

It may require you a lot of time to practice and do numerous shots to attain perfect, but this will really help you a lot in stepping another level in your photography skills.

It is a combination of fun as well as depicting the real scenario by capturing images.

Candid photography will help you perfect the skills you already have, and by continuous learning, it will bring to profit in the coming days of opportunity.

You’ll be hired on events, whether it requires candid shots or formal.

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Author: condruzmf

In love with photography!

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