There is a term in photography, candid shots, where the subject of the photograph is not in a controlled position or unaware of the camera (photo coverage). The resulting picture looks more natural, spontaneous, and less contrived. The following are tips for successful candid photography:
1. Bring your camera everywhere. Be ready to shoot at any time because an interesting moment may be just around the corner.
2. Pay close attention to your surroundings. The simplest things may become interesting objects to shoot. These may be a daydreaming store owner, people waiting for their train, the elderly, someone sitting next to you, a couple of lovebirds. The possibilities are endless.
3. Always be at the ready to shoot because it’s not easy to shoot candid photographs. When you find the right moment, do not hesitate to take the shot.
4. Do not overthink techniques. Focus on simple techniques and utilize the automatic features of your camera. This will ease your photographing process (photo coverage). Various technical problems such as underexposures can be edited digitally.
5. Set the ISO at 400, or a setting not too low or too high. This will set the camera at a fast shutter speed setting, allowing you to shoot while on the move.
6. No need for constant eye-level photography. You may try a hip-level shot for a different point of view. This, however, may require more luck and skill.
7. Use zoom lenses at maximum range. This allows an advantageous space between you and the object. However, the closer you are to the object the better.
8. Do not take photos of people’s back too often. It will result in a seemingly dull image. Try to always shoot people’s side or face.
9. Convert your photos to a “Black and White” setting for more dramatic results.
10. Moments where people are doing certain activities are great for shooting candid photographs. These may be of athletes, merchants, or farmers doing occupational activities. Try to capture the essence of their work. For instance, photograph a plumber fixing a bursting pipe. Photographing idle people may result in dull photos.
11. If you’re in a public place, it’s legitimate to shoot passersby (photo coverage). If you feel uncomfortable taking photos anonymously, there’s nothing wrong in asking for their permissions first. Ask the objects to be as natural as possible and go on with their activities. If the objects are unwilling to be photographed, however, you should move on to another object.
12. Always practice and shoot relentlessly. Experiment with different angles, locations, and scenes. You can also find inspiration from others’ candid photographs. Practice will continue to hone your skills.