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20 Jun 2024

Candid Photography

Term: Candid Photography
Candid photography refers to the act of capturing natural and spontaneous moments without any posed or preconceived ideas. The aim of candid photography is to capture real emotions, expressions, and interactions in an unobtrusive way, often resulting in images that are raw and unfiltered. The photographer's role in candid photography is to be an observer, anticipating and reacting to the moments as they unfold, rather than directing or controlling the scene. Candid photography is often used in photojournalism, street photography, and documentary photography, and is a popular style for capturing events, such as weddings, where the aim is to capture the real emotions and interactions of the subjects.

What is Candid Photography?

Candids (Candid Photography) refers to unposed photographs, often photographed at an event such as a wedding. For example, during a wedding a photographer taking candid photos will walk around a wedding reception where people are interacting and find interesting moments to capture when the subjects aren’t expecting to be photographed.A candid feel can be had in studio and portrait photography by using prompts and capturing the subject in unposed moments that convey emotion.

How To Capture Candid Photography

In this video and article, I want to talk about capturing the moment. What I mean by “capturing the moment” is capturing those finite moments that only last a second or two and are gone forever. Maybe it’s the first kiss in a wedding or the game-winning touchdown; whatever the situation, SLR Lounge is here to teach you how.


When capturing a candid moment, it’s important to have a P.L.A.N. (I came up with that myself). P.L.A.N. stands for Prepare, Lock-In, Anticipate, and wait for that “Now” moment.

Prepare for the Candid Photography Moment

The first letter in my cool acronym is “Prepare,” which simply means bringing and having all the necessary gear you need. Prepare as much as you can by carefully thinking through what tools you’ll need for the job.

Lock-In Your Settings to Capture

Prior to the action and moment, make sure that you dial in your camera settings. If you find yourself in an environment or setting where the scene constantly shifts, there’s no shame in using assisted modes where the camera controls some of the exposure settings. But for the most part, it’s a great habit and discipline to lock-in your settings manually.

Anticipate the Candid Moment

After locking in your camera settings, prepare to anticipate the moment. Get yourself into the right area, and have your composition ready. You want to anticipate the action, which then leads you to our final letter.

Now! Capture the Candid Moment

Once you’ve gotten yourself into the right area, have the composition ready, and settings dialed-in, wait for that “Now” moment to fire your shot.


Bonus Tip: How To Get A Natural Reaction

Something I do often is I’ll pull one of the subjects aside in a couples shoot and “coach” him or her. In this example, I asked Keith to whisper something in Christine’s ear or give her a little pinch on the butt; anything that creates a natural and genuine reaction to arise.


After figuring out a strategy, I set up a cue with Keith, and when the “Now” moment is right, I tell Keith to do what we discussed and fire off the shot. Perfect.

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