Getting Started at Candid Photography

Smile, you’re on candid camera! Remember that TV show? One of the most exciting forms of photography is candid photography. Taking pictures of people in public situations doing natural acts has always been fun. Candid photography was largely taken in the streets and now it’s also done indoor at places like malls, night clubs, and everywhere that people reside.

candid photo

“Fruitseller” captured by Thomas Jeppesen

When you’re engaged in candid photography, you’re not looking for people to pose for you, you’re looking for people doing natural things. Usually they’re not aware that you’re taking a picture of them. Candid photo-taking came from documentary photography.

Documentary is the truest form of photography, because you can get shots of things that are once in a lifetime situations. The images are untainted. Look at news website and you’ll see a good collection of candid photos.

Many times you’ll see candid shots in black and white, and the shots are taken with a wide lens as to capture the entire environment.

Candid photography records some of the most precious moments in time. You have some candid photographers that specialize in taking photos in certain settings like a sporting event, a concert, or even auto accidents.

Then you have those who like to walk down the street looking for unsuspecting subjects to capture. Garry Winogrand was well known for taking candid shots of New York City for many years. Sources say he took over 100 pictures a day for 30 years.

The beauty of candid photography is that you might catch something that you had not intended to capture. When you’re dealing with people as your subjects, anything could happen at a moment’s notice.

Even when you do get the unplanned shot, once you finally see the photo you may notice things that you didn’t see before, and it turns the photo into an even better image than you anticipated. Most of the additional detail is unrelated to the photo but it adds to the beauty of the image.

Being a pro photographer is not necessary to take candid photos. Get yourself a good digital camera and start taking pictures. Consider taking a class or two on the basics of photography if you don’t have the basics down. The classes will help you develop good habits and help you become aware of what it takes to capture the moment.

candid photo of man reading

photo captured by Alex

I hope by reading this article your perspective on one of the many different mediums of photography has been expanded. Candid photography is fun and exciting and is a good place to start on the road to photography—be it for a career or hobby.

About The Author:
Keith S. Black has many different photography methods. He is a successful photographer and makes a full time living as a photographer.

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2 responses to “Getting Started at Candid Photography”

  1. Jon Anscher says:

    Candid photography is one of my favorite kinds of people shots. I love getting the natural facial expressions that we all have.

  2. Nice article, I agree that candid/street photography is one the purest forms of photography. No posing, no sophisticated lighting set ups. Capturing people as the are naturally, and capturing genuine spontaneous reactions is great. I would just like to remind shooters to be courteous and respectful of others and to whom they are capturing.

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