What is a Candid Photo?

Taking photos of people when they have no idea that you’re doing it is called candid photography. One of the beauties of photography is being able to catch someone in the act. It adds life to your pictures.

candid photo

“Pray for U” captured by Kustiyah

If you look at magazines, such as Time, you’ll see great examples of candid photography. For other examples, go to your local library and take a look at old issues or current issues of National Geographic.

Although taking a candid shot can seem teasy, I’m going to give you a few tips to follow that will help you magnify the effectiveness and quality of your shot.

  1. The first thing you should do is ensure that you have your subject in your viewing range while they are not paying attention.
  2. Train your eye to capture the moment. Moving fast along with having a method for doing it is the key. Preparation is of importance. You need to have your camera cued up and ready even before you find a subject to shot.
  3. Keep your camera on the appropriate settings. This form of photography has a heavy reliance on light and furthermore, you may not always get to select the angle. Your angle could be wherever you happen to be at the moment.
  4. Good lighting and a great angle are all a part of getting a good shot, but being still and making observations is what’s most important.
how to take candid photos

Photo captured by Irina Oreshina

Candid photography is all about understanding and capture unplanned moments of someone’s emotions, be it cheerfulness or tears.

The skill you’ll want to develop as a photographer is the ability to take notice and observe.

Photographers will look far and wide, over the crowds and through the landscape looking for that one in a million shot. Having a camera ready is essential.

Taking shots of friends and family can be tough because they are most likely aware of you and what you’re doing and therefore they become distracted.

If you want to get good shots of your friends, the focus has to be on something else other than the camera. Get them talking about something that they like. Your goal for doing this is to try to get them to forget you’re carrying a camera. In getting them to forget, they are more likely to act naturally.

One issue that you’ll have to deal with is having a balance between those who love to have their picture taken and those who are shy. Considering they’re your friends and you know them well, you’ll be able to decide what is the best way capture the moment.

Having the skill of observing along with having your camera ready is the essential to taking good candid camera shots.

candid photography tips

“I got this” captured by Don warren

Taking candid photos can be fun and exciting and one of the most rewarding of all photos but the downside is it can become annoying when the subject is aware of the camera.

Never forget the camera when going out with friends. By taking the advice that I have shared, you’ll become better at taking the most exciting forms of photography.

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. To find out about one of the best cameras to use for your photography you can visit: http://reviewdslrcameras.com/nikon-reviews/ to read one of Keith’s Nikon Reviews and get more information.

Two Minute Review: Candid Photography

Guest photographer Max Luger talks about Candid Photography.

Like This Article?

Don't Miss The Next One!

Join over 100,000 photographers of all experience levels who receive our free photography tips and articles to stay current:

16 responses to “What is a Candid Photo?”

  1. Jas says:

    very useful and helpful tips for candid shots, and ofcourse good shots collections too

  2. Anup says:

    nice tips, very educational.
    we are the mind and the camera is the eye. click at the right moment with the right settings and we can capture images that need no words.

  3. vishal sahu says:

    very easily know how to shoot candid photogaphy thanks………….

  4. Phil says:

    Too bad candid photography is illegal here (unless you have 3 or more people on it and that the image focuses on none of the 3). I.E. all the demo photos shown in this article would have been illegal if shot here…

  5. tarun verma says:

    Nice tips

  6. Pease Advis says:

    If shot where, Phil?

  7. Landon Wiggs says:

    Interesting read – having a camera in your hand causes people to tense up and not act normal – you’re right on about that!

  8. Incredible and very helpful tips. Thanks! :))

  9. pwdoc says:

    Nice article, I also like to capture candid photographs :)

  10. Janell Cain says:

    These tips really help me to capture better candid moments without any hard work, thank you so much for this beautiful post

  11. UShootVedit says:

    Thanks to sharing great candid photography tips for newbie photographer and photo editors.

  12. muhamed alie says:


  13. Anan says:

    Thanks for sharing this concept with us.

  14. epicstudio says:

    Candid photography is all about capturing the natural moments of happiness

  15. Rajesh says:

    Good article. Posting such an informative and valuable blog can help each newcomer in the field of photography. Nice to know about new ideas. These ideas are really great. I could use this for my projects and improve my photography skills. Thanks a lot!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

New! Want more photography tips? We now offer a free newsletter for photographers:

No, my photos are the best, close this forever