Simply put, candid photography refers to unplanned photography with zero posing involved. Candid photography shares characteristics with photojournalism; the idea is to document rather than to intervene or direct to create the photograph.

Over the last several years, candid photography has become increasingly popular. For both wedding photography and family photographs, many clients ask for a candid style instead of staged portraits. Candid photography is also a prevalent style in both travel photography and street photography. Whether you’re a professional photographer, an Instagrammer or a blogger, perfecting your candid photography skills is a wise move.

Candid photography is authentic storytelling at it’s finest. Many make the mistake of believing that this style of photography is easy. It might be simple to take an unscripted photograph, but it’s not easy to get beautiful candid shots. There are several things that you can focus on to improve your photography.

1. Shutter Priority

To shoot great candid photographs choose Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority mode. To use Aperture Priority, you must choose ISO and aperture, from here your camera will choose the right shutter speed. The mode is useful for well-lit conditions, and you can also choose the depth for your photographs. If you’re photographing low-lit or moving objects, Shutter Priority is a better choice. You can select the right shutter speed, and let the camera set your aperture.

2. Zoom lens

Candid photography is a fast-paced photography style; photographers switch between capturing close and far away objects, within a short space of time. When you’re taking lots of natural shots, constantly switching lenses isn’t very convenient. A zoom lens is your best bet to capture a range of candid photographs with ease. With a zoom lens, you can closely capture the emotion of a moment, (without intruding on that moment). For a fly on the wall photography approach, a zoom lens is a perfect solution.

 3. Autofocus mode

DSLRs have two different autofocus modes which are useful for candid photography. If you haven’t got yourself a DSLR yet, you can rent professional DSLR cameras, for a cost-effective solution. One autofocus mode you can use is ‘Single-Point AF-S’; you’ll find this mode on a Nikon camera. On a Canon camera, the same mode is called ‘One-Shot AF’. The other useful autofocus mode is called ‘Continuous AF-C’ on a Nikon camera and ‘Al Servo AF’ on a Canon. Using autofocus mode will ensure that you avoid blurry shots when capturing lots of candid photographs.

4. The more photos, the better

When you are trying to take better candid photographs you’ve got to take a lot of shots. Keep snapping away and don’t wait for the perfect shot to come along. The idea is to shoot life as it happens, all the natural and precious moments. You need a whole lot of patience for taking candid photographs. You might get one perfect shot for the fifteen snaps you take, but of course, it’s completely worth it. 

Above all, candid photography is about observing beauty in natural moments and capturing that beauty before it passes by.