Sometimes it seems that there is nothing so important as careful preparation of the model to be captured. Specific poses and facial expressions play an important role. Still, not all of us can avoid artificial smiles and freezed hands. 

Candid photography is a shooting style, where people or animals not suspected to be watched through the viewfinder are gaining its popularity again. Candid photo meaning was already described by numbers of magazine page examples and journalists who had successfully practiced this style. Nowadays people are not that easy to convince to take a picture without asking them. That is why if you are a newbie, you better start practicing with your friends and family members.

1. Find particularity and freeze the instant

The key feature of such a portrait is a chance to catch the second which will have more expressive power than any prepared scene with props. Such situations usually occur when someone is occupied with work or any kind of activity which distracts your model from shooting. This sudden option to press the shutter button will give you a perfect definition of candid shot meaning.

Animals are considered to be the best models for this type of shots. First of all there is no way to prepare them for this work. And secondly, they are absolutely natural, which means a guarantee of simple and natural pictures.

Of course, every skill is getting better with unique knowledge of various tips and hacks to remember. Many professionals have experienced different problems taking pics in secret. If you want to learn from their mistakes, it is better to study basic steps. Keeping in mind these easy ideas, you will have more chances to get a quality image free of charge.

2. Learn catching the moment photography

Go for a walk looking for the right location with people you would like to capture. Do not be afraid of taking pictures of strangers if they do not mind. Try to keep a certain distance, but do not go too far, otherwise only zooming will help. The object should be in the field, but the distance should seem perfect to give an idea of absolute unconscious photographing mode. The model has to be concentrated on own thoughts and activity.

3. Catch moments everywhere you go

It is important to find the right situation in the right place, to understand what a candid photo is. The quality of digital tools and post-processing work will not work, if this exact second is not expressive enough. This skill seems to be impossible to obtain, but it is not true. Practicing everywhere and every time we can learn specific features which precede the magic moment. You just have to be quick enough to be ready to capture an instant, without spending hours for settings and flash adjustment.

4. Define camera possibilities in advance

High quality expensive devices do not mean successful results. Sometimes hours of preparation and retouching software can not help to correct shooting errors. And in other cases, instant shots can surprise with an impressive idea and unexpected quality. This is real candid photography. Study camera settings and prepare to take several shots in a few seconds. Because usually this is all you have to get the perfect image. You will not be able to choose other angles or correct shadows and lights.

The idea is a natural environment, which demonstrates that the photographer understands feelings and lives of his models. It does not matter if they are laughing or crying, a successful shot is able to impress the viewer with its expressive power. That is why professional journalists are using this method to make us feel the same emotions, they show on the image.

5. Switch on the light

Good natural light means alot for every kind of photo art. Great location and fixed camera settings are of huge help for both professionals and amateurs. Still, patience and the possibility to find as much light as possible can become crucial. Just choose a time interval or season, when you will have more chances to explain what is candid photography in an easy and natural way. Cloudy day, sunrise or sunsets are of great help with its perfect angles and shadows.

6. Concentrate on details

Watch every single detail, which can contribute to the successful shot. Patience and time are the best assistants in such a task. The aim is not to push the shutter button, but to capture the image which is going to be unique. Look through crowds of people, trying to notice facial expressions and guess their next steps. Examine landscapes and think of the right angles to find an exactly outstanding image. Practice is important, but sometimes relatives and friends will guess your intentions and the picture will not look natural. It means that the result will become a very common staged photo like millions of examples online. The key is to be almost invisible for your models, not to distract them with your presence.

It is a good idea to start a conversation or ask someone to tell a brief story about him. This is one of the modes to make a model feel calm and relaxed, without thinking of being photographed. The objective is to make everyone forget about the camera, flash and your plans to win a photo festival.

7. Respect the privacy

Usually people are divided into two groups, those who feel shy in front of a camera and others, who become hyperactive. Both options will cause too many problems for you as an artist. None of those behaviours can help to obtain the best pictures. Be ready to spend as much time as possible to observe and wait for the magic instant to come.

Taking pictures has been always a fascinating work for many representatives of this art. That is why there are many experts online, providing their master-classes and tutorials. It is first of all a great fun and entertainment. But if you are patient enough to learn from the mistakes of others and are ready to wait for the best shot, then you will succeed. Just remember that not everyone enjoys being captured secretly, so it will be better to explain to your model the process of how to take candid photos. Only after that you will be able to get permission to practice.

There are images which are interesting only for particular groups of viewers. For example, a snapshot of friends will not be attractive to the public, but unique emotions will work. Some breathtaking landscapes seem too common and only small details can make a difference with presence or absence. It is possible to conclude that there is no universal rule for every place and model, but some pictures will make you watch them only for 2 seconds and others can keep your attention for a while.

The ability to bring emotions to a shot is a big part of success. And shutter speed, white balance and ISO may not play any significant role in it. Only an unexpected perspective can turn a boring background into an artistic postcard!

Keep your camera ready all the time, because you never know when the moment is right! Do not stop practicing and share your experience.