CANDID PORTRAITS – Photography Tip #1

I know what you must be thinking.  How could someone who only began a serious interest in photography a few months ago possibly post photography tips?  The fact is, through research and experimentation I have learned some fundamental characteristics of photography that I would love to share.  So, we jump into a series of tips that have helped me even in the infancy of my photographic experience.

The essence of any culture is found in its people: the expression on their faces, their manner of dress, the jewelery they wear, and the way they live their lives.  There are many ways to photograph people.  But I believe in order to present the truest impression, you, as the photographer, must consider incorporating as many of these characteristics as possible.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is to strive for CANDID PORTRAITS.

In the photo below, I was fortunate to capture the essence of a child by photographing my granddaughter in a very candid setting.

copyright 2010

People are at their most natural when not posing for the camera, but getting good candid shots isn’t easy.  Staying a discreet distance and shooting with a telephoto lens is one method.  Another is to use an ultra wide-angle lens, and place subjects near the edge of the frame, or you could practice shooting from the hip…and hope you get lucky.

For these particular shots, I was able to fade into the background while getting the perfect shot by creating a diversion activity to captivate my granddaughter’s interest.  This works very well with children.

copyright 2010

I have learned there are some fundamental steps that will quickly change your portrait photography: 1) Leave everything natural.  2) Don’t center your subject within the frame.  3) Be anonymous – your subject should be oblivious to the fact that you’re taking a photograph.  4) Try varying your perspective – shoot from low angles looking up, or high ones looking down.  5) Watch your depth of field – try isolating your subject from the background by selecting a wide aperture, which combined with a moderate telephoto lens will blur the background making your subject stand out.

When everything comes together for your shot you’ll find your subjects to be very excited with the finished product.

All photography is original and falls under the ownership and copyright of this blog.


~ by photographyfree4all on June 7, 2010.

8 Responses to “CANDID PORTRAITS – Photography Tip #1”

  1. Absolutely beautiful pictures.


  2. You captured Elli perfectly in this moment when she wasn’t feeling well at all. Thanks for the tips! And of course, you’re entitled to give them. Learn and teach us!


  3. I love taking candid photos! Or, to be more precise, I love TRYING to take candid photos. It’s incredibly hard to do, especially since people really pay attention when you pull out a camera. Unfortunately, I can’t blend into the background and zoom in like you said, because I’ve got this obsession with film cameras that don’t zoom at all. Though, I do have this nifty Twin-Lens Reflax camera called the Gakkenflex that allows for shooting from the hip.


  4. Thanks for your comment David. Candid shots produce amazing natural expressions! I hope you’ll stop by agin, soon.


  5. […] another.  When I saw them, I was quite pleased and decided to share them with everyone.  Click here to see […]


  6. Love these!


  7. Thank you for your kind comment, pearlsandprose. And, thanks for stopping by. I hope to see you again, soon.


  8. this is a really nice start to portrait photography! keep at it – it’s very rewarding. =)


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