17 Tips On How To Click Candid Photos

how to click candid photos

Are you sick and tired of spoiling the vibe and mood of a photo by screaming  “say cheese”?

I get really bored of the traditional “cheese” filled pictures; I guess it’s time to take some great Candid Photos.

Candid photos are very much more natural; people in the picture seem to be natural, relaxed, fun and exciting, adding context to the picture.

In this post, I will be sharing with you some tips on how to click candid photos of your subjects without their knowledge.

Tips On How To Click Candid Photos

Tip #1: Click in Burst Mode

Your subjects tend to be completely unpredictable, and you get just one chance to take a candid photo.

You want to enable burst mode and take as many shots as possible. You will be amazed at your findings.

how to click candid photos

Often I end up with breathtaking and spontaneous shots and clicking in burst mode always increased my chances of catching the perfect shots.

Tip #2: Look for Light

Small rooms and hallways tend to bounce light around, which could counter the hardness of the flash.

Search for 11-foot ceilings and stand 3 or 4 feet from the wall behind you.

Tip #3: Employ Patience

Patience is a predominant factor in achieving a great picture.

Wait for that perfect pose and smile, or for the subject to turn towards you.

Tip #4: Don’t  Make Subjects Pose

People look relaxed and comfortable when they are occupied with activity.

For instance, fixing their hair, smoking a cigarette, petting their dogs, in fact, anything that distracts them from the lens is perfect.

Tip #5: Utilize a Telephoto Lens

how to click candid photos

If you already have one, you will know that a perfect way to go unnoticed while taking photos is by using a telephoto lens.

You could stand very far away and capture your target like you were up close.

These lenses also coarse the perspective on your target, thereby making it less about the environment and scene and more about the target.

Read more about the telephoto lens in our post about types of lenses.

Tip #6: Utilize Your Eyes

Do not bother about the viewfinder and the LCD. Just get everything in focus, and then hold your DSLR in front of you and depend on your own sight.

This will let your subjects warm up to you, thereby letting you read their expressions, before shooting for amazing Candid pictures.

Tip #7: Take Your Camera Everywhere

The moment I started taking my camera anywhere I went to like the park, clubs, and spots where fascinating subjects hang, my Candid photography improved dramatically.

how to click candid photos

You get to take Candid pictures of your beautiful environment, individuals that look amazing, nature, etc.

Tip #8: Shoot First

You do not want to worry about framing the perfect shot while your DSLR camera is in your hand.

Just keep shooting, getting as many moods and angles as possible, shoot often and fast.

Tip #9: Without Context, Photos Lack Depth 

I like to position my subjects to the left or right of the frame to show some of them where they are or what they’re doing.

An excellent way, like I mentioned earlier is to take your Camera anywhere you go.

If you want to get excellent photos, especially when it comes to taking Candid pictures, you have to take your camera out of the house.

You’ll start to feel more comfortable with it. Taking pictures to add context is to shoot through the environment they’re in, like trees or people.

Tip #10: Try to Avoid Clutter in the Candid Photos

Reframe your shot by moving your subject or subjects left and right in the viewfinder.

In case the background continues to be very cluttered, try utilizing a wider aperture.

Using a wide aperture on your camera’s aperture priority mode can toss the background out of focus, thereby letting your eyes focus on the target. 

Tip #11: Try shooting from the hip 

how to click candid photosIn case you are bothered about being caught taking shots of a subject who might not want their pictures taken, try to take their pictures at hip length. This will add an impressive candid feel to the shots.


If you keep ending up with many poor pictures, try to use live view to first of all compose a shot.

Tip #12: Compose and Edit later.

When you get back home, you can treat and refine your raw Candid pictures into uniquely beautiful Candid shot photos.

Tip #13: Blend in

The best Candid Photographers try to blend into the background so don’t get too obvious.

Endeavor to do what other folks in your environment are doing, so to fit in with the scenario.

Then once you spot a great Candid moment, get your DSLR Camera up to your eye. 

Tip #14: Avoid taking pictures from the back 

Watch the back view of your subjects.

There’s nothing as annoying as taking pictures of people’s backs. Imagine taking pictures of a group of peoples back, that is a real Candid Photo spoiler.

Tip #15: Public Places

how to click candid photosWhen you are in a public place, it is often fine to photograph individuals, but if they refuse or object, then you need to stop.

If you’re not sure, it never hurts to take permission before hand.

Your subject may want to pose, so simply explain what attracted them to you and tell them to resume and act like you were invisible.

Tip #16: Experiment!

Most times the artistic expression of a Candid Photo can be limited by you; the camera bearer.

Try different angles, scenes, and places. Pay attention to Candid pictures shot by other photographers (they can be found on magazines) for ideas and inspiration.

Tip #17: Move Around your Targets.

If you’re taking a picture of someone candidly, you’re unable to ask them to move for a greater composition. It doesn’t make sense to ask them to look natural – this makes the most awkward shots of all.

Get up and walk around your subjects until you have them positioned how you’d like, then take the shot.

A whole bunch of pictures shot from a particular seat seems predictable and boring – movement helps to mix things up.

Final Words

The above tips on how to click candid photos are what you need to know if you really want to take some perfect Candid Shots.

At times, you’ll be surprised and doubt if you actually took the pictures yourself.

Thanks for reading…

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