5 ways to take better candid photos

Group Of Mature Friends Enjoying Buffet At Dinner Party
Photo by Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Most people prefer the idea of candid, natural shots as opposed to more posed or staged ones, but there are some important things to consider when opting for the former. We’ve compiled a list of useful tips to try at your next entertainment or family event.

Forget your camera has a flash

many photographers holding camera pointing to you and isolated on white

Photo by Tom Wang/Shutterstock

Don’t kill the relaxed mood and low-lit atmosphere with a bright, startling flash. Using a flash can sometimes create unflattering shadows and emphasize paler skin tones giving guests a washed out, pasty appearance. We recommend increasing your ISO and widening your aperture instead. By adjusting these settings (try an ISO of 400 and above), you can achieve a shallow depth of field and focus more precisely on your subject rather than on its surroundings.

Keep your camera with you

Steven Tyler was onto something when he said, “I don’t want to miss a thing.” So, don’t! If your camera is on your person throughout the event, you won’t miss out on capturing natural snap-worthy moments, such as your friend laughing at a joke, or a spontaneous warm embrace. It’s okay to line your friends up and pose for one or two strategic group photos, but we bet your favourites of the bunch will be the more organic shots that captured silly ad-lib moments.

Snap away in burst mode

Sometimes the most effective way to get your finest photo is by shooting in a continuous high-speed mode known as burst mode. Pressing the shutter button or holding it down captures numerous photos taken in quick succession and allows you to select the best one in the series or to use the sequence to create a unique narrative. If you carefully browse through the slew of images, you might just find a real gem to send around or one that’s even print-worthy.

Avoid backs and chewing food


No one wants to see a dull group shot of people’s backs or what the finely filleted fish looks like in someone’s mouth. Best shooting practice is to wait until people turn around so that you’re not getting backs of heads—and always be mindful of when guests are chowing down on the delicious hors-d’oeuvres. Forks down, everyone. Trust us, the guests will thank you later!

Get into position

As a general rule of thumb, shooting from above will have the most flattering results. Positioning your camera and yourself too low can create the dreaded double chin, so grab a chair to stand on if you have to, but aim high. Also, scan the room for opportune moments and get as close to the action as possible. If someone is about to give a speech, sit or stand close by, try to anticipate what might happen so that you can get right in there as the moment unfolds Lastly, don’t be afraid to approach your subject with confidence! Some of the world’s most beautiful photography comes from having no fear—and keep shooting! You’ll only improve with practice.

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