Yes it sounds like photography dipped in sugar, and it does produce sweet results. A candid photo is when you take a photograph without the subject being aware. The results are an unposed picture where you catch someone going about their everyday business.
Here are my 10 tips…
The best camera is the one you have on you. Take it everywhere, so when you see something interesting you can capture the moment. Phones can be excellent, but there are some superb pocketable cameras out there, such as the Ricoh GRii.
Read a review by Eric Kim here… Eric Kim, Ricoh Grii Review
Have a nose around his site. I get a lot of inspiration from this guy.
Think about how you dress. Wear subdued colours that help you blend in. I generally wear a cap so some of my face is obscured.
Look for people who are engaged in something. A cobbler fixing a shoe or someone making street food. Alternatively, people who are lost in their thoughts can help create a picture that places a question in the viewer’s mind.
This lady was lost in her thoughts, which gave me plenty of time to frame my shot.
Look for people engaged in conversation. People engaged in conversation will not be focused on you, and a dynamic conversation leads to interesting facial expressions!
People in conversation will often be unaware of your presence.
Hang around. When you enter a new scene you often get noticed. Relax for a while, make a call or sit on a bench for 5 minutes. You will soon blend in, at which time you can start pocking your camera around.
Hang around until people are used to you being there. They will soon forget about you.
Shoot from the hip. Many cameras have tiltable screens which means you can frame your subject without bringing your camera up to your eyes. This is a lot more discrete but takes a little practice.
Wait for the ‘decisive moment’. This is more about finding an excellent shot that is missing a person. Sit and wait till someone walks into frame and grab the picture.
This alleyway shot would be nothing without the street cleaner passing the entrance.
Don’t use flash! Nothing will make you stand out more than a flash firing.
Don’t be creepy. I truly believe most people have a sixth sense when it comes to being creeped up on. Be bold and brash, act normal, and most people won’t even see you are there.
I was caught taking this shot, but the guy did not seem to mind and I was pleased with the final photo.
You will get caught taking candid photos. This often results in the subject being captured with a surprised or angry look in their face, which is not always a bad result. Simply smile and offer to show them the photo you have taken. If you haven’t taken a shot, nod towards your camera to ‘ask’ permission. Trust your gut and walk away if someone does not want to have their photo taken.
Good-luck and keep clicking!