Taking Photos That Mean Something – Candid

This is the second part of my two part series.  It could expand into more, I’m not sure.  But for now, I will keep it as a two part series so my mind doesn’t get discombobulated.  If you haven’t already, please check out the first part.  Hopefully, one or both can provide a little assistance or spark something for you.

When I first started in photography, I took pictures of my adventures.  I hiked a lot on the east coast of the United States and was able to capture portions of that.  I also got involved with a group of friends who liked to explore urban buildings, tunnels, caves, and other crazy things.  I became the “dude with a camera.”  Side note: I’m still friends with these guys and girls and it’s funny how as we get older we do less breaking and entering.

I started as a candid photographer.  Taking pictures of friends, landscapes, or whatever.  It was fun.  And like Forrest Gump, I’d bite into it and never know what I was going to get.  This is why on occasion I go back to these roots.  It’s pure and free to me.  I love my “studio” work.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s just as fun.  But for the most part it’s all planned.  It’s magazine.  Outside, the sky is the limit.  It’s nice to get away from that and go out and capture anything.

During the summer I went to a friends wedding.  I wanted to bring my camera along so as a present to them I could take my own pictures.  Plus I couldn’t afford that fancy new toaster they wanted.  They still had a professional photographer come to do the weddings shots.  I’m not traditional at all, so I really shouldn’t do them anyway, unless you don’t mind me getting what I want and not so much what you want.  Anyway, I did my best to stay away from the photographer and capture things he didn’t see.

I’ve found the best way to take candid shots is not to be involved at all.  Stay back and let people take notice of you, or not at all.  Notice the small things.  Open your eyes and look at everything.  Some of the most beautiful things in the world are not right out in the open.  And always keep your finger ready to take a picture, because things come and go in the blink of an eye.

And finally, try to take different perspectives.  One of my favorite things to do is shooting at the hip.  It makes people appear taller and thinner.  Find stairs or even a ladder and shoot from above if possible.

A few others tips and tricks to share:

  • Candid shots during photo shoots are usually amazing.
  • Never be afraid to try new things
  • Watch who and what you are taking a picture of.  Don’t want to make anybody angry.
  • If indoors, watch your lighting.  Natural light works best so hang out near windows.
  • Join in on conversations.  Makes those pictures extra special.
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5 thoughts on “Taking Photos That Mean Something – Candid

  1. I just recently took a very meaningful candid. I was very lucky. I also did everything I could to make sure I got the shot. It was at the beach, where I feel comfortable taking shots of other people. California Dreaming.

  2. NICE MATTHEW!!! Didn’t know you have a blog, too… Jeez! Where do you get that extra time to do everything you do, I wonder?!! 🙂

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