Candid photography is a form of photography that involves capturing the image of a subject without creating a posed appearance. The main point here is the absence of a pose. Achieving candid photography can be done in ways such as; when the subject is in motion, by avoiding prior preparation of the subject, by surprising the subject and by not distracting the subject during the photo taking process.

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The Best Camera for Candid Photography

For candid photography, you need an unobtrusive camera. Basically, any type of digital camera will do. This is because digital cameras allow you to take hundreds of photos without worrying about the time and cost of using film.

The “classic” camera for candid photography, however, is a Leica due to their slim body and small lens. For choosing the best camera for candid photography, the best features to look out for in a camera is High ISO so that even in low light, you are able to still take great pictures.

The Best Equipment for Candid Photography

Bounce Flash

Using a flash is not ideal and definitely not advisable when shooting candid photos as a bright flash of light will distract your subject, potentially ruining another photograph and worse, will definitely draw attention to you. You, however, can invest in a bounce flash, which points the flash in a different direction (usually angled about 45 degrees up) to bounce the flash off surrounding walls and ceilings. This gives you a more “natural” lighting effect with very little effort.



This is a plastic, translucent device that covers the flash and allows it to be better dispersed in the area and less harsh.

Memory Cards

You need to have multiple memory cards handy as the nature of candid photography is such that you might end up taking hundreds of photos before you get your shot. Therefore, running out of space while shooting is definitely something you want to experience.

A tripod

Tripod is essential equipment for any photographer. Its use in candid photography is well acknowledged. It is such a helpful tool for the candid photographer if you envision you might be standing in one place and shooting the same scene for some time. A tripod helps to stabilize the image, especially in low-light scenarios. So try to keep one within reach anytime you are going out for a shoot.

Backup Batteries

Ensure you have extra power sources for your equipment as you may be out shooting for several hours.

The Best Lenses for Candid Photography

After laying your hands on a suitable camera, you should consider investing in the following lenses:

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The 50mm fixed lens provides a natural effect with no distortion and is excellent at capturing portraits on the go.


This is a wide-aperture lens that works very well in natural light and low-light scenarios. This lens captures close-up details and also captures the whole scene.


This lens is the most popular telephoto lens. It allows for unobtrusive photography as the zoom lets you capture your subject from quite a distance.

Tips to Capture the Best Candid Moments

As a photographer who takes candid photographs, the first thing you have to do is to learn how to blend in. Blend in with your surroundings by remaining comfortable with the camera and around people. The following tips will help you take excellent Candid photos.

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Always Keep Your Camera on You.

First, you have to always have your camera on you and primed to take pictures. You never know the moment you will be required to pick up your camera and grab some shots.

Practice on Friends and Family First.

If people notice you are uncomfortable taking photos, they will most likely be uncomfortable having their photo taken by you, so it is important that you are comfortable with the camera. The best way to get familiar with a camera is to practice on friends, family, and associates.

Shoot, Shoot, Shoot.

To get the perfect candid shot may require you to take hundreds of photographs. So don’t be afraid to take hundreds of photos. Start with volume and quantity then you can always edit down your selections later. Candid photography is all about capturing moments that you usually can’t anticipate, so shoot, shoot and shoot some more.

Shoot From the Hip

One of the most important techniques in candid photography is shooting from the hip. Shooting from the hip allows you to compose your image from an entirely different angle. This technique also frees you from having to look through the viewfinder. Including  finicking with the composition of the image. As often as you can just shoot almost at random and hope for the best.

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Shooting from the hip is quite a great photographic technique especially when at a wedding with small children, as it allows you to capture images from their eye level and their perspective.

Photograph People Doing Things

Capture images of people doing things like these tend to be much more interesting than people sitting passively doing nothing. Your subject will be focused on something which adds energy to a photo and also takes their focus away from you.

This also puts them in context while adding an element of the story to your image. Timing is important in capturing candid photographs. Hence wait until they are distracted from you and fully focused on what they are doing or who they are with and you will inject a feeling into your shots of them being unaware and that the viewer of your image is looking on unseen.

Use a Long Zoom

In the case of candid photography, the further you are away from your subject the less likely they will know you are photographing them.  Also the more natural and relaxed they will act. A telephoto lens or long zoom enables you to shoot from well outside their personal space. It also keeps the feeling of intimacy in the shot you are taking.

Position Yourself Strategically

Strategically positioning yourself will give you a significant advantage while capturing candid shots. Candid Photography is all about capturing the spontaneity of a moment. Also it is getting that perfect shot at the right split second of time. Thinking ahead and anticipating what is about to unfold in front of you can greatly increase the chances of getting some great shots.


Candid photography is a form of photography that will equip you with tools to be a versatile photographer. One  who can bring in more clients and business. The key is to hone your skills by practicing on family and friends. Also get the right equipment and follow the tips provided in this article.

Author: Arinze

A Photography enthusiastic. I work with a group of other professional photographers to provide you tips on photography

About Arinze

A Photography enthusiastic. I work with a group of other professional photographers to provide you tips on photography

View all posts by Arinze →

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