How to Take Photos That are Actually Candid
We all love a candid photo. It's arguably cooler than taking a posed, formal photo (although this is coming back in style a little bit). It seems like every influencer and model on the planet has mastered the technique of fake candids, but achieving this is a lot harder when working with normal people who don't pose for photos for a living.
Whether you're starting out as a couple's photographer, or simply looking for tips when posing with your significant other, I hope that you'll find this blog post useful! Keep reading to find some of the things I've found useful for achieving REAL, candid photos.
1. Get your couple talking to each other.
Most of the couples I've worked with aren't necessarily used to being in front of a camera, especially together. Understandably, this leads to some nerves and overall awkwardness. In a previous blog post I've outlined my advice for making couples feel comfortable at the start of a shoot, so feel free to refer back to that if you're looking for more tips for that specifically.
As for getting relaxed and candid photos from your couple, it's important to remember that they will naturally be more comfortable with each other than they will ever be with you. Take advantage of this and encourage them to interact with each other. Pretend to be fixing your settings, dig through your bag for your flash, or do really anything that gives them a private moment to turn to each other for comfort and familiarity. Harness their nervous energy, which often turns into nervous giggling when they look at each other, and quickly raise your camera to shoot. This is exactly what I did for the photo above. Works every time!
2. ALWAYS be on the lookout for photo opportunities.
I am proud to say that this photo is entirely candid and is one of my absolute favorites. Which leads me to tip #2 - always be on the lookout for a good photo and don't ever put your camera down, you never know when a good moment will arise. Keep your eyes open and scanning constantly, and be ready to take a photo in a split second.
In the photo above, this fantastic couple and I were waiting to cross the road to get some shots on the other side. The aim was not to take any photos on the little crossing island, as we were simply waiting for the light to change. But then they started being cute and talking to each other, and I noticed how cool the lights from the road were, so I quickly lifted my camera and managed to capture this incredibly sweet and intimate photograph in the heart of central London. My point is, you never know when something unique might happen, so have an open mindset and be ready to shoot at any given second.
3. Be subtle.
This tip goes hand in hand with my first tip. As I said above, couples are naturally most comfortable when it's just the two of them. I'm not saying you have to pretend like you aren't there, but subtly goes a long way.
As a general rule, unless I'm specifically shooting a close up, I like to put a little distance between myself and whoever I'm shooting in order to achieve truly candid shots. I try to avoid putting my camera right in their faces. Distance is key, even if it requires you standing in a bush like the above left image. Here, Yolanda and Fabio completely forgot I was there and started dancing with each other (adorable, I know). The less aware the couple is of your presence, the more likely they are to do something intimate, personal, and relaxed. You can see this concept in the below image as well. I had backed a lot, he whispered something in her ear, and she cracked up.
distance + subtly = candid.
I really hope this has been helpful for you all! Please leave any tips you have for getting candid photos down below in the comments section, I'm always still learning and love getting advice!