Candid Photos are Better with these Five Quick Tips for Natural Shots

Candid photos are easy with the five simple tips. Candids are one of my personal favorite styles of photos — especially when it comes to portraits. For me, it’s all about capturing the essence of a moment in an unguarded and natural way. Since a lot of people are at least a little camera shy, a candid shot can really help.

Of course, there’s a little more to it than just snapping photos like a madman when no one is paying attention. If you want to capture truly awesome candids, the five quick and easy tips below will help you ensure your shots are top notch.

better candid photos

1. Shoot Often for Better Candid Photos

Remember to carry your camera with you whenever possible and, just as importantly, shoot with it! Try to capture as many shots as possible. They won’t all be keepers, but you’ll be getting a lot of good practice that will save you time and improve your shots in the long run.

better candid photos

2.  Be Ready for Better Candid Photos

Since your camera is already at your side (see Tip #1), make sure it’s always ready to capture better candid photos on a moment’s notice. When you’re moving around and notice a change in the light, take a second to re-adjust your exposure settings so you won’t risk missing a shot. If your settings are incorrect and you may not be able to change them in time.

However, if lighting or camera adjustments are an issue in a shot you otherwise love, there are ways to adjust. Use our PhotoShop actions, Lightroom presets, and overlays for free in our Photography Bundle 1. These will help you get the look you want.

better candid photos
Photo by Erik Jan Leusink on Unsplash.

3. Don’t Rule Out Eye Contact in Your Better Candid Photos

When you’re thinking candid shot, you’re most likely think a photo where the subject isn’t aware they are being photographed. And while that is mostly true, it’s okay to capture eye contact if done appropriately. Typically, the best opportunity to take a candid with eye contact is the split second the subject looks at the camera. Once they realize they are being photographed, it’s likely they will change their expression and the photo will lose the feel of a candid.


4. Look For Interactions that Result in Better Candid Photos

By nature, humans are fairly curious creatures. When we see a photograph with multiple people interacting, our minds immediately begin trying to piece together what the interaction is all about. As photographers, we can take advantage of this by photographing our candid subjects interacting with other people or animals–it will automatically make the shot more interesting to the human eye and mind!

better candid photos

5. Available Light Is The Best Light for Better Candid Photos

For candid portraits, using natural or available light is almost always the best option. Since we’re trying to keep ourselves on the down low, don’t draw attention to yourself and distract your subjects by blasting them unexpectedly in the face with a flash.

Another little bonus tip I like to use when taking candids of younger children is to “guide” them a bit. Obviously, you don’t want to give them posing instructions, but it can be a real time saver by suggesting your younger subjects play in an aesthetically pleasing location you are confident you can get some good shots at. Thinking about these things in advance can save a few headaches when working with adults, too!


The best advice for better candid photos is to remain aware and alert — before long you’ll start spotting great photo opportunities before they even happen.