Candid photography is all the rage among shutter bugs of the twenty-first century. Stiff poses? You will not find any here. Nor will you find the artificial smiles that we have all gotten so accustomed to in this era of Facebook. So what is candid photography after all? It has to do with capturing people in their natural states, with shooting people who do not know that a camera is on them. Where candid photos really succeed is in showing people as they really are.
Candid photography is certainly here to stay. However, candid images photography is not necessarily easy. Sure, you may not have to play with lights too much or hire expert models, but you do have to work on your composition and framing. If you want to create truly beautiful candid pictures, you have to understand lighting and you have to be prepared to click at the right moment. An effective candid photographer is one who is always ready with his/her camera.
This post highlights 21 examples of candid photography that made us go “Wow!” Are you eager to improve your photography skills or are you embarking on a candid photo project? Whatever your goal, the images provided below could help, and they are certainly designed to inspire.
The occasion must be somber as the little boy looks down in all seriousness. The candles dominate most of the picture, some tall, some short, others melted into winding blobs. The photographer has done a brilliant job of using the light from the candles to illuminate the face of the child.
Candid Photograph of a Child
Photographer: Dave Beckerman
The little girl in the white dress is probably part of a wedding party. But wedding or no wedding, it provides no restraint on her movements. So she runs through the room, with two of her friends in pursuit. She makes a wonderful poster-girl for freedom. Extra credit to the photographer for his framing and composition.
Candid Child Photo
Photographer: Yvette Depaepe
This little tot makes for a wonderful candid photography moment as the shutterbug captures her in familiar surroundings. The garment hanging from above adds a further depth to the composition. This candid photo is almost artistic in its appeal and endearing in its simplicity.
Photographer: MJ Scott
Candid photography is all about capturing a moment. In this particular case, the photograph looks like a scene from a movie. The blonde woman dominates the central space with the cigarette dangling expertly from her lips. This is indeed a fine example of candid portrait photography.
Photographer: Robin Osgood
The lovely red-haired beauty in the photograph appears to be a photographer’s delight. But credit should go to the shutterbug for capturing her while she is not posing. The wind in her hair and the beach create the mood, but brownie points to the photographer for capturing this beauty when she was not looking.
Bend and Kiss
Photographer: Bai Amihan Nanaman
This candid picture only shows the lower limbs of the two subjects. But the tiptoeing stance of the barefooted lady confirms that this has to be a romantic kiss. The title of the photo confirms it too, but what we really love is the sheer simplicity of this shot.
Photographer: Richard Taylor
Racing day is not complete without its share of attractive women. And candid photography involves taking not just the expected shots but also the unexpected ones. In this photograph, the shutterbug captures the crowds from a different angle – in between the stilettos of one of the seductresses preening on stage.
Indian Religious Festival
Photographer: Tuhin Subhra Dey
Religious festivals in India are colorful and vibrant. But in this picture, the photographer has captured a moment of quiet devotion. The old woman says her prayers alone while the waters ripple and break, and the sun sits low and dim on the horizon.
I Got This
Photographer: Don Warren
Entitled “I Got This”, this photograph is unlike other pictures of bicycle races. The photographer seems to have swooped in on the faces of the competitors, looking past the bicyclists who seem focused on the race and focusing on the one who seems just a little distracted by things happening on the sideline. Or is he just confident that he will be the big winner?
Fruit-seller Sneak Peek
Photographer: Thomas Jeppesen
This candid photo is all about the eyes. The photographer has apparently managed to grab an empty space through the crowds of people and baskets of fruits to capture the fruit-seller as she goes about her business. Her face and expression stand out amid the blur of life at the marketplace.
Coffee Shop Candid
Photographer: Elliott Steel
The finest examples of candid photography capture people in a moment of thought. This picture shows a young woman thinking deeply about something, while her empty cup of coffee rests at the center of the frame. London life goes on as usual outside the glass window of the coffee shop, but that fails to interrupt the young woman’s thoughts.
Candid Back Shot
Photographer: Angelo Malig
We have all seen bikini shots where the models pose expertly. In this shot of this shapely young woman’s back, there is a degree of unpreparedness. It is as though the photographer stole a little moment to capture a certain unaffected innocence in this dark-haired beauty.
Creative Candid Wedding Photography
Photographer: Devendra Purbiya
This example of candid photography was captured during a wedding in Pune, India. The photographer has managed to catch the bride in a pensive moment even in the midst of all the wedding revelry. The colors are beautiful, but what we love most is the framing and composition of this fantastic image.
Photographer: Rob Webb
Photographer Rob Webb says that this photo is his “first attempt at a candid public shot.” The image shows a couple kissing in what seems to be a park. The photographer plays with the light, simultaneously revealing and hiding this intimate moment. We love the dreamy, almost surreal feel of this candid photograph.
The thing about beach weddings is that they are so much fun. In this candid photo, the bride and her friend try out their dance moves on the seashore. This photograph is brimming with joy but spare a moment to notice the colors – the blue of the sky, the sea and the friend’s dress, all of which serves to highlight the bride in white.
Kids are playful and fidgety at the best of times. But sometimes, if you are quick with your camera, you will capture them in a quiet moment. In this beautiful example of candid photography, the little boy and the little girl sit by a window, playing some kind of a game. The girl looks attentive as the boy ponders his next move.
Photographer: Ruslan Lavrentyev
This is not how you would photograph most brides on their wedding day. But the pile of snow made it impossible for this lovely bride to take a dainty little step forward. We love that Ruslan was able to capture this moment. The blushing bride shows plenty of leg, but she has support from the gentleman in the suit.
Though My Eye #131
Taken in Sham Shui Po in Hong Kong, terrysiu130’s candid photo shows a little blond child in a perambulator leaning over to look at two toy-like pet dogs build an acquaintance. We cannot see any faces in this photograph, but the way in which the little girl cranes her neck to see the animals is enough to convey the curiosity inherent in this image.
Amsterdam / Nederland
Photographer: Chambrier Stephane
The charm of candid photography lies in capturing a moment as it happens. This photograph by Chambrier Stephane shows a hooded person walking down an alley. The lights in the alley illuminate the buildings, the street, and the bicycles parked on the right, but the subject of the picture remains a shadowy being.
Don’t and Don’t
Although you cannot see too much of the street in the background, this photography is quite obviously an example of candid street photography. Shutterbug Arnd was skillful enough to capture this young woman, seemingly in deep thought as she pauses between drags on her cigarette. Arnd does not support smoking, as is apparent by the name of this fine photo.
Photographer: Jerry Art Motion
This candid capture is part of an ongoing personal photo project that is to continue through to 23 August 2013. “Tiffany” represents Day #103 of the project. The subject’s expressive eyes and happy smile dominate the foreground. This is a fine example of candid portrait photography. A job well done!