21 Candid Photography Examples That Will Warm Your Heart

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.

You may also be interested in checking our previous compilation of photographer sites, wedding photo ideas and photo sites.

Croatia Candid

Photographer: Unavailable

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 photo in Croatia

Croatia Candid

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 photography with kids

 

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.

Candid child photography

Candid Child Photo

Candid Smoker

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.

Candid photo of a smoker

Candid Smoker

Beach Candid

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.

Candid beach photos

Beach Candid

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.

Candid picture in a public space

Bend and Kiss

Boots

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.

Candid photo at an event

Boots

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.

Candid photography during religious festivals

Indian Religious Festival

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?

Candid photo during a race

I Got This

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.

Candid street photography

Fruit-seller Sneak Peek

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 photo at a coffee shop

Coffee Shop Candid

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.

Candid photo at a beach

Candid Back Shot

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.

Candid wedding photography

Creative Candid Wedding Photography

Candid Kisses

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.

Candid photography at a park

Candid Kisses

Beach Dancing

Photographer: Jasoux

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.

Candid wedding photo

Beach Dancing

Capture Interaction

Photographer: Unavailable

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.

Candid photo of children

Capture Interaction

Winter Wedding

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.

Candid photo at a wedding

Winter Wedding

Though My Eye #131

Photographer: Terrysiu130

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.

Candid picture of kids and pets

Though My Eye #131

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.

Candid travel photography

Amsterdam / Nederland

Don’t and Don’t

Photographer: Arnd

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.

Candid picture of a smoker

Don’t and Don’t

Tiffany

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!

Candid portrait photography

Tiffany

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