Candid photo examples are everywhere—on the street, in the market, at the station, outside the movie theatre, even at home, everywhere. As a photographer scouring the world for candid pictures, you have to be alert and to keep your camera about you. You never know when the next candid moment might come you way. You must always be on the lookout for interesting people doing regular things or regular people doing interesting things.
Candid photo takers know that the subject does not matter. Even animals make for great candid photo moments. Candid pictures are celebrated because they capture people at their natural best. There are no fake smiles, nor awkward poses, only life as it is. Whether you are looking for inspiration or are hoping to pick up tips and techniques, you will find it here.
In this roundup, you can scroll through 29 beautiful examples of candid photographs. Enjoy! But hang on, we feel before you scroll down, you would be interested in learning about What Is Candid Photography and Candid photography images.
Girl And Gull
Photographer: Albert Elliott
The black and white takes nothing away from this lovely candid photograph. The white gull stares towards the camera, while the young woman advances towards the bird with a curious and wonderfully childlike expression adorning her pretty face.
Into The Looking Glass
The candid photographer’s goal is to catch someone in the act of doing something, anything. This candid photo achieves that goal brilliantly, with the back of the mirror catching additional facial expressions that a lesser shutterbug may have missed.
Face of Exhilaration
Photographer: Ronie Nicolas
Look at the thrill on her face! The subject of this photo is speeding down a slide and she seems to be having a whale of a time. This candid photo has much to recommend it, particularly the splash of color and the composition.
Til She’s Gone
Photographer: Cedric Lange
A candid photo captures one fleeting moment. In this photograph, we see a mini-skirted woman pulling down her cutesy little skirt. Is that a nervous tug as she awaits her date or a subconscious one to keep people from ogling her shapely legs.
Photographer: Patrick Bayens
This candid photo comes with a story—the hand is of a mother trying to get her little toddler to laugh. You can only see a wrist, but there is so much feeling in this photo. You can almost see the red glove waving in the wind. Great use of color too!
Photographer: Patrick Bayens
The best candid pictures capture raw emotion. When taking this photo, the shutterbug turned away from a synchronized ice skating performance to see the reaction on the face of a member of the audience. Her reaction provides the finest review to the skaters’ act.
Photographer: I Eat Stars
This could just as well have been a still life photograph. But by capturing the in-motion feet of visitors to the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, the photographer brings the scene to life. The magic is in the mood of this photo.
The photographer caught these two pretty Korean girls atop what seems to be a high-rise in Seoul. The candid photo is all about the girls, but the shutterbug has also captured the lights of city skillfully.
A Candid Moment
Stereotypes demand that a tattooed woman be far from feminine. But this beautiful example of candid photography captures this lovely blonde in a thoughtful mood, and she looks incredibly girly in the bargain.
Laughing With Tanya
Photographer: Christina Karchevskaya
Candid portrait photography is not about fake smiles or posed expressions. As this candid photo proves wonderfully, what really makes or breaks a candid photo is the story it tells and the subject’s emotion.
Oktoberfaces 2010 #3
Photographer: Thanawat Thiasiriphet
Tourists love Oktoberfest. The locals may not love it as much. This hot dog eater seems to be half amused and half annoyed by all the barrel-headed folks and craziness around him. This is one brilliant shot!
Shoot From The Hip #57
Photographer: Thanawat Thiasiriphet
It is hard to capture a child without getting a blurry image. But this photographer has managed to catch this kid in a moment of deep thought even as he buttons (or unbuttons) his boldly checked shirt.
Photographer: Manish Jaju
The colors makes this a memorable example of candid photography. As the silver-haired man reads his Sunday newspaper intently, the blue doors and the splash of bright orange on his knee draw our focus.
Old Man, Boy And Puppies
Photographer: Chiriloi Catalin
Here is another wonderful candid photo in black and white that appears to capture a happy little moment between an elderly man seated on a chair, and a little boy who seems more interested in the puppies beneath it.
All Is Not As It Seems In Brooklyn
Photographer: M. Jeremy Goldman
Interestingly enough, these two little boys are not giggling with glee. On the contrary, they are having an angry little scuffle in Brooklyn. This candid photo is indeed an example of magic captured.
A Tale Of Two Cities
Photographer: Michael Murphy
As the tourist took aimed his camera on this familiar London sight, his dog stood up on twos for a better view, and another unseen photographer captured man and dog on their touristy jaunt through the British city.
Photographer: Marco Gratani
The smile on the curly-haired little girl’s face should be enough to tell the frightened little pup that all is well with the world. A little tenderness and great composition may be all we need to smile.
Lady In The Rain
Photographer: Danny Santos
As everybody else hurries home or struggles with their umbrellas, this young lady in the scarf is smiling through the rain. The photographer wins extra points for capturing serenity and joy amid all the bustle.
A Gentleman Of The Road
Photographer: Andrew Badenhorst
Performers, particularly street performers, are not easy folk to photograph. But the photographer does a smashing job of capturing the concentration on the face of this gentleman performing his art.
Candid Marriage Proposal
Photographer: Patrick Lu
Most people do not have professional shutterbugs around to capture their marriage proposals on camera. But this couple was lucky. Even though the candid photo may be slightly pixilated, we love the framing and composition.
Candid Street Photo
A candid photographer has to be alert to capture the fleeting expressions on people’s faces. In this case, the shutterbug was rewarded, as these women are clearly sharing a joke to which we are not privy.
Photographer: Miguel Pires de Rosa
Hogging the main focus of this candid photo is the hotshot honcho. But there is more going on in the background—much more. This photo is wonderfully framed and mesmerizing. You cannot stop looking at it.
This is another example of how candid photography can be brilliant. For starters, it is beautifully framed. We love the colors, and that the expressive old man’s shoes belong to the same palette as that of the wall behind him.
Photographer: Christopher Walker
This is a moment made eternity. This candid photo is so good that you can actually almost hear the conversation between the two women. The crumbing wall creates a wonderful texture as well.
Double Dutch Nuns
Photographer: Jose Chavarry
You have got to love the framing here. Candid street photography is not easy, but the photography has skillfully captured two happy nuns jumping rope and framing the central figure of a man who looks rather grumpy and left out of the whole thing.
Boys Will Be Boys
Photographer: Ray Zanvoordt
What is striking about this fine example of candid street photography is that every face seems to be showing some degree of emotion, curiosity and happiness, regardless of age, gender or personality.
City Kitty Fireman’s Lift
The cat is the hero of this candid picture, and what a great subject he makes. You even ignore the copious amounts of fur on the carrier’s back, and just admire this good-looking, if slightly scruffy, city kitty.
Photographer: John Tovey
There is much to recommend this picture—the expression of the man, the texture provided by the bare tree in the background, the superb framing, and most of all, the almost painting-like play of light and shade.
Madison The Jumping Rascal
Photographer: Matthew Coughlin
If you are testing your candid photography skills at home, take inspiration from this candid shot of little Madison. There is action, emotion and a whole lot of fun as she practices high jumping in her room.