If you have been following this blog and my Instagram for a while you will already know that I’m not a professional photographer but absolutely love to take photographs. You will also probably already know that my favourite subjects are my darling children so I thought I would share some tips for capturing your children while they are on the go (let’s be honest, kids just don’t like being still for long) and most importantly capturing them ‘in the moment’ which is really what for me makes a photo interesting and beautiful.
What is candid photography?
A candid photograph is a ‘pure’ photograph and by ‘pure’ I mean a photo that was not staged or posed for. Candid photography is all about capturing your subject – in this case our children – in the moment doing whatever they are doing in the context they are doing it in without interfering or disturbing. I like to think of it as looking through a keyhole into their little world.
So, how do I do it? And more importantly how can you do it too? Hopefully that is exactly what I will try to explain to you with this post in a simple and straightforward way without using any alien technical language that only professional photographer can decipher (I have no idea what it means either most of the time).
So without any further ado here goes.
1 – Carry your camera with you everywhere
Well I’m afraid that as annoying as it might be if you want to capture anything or anyone in the moment you will have to have your camera or phone close by or on you most of the time because when you least expect it you will see something weird or wonderful or funny or sweet…
I’m not saying you have to take photos of everything but if you are in the mood and think the opportunity may arise why not?
2 – NO flash!
I hate using my camera or phone’s flash particularly when shooting my children because a) I hate the harshness of the light and b) it moves the focus from what they are doing to what I am doing which absolutely kills the mood. This can be tricky of course particularly if you are shooting in low light. If you are using a camera in low light try to widen your aperture and raise your ISO. This way will be able to take well exposed photos in low light conditions such as indoors. If you are using you phone and you have HDR try shooting with it on. Of course this has it’s limitations as you will have to be very still to prevent a blurred photo. You will also need you subject to be still for the same reasons although sometimes if they more it can give the photo a nice effect.
3 – Move around
You can’t ask your children to move to get the best angle or composition so you will have to do all the moving yourself until you get the photo you want. This will help you mix things up and hopefully a more interesting photo.
4 – Show some context
Adding a little background to your photo will help you add context to your photograph and it will help it tell a better and slightly more detailed story. For instance, imagine you are trying to capture your child/children while they are doing some artwork. Instead of just shooting them and the work try to include some of the scattered materials, the mess, the discarded work… so that it isn’t just about the finished product but the whole process. They don’t necessarily have to be producing something though. This also applies when they are simply playing, eating or just being.
5 – Use burst mode
If you are trying to capture fleeting moments you only get a shot at it so take lots of shots. This is where burst mode comes in. Not only will it allow you to capture your child moving without blur it will also give you a better chance of capturing that best moment.