Photo Tip – A Novice’s Guide to Taking Great Candid Images of Strangers
[Moldovan Popular Musicians Warming Up – On a River Boat On the River Bîc – Republic of Moldova – July 2001]
Photo Tip – Capturing Candid Images of Strangers
Feel shy about snapping candid images?
The trick is to start slow and build confidence. I recommend practicing candid photography at a musical event – specifically while the musicians are warming up. They will be focused but casual and they will be doing something that has meaning to them so you’re likely to capture a bit of their personality as well as their preparations. There are usually other audience members milling about prior to the start of the show too so you won’t feel so inconspicuous. If you’re at an indoor venue, the lights may be up and this will help to simply the process too.
The image above was one of the very first candid images of strangers I’ve ever shot. I was nervous, but the situation made me bold enough to try, and after all it wasn’t odd that I wanted to take capture the moment – we were on a river cruise in the early evening and the band was picturesque.
Exercise: The next time you have the chance to hear live music, be sure to snap a few candid images of the band/orchestra getting ready.
- above all – be confident
- breath deep (don’t hold your breath or the camera will begin to shake)
- really take in the details of the scene before you and focus on the most important elements when composing your shot
- if possible, move around and shoot from different vantage points
- take lots of pictures so that you can end up with lots of choices
- have fun