9 Smart Tips for Taking Great Candid Photographs You’ll Love

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Candid photos are tough to get right. It’s not just about capturing a moment, but the emotion of that moment — and moments are fleeting. They come and go in the blink of an eye.

To be clear, when talking about candid photos, I’m specifically referring to unposed and unplanned shots. For example – group gatherings, family activities, beach trips, a night out on the town, etc.

I’m also assuming that you’re shooting with a DSLR. Some of these tips can be applied to smartphone cameras and point-and-shoots, but others can’t. Do your best with the gear you have. Don’t grab your first DSLR until you know you need it.

That being said, here are a few tips that can really help to sharpen your candid shots and prepare you for capturing those fleeting moments.

1. Aperture or Shutter Priority Modes

Most DSLR brands, including Canon and Nikon, have two semi-automatic modes called Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority. Manual mode is often too slow for candid photos, so consider using these instead.

In Aperture Priority, you set your ISO and aperture values, then the camera automatically adjusts the shutter speed for proper exposure. In Shutter Priority, you set your ISO and shutter speed values, then the camera automatically adjusts the aperture for proper exposure.

Which should you use? Aperture Priority if you’re in a low light situation or if you need bokeh (background blur). Shutter Priority if you’re trying to capture fast action, such as sports or playing children.

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