• Candid Photos: How To Take Photos So No One Knows You’re Taking Them

    Candid Photos: How To Take Photos So No One Knows You’re Taking Them

    Many of the best photographs are taken of people in their most calm and candid moments. But it can be very difficult to document such moments with a camera in your hand. Many people look into the lense with fear and trepidation. With little warning, the subject tenses up and freezes. Before you know it, the moment is gone. So how to capture candid photos so no one knows you’re taking them? Here are five easy tips from the Foto Ruta team.     

    Photo courtesy of Foto Ruta participant

    Shoot From the Hip

    Shooting from the hip allows photographers to discreetly capture their subjects with ease. Eye level photography is commonly used, but it can also lead to taking photographs that look staged and choreographed. Nothing is more distracting for your subject than seeing a great big lense pointing towards them. Shooting from the hip means that the lens is “out of sight, and out of mind”.

    The hip-method is particularly popular with street photographers. Just remember to keep your camera locked on autofocus. Many hip-shooters also recommend using a wide-angle lense. Take many pictures and do not be disheartened if you are only satisfied with one shot.  One or two good photographs is actually a good result.

    Photo courtesy of Cat Allen

    Use Your iPhone

    Times have changed. No longer do many of us walk around with huge lenses that scream, “I AM GOING TO TAKE YOUR PICTURE.” It is now possible to take good quality photos with just an iPhone or a small point-and-shoot camera. So take advantage of these advances in technology to take candid photographs. Pretend you are playing with a new application while clicking away at your unsuspecting subject. They’ll thank you later when they see how natural they look.

    Jenny Friedman, Finalist for the iPhone Photo Competition 2013

    This beautiful image displays the amazing possibilities of working with just an iPhone.

    Just Keep Talking

    From Cecil Beaton to George Hurrell, the great portrait photographers have shown tremendous cunning to put their subjects at ease. Some have used conversation and humour, while others have used music. The same principle applies now. Just keep talking while you adjust your lense. This will distract your subject, allowing you to click away mid-conversation, catching them in their most candid of moments.

    Screen legend Greta Garbo caught in a candid moment by Cecil Beaton in c.1948

    What did Beaton say to Garbo to produce this candid masterpiece?

    Turn the Flash OFF

    Continue using your cunning by turning your flash off. Instead, why not rely on natural light to illuminate your subject? Remember that the whole point of candid photography is for the subject matter to appear natural. Flashes can be very distracting, and even intimidating, to some people. Turning your flash off allows you to take innumerable photographs without fuss.

    Photo courtesy of Cat Allen

    Put your Camera on “Gallery Mode” or Silent to avoid noisy BEEP Sounds

    Another easy trick to help you take photos so that no one knows you are taking them is simply to put your camera on “Gallery” or “Silent” mode. This allows you to take as many pictures as you like, without a sound. Sneaky, but effective.

    In street photography some of the best shots you will get will be your candid photos, but it takes time to perfect the method of shooting when no one notices. As we all know, your photos will only get better with practice, practice, practice. With these 5 helpful tips, you’ll be on your way to better candid shots in no time.


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