17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Improving Your Photoskills: Shooting Candids.

Melissa asked me for few suggestions.

1) Before you leave your house

Go over your equipment.

Is your battery charged? Should you bring an extra?
Do you have enough film?
Is your memory chip empty and ready for new images? Should you bring an extra chip?
Does your lens need a little cleaning?

2) Getting Set Up
When ever I show up to photograph something, it is really important to figure out your camera settings and environment, so that you don't have to think much or worry when it comes to catching a moment. So give yourself a few minutes before you get into action to sort it all out.

Be in the environment that you will be shooting in, and do a few tests (if you are shooting digital). Are you going to use the flash, or can you have the option of no flash?

Here are some other posts I have done about dealing with light:
Outdoors and Indoors.

Walk around the room and get a sense of some of your options (IE is there a stage, children's area, a beautiful arch, etc)

3) How to NOT be noticed
When it comes to shooting candids, i find it difficult. Because when people realize you are there they sometimes stop behaving naturally. If you had access to equipment - use a long lens (a higher number mm like 80mm or above, the higher the better) you can be a distance way, but still get a great close up shot.

You could also have an accomplice who could stand in front and a little to the side of you, to help make you less suspicious.

4) Kids
Sometimes when I photograph kids, they really don't want me to take their picture. So my trick is to stand normally but hold the camera at my waist or knees to get a kids eye view and they won't suspect that I am taking their picture. The draw back is that you can't see what you are doing till after the picture is taken.

Another option is to have a partner who can distract the kids or get reactions out of them. On a professional shoot this is exactly what a baby ranger does, and they are VERY valuable people.

This last sentence can be adapted to adults. Especially if you know the people. Ask someone who doesn't mind, to go hug or talk to the person you wish to photograph. This can help people feel like they "know what to do". I really love this idea to photograph a Grandparent.

One last note
If you are at a big event, like a wedding, remember to be mindful of those people who are highered to record the event (IE. professional photographer, videographer). Introduce yourself and tell them your intent. Let them know that you don't want to be in their way.

Have fun photographing!!


  • happy nanny, I have loved your photo series. I am in the market for a higher quality digital camera and is nice to have some tips to put to use when I get it. So thanks!
    posted by Blogger Jen at 8/07/2007 02:25:00 PM  

  • I need a higher quality digital camera too. Maybe on your next post you can give us some suggestions for shopping. Thanks for the tips by the way.
    posted by Blogger Beth at 8/07/2007 03:48:00 PM  

  • Thanks so much for the tips. These are very helpful.
    I just got a Pentax SLR for Christmas and really like it. - for those of you in the market.
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 8/07/2007 04:09:00 PM  

  • I love your tips happy nanny!
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 8/17/2007 06:10:00 PM  

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