How to get great candid shots

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I love capturing candid moments! They are my favorite.  They are the moments that people think they don’t care about….but once they see them, they love them more than the posed.  When you hear the word “candid” it seems rather spontaneous, but truth be told, as a photographer, I often have to set up those moments that lead to great candid images.  I’ll tell people to do certain things.  Sometimes it may be awkward, but the laughs around the awkward moments are worth capturing!  When you are photographing friends or family, keep a handful of action words “in your back pocket” to help out those candid moments.
Here are some one word actions that I like to use:


Just think of this list of words that evoke emotion (and write them down on a cheat sheet if you want).  You can set up a scene with these words and create an atmosphere that lends itself to beautiful candid moments.  I love interaction between loved ones.  I think it is in those moments that we can really see how we are as a unit.  The laugher, the love, the fun, the happy.
I will leave you with one of my favorite shots of my family that was taken in our home by my friend, Katie Evans.  I love it.  We were reading a book on the couch. I made it into a canvas, it show us in our natural state hanging on the couch:
Any words you can think of that would help evoke emotion?  I’d love to hear!
Happy Shooting!
This post was originally posted at The Idea Room over a year ago.

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  1. Awesome tips! Pinning this=)

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  3. I love these pictures and these tips! I’m always try to “do better” with my photos.


  4. I LOVE that family portrait of yours, Kristen! You guys look great. These are my favorite kinds of shots, too! SO much better than the stiff, formal poses. 🙂


  1. […] I think people love candid images more than they realize. I’ve got an arsenal of “candid code words” I’ll shout out to to help with those action shots. I send out a questionnaire ahead of […]

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