15 : Candids



A great candid is more than simply taking a picture when someone is not looking at the camera. It reveals something about the subject that is honest and frank. It offers the viewer a glimpse into the personality of the subject or a moment in time.

Pictures which show a person fully engaged in an activity are often the most compelling. They immediately draw the viewer into the scene. The subject of the photo does not have to be active or moving to be interesting. For example, a child reading or building with bricks will beautifully illustrate the quieter side of her personality.

Candids are also a great way to capture the connections between people. Emotions and expressions are poignant when they are captured in this honest fashion. Seek out natural bonds between siblings, parents and kids, friends and pets.

Your goal for this week is to make pictures that are not in any way posed, staged, controlled or set up in advance.



Shoot from the hip, literally. It can help to be inconspicuous. Raising a large, black camera to your face broadcasts your intent to take a picture. It is the same as turning on a flashing neon sign that says “Hey, I’m about to take a picture of you!” Instead, keep the camera low. Prepare your settings then shoot with the camera at waist or hip height without looking through the viewfinder. Remember that with digital cameras you can take loads of shots and simply erase the ones where you missed composition or focus!


This week is a great opportunity to put your telephoto zoom lens on your camera if you have one! Putting space between yourself and your subject can ensure that your presence isn't a part of the scene, bringing a higher level of authenticity to the images. If you don't have a telephoto zoom lens, there are a few inexpensive options that may be worth considering:


Canon 75-300mm f/4 - 5.6



Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5 - 6.3

nikon 70-300.jpg

Creative Prompts

For this week's assignment force yourself to describe scenes as you see them occurring throughout the day. Allow yourself to step back from a scene and observe it as an outsider.

  • “My daughter is reading a book.”
  • “My kids are chasing the dog.”
  • “My son is jumping on the bed.”
  • “Our family is preparing dinner"

Be a journalist of your own surroundings.

Share your images!

As always, we look forward to seeing your images in the Facebook group! If you have never posted a picture, it's fine to start any time. The Facebook group is a positive, no-judgement zone. We also hope that reach out for advice or help if you need it!