Capturing Candid Portraits-4 tips

Here are a few tips to capturing candid portraits. I thought I would share and post this favorite picture of my granddaughter at the park.

1) Go somewhere fun and interesting. You can't control candid photography, but you can control your setting and maximize your odds of success. The greens of the park background here make a nice background for the side of my GD that I wanted to capture. That was one reason for choosing this location for our play time that day.

2) Be ready. I usually shoot on AV priority and start with an AV of F8 to F11. Take a few test shots and adjust to taste. Think about your shutter speed and ISO. The above image was captured at 1/125 with a focal length of 70. That speed worked well for this shot, but would have been way too slow if the subject were moving at the speed she usually does. My ISO was set at 400, which is approaching the acceptable limit on my equipment and I liked the DOF, so I decided to live with the shutter speed a bit slow. It worked for this shot, but not for others taken under the same light with the subjects in motiion.

3) Get on their level. Most interesting shots of children and animals are shot at the subject's eye level (or below, or sometimes WAAAAAAY above) This view point forces the potential buyer to see your subject from a different perspective, helping you to grab their attention.

4) Scout your locations and plan to return for different light conditions if appropriate. One of my favorite things to do is to get in the car with my dog and just driving around looking for interesting photo ops. It gives me time with my pup. The car ride relaxes her and I get to socialize and train with her in a wide variety of conditions-a triple win even if we don't spot anything especially interesting.

Photo credits: Cjh Photography Llc.

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Thanks! I am doing the best I can to get more online, but with two jobs and two other businesses-it's hard! I definitely hear you about the accidental discoveries-I love it when something finally clicks and I find a better way to do things than I have used before.


Most of the information is accidental discoveries. Most of my stuff isn't from the internet or any sources. :)
Try out and see how the photos come out. You have a very small port, try to upload at least 15-20 photos a week. Good luck!


Thanks Robin! I read it and it is full of great information. I am trying some of the suggestions out already.


I recently wrote a blog article on this after reading this blog post. Especially for you. :)
The 7D is a great piece of equipment. You could push it to literally any limits and it performs close to the 5D in most situations. Don't miss the features!


Nice photos. I sometimes go a bit above 400 for personal use, but haven't had results like yours. Thank you for sharing!


I was stalking this fisherman lately, perched behind a rock like a sniper with breath held for over an hour and he refused to throw the net. Maybe he is a rich fisherman or doesn't have a big family. :/
 Indian rural fisherman catching fish 

And ISO 400 is the limit of the EOS 7D?! No way. I have used it at ISO 800 without any problems at all. ISO 1600 is okay too with some post processing and resizing.
 Zebra fish 
The zebra fish image was shot at ISO 1600 and EV -2 in literally no light. Then its brightness was increased to +1/3 EV in post processing. I resized it to 12MP from 18MP...and it had no noise.
(I used the horrible settings because there was no light plus I needed higher shutter speed, that's why the EV -2. Better than ISO 12800 and EV 0)


Lol! That would be great image too. Sober pup behind steering wheel and me in the passenger seat with a bottle of what not!


You should let the puppy drive so you have more time to scout out shots while not running into something or someone.


Thanks Susan! Yes, that is my idea of heaven. I am driving, I have my dog, I have my camera. All is right with the world :-) Now, if I could be driving to a little cabin in the Colorado wilderness near the RMNP, THAT would be perfection!


Great info, and number 4 - sounds just like me...I do the same! Nice Blog, thanks for sharing! :)

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