What Is Candid Photography?

What is Candid Photography

Hello and welcome to the ultimate candid photography guide! Have you ever wondered: what is candid photography? Which camera should I buy? Have you wanted help in understanding camera lenses? Or are you simply looking for street photography tips?

Well you’ve come to the right place! This site has all the information a budding photographer could ever want! Not only will I help you find the best camera for street photography, I will teach you the DSLR photography tips necessary to excel in your new hobby.

What is Candid Photography?

Let’s start at the beginning. Some of you may have heard people talk about candid photography, but have no idea what they mean. The answer to what is candid photography is simple: if you’ve ever watched “America’s Funniest Videos” or “Candid Camera” you already know.

Candid photography means taking pictures of people when they are acting naturally. The dictionary defines Candid as meaning: “Informal; Unposed.” So essentially, it means taking a picture of someone just being themselves. The answer to what is candid photography is that simple.

There are many types of photography, and it may be helpful to consider them in defining what is candid photography. The clearest contrast is between a portrait and a candid photo. For example, with portrait photography, someone is posing, they are aware of the camera, and the photographer may be asking them to make a specific face. In contrast, with a candid photograph, the subject may not even be aware of the camera, or they may not have a chance to compose themselves.

Here is a simple rule of thumb in answering what is candid photography: If someone could say “Cheese,” it’s not a candid.

Types of Candid Photography

Now that we know what c0andid photography is, it’s time to learn about the different sub-types of candid photography. Yes, even among candid photography there are still sub-categories. I believe there are 2 main types of candid photography:

  1. Street Photography
  2. Reaction Photography

Defining Street Photography

What is Candid Photography - Children Playing

Street Photography – Children Playing

Street photography involves going out on the street and observing people in their natural habitat. This could be a homeless man begging on the street, a runner sweating in the heat, or even a couple walking hand in hand. The point of this type of photo is to document external human life in its most natural environment.


Defining Reaction Photography

Reaction photography involves photographing someone’s natural reactions. They may be aware of the camera, but in the exact moment of the photo, they are being themselves instead of posing.

A great example would be a surprise engagement. Surprise engagement photo ideas are wonderful, because even if she sees the camera, she will be so over come with emotion that the photographer will be able to capture her natural reaction. In a sense though the answer to “what is candid photography?” is up to you the photography. At the end of the day, the point of this type of photo is to document internal human life in its most natural environment.

Mastering Candid Photography

Once you decide that you want to take candid photographs, you need to figure out how to do so. Don’t worry – it’s easy!

My number 1 piece of advice is to simply get out there and take lots of photos! And by take lots of photos, I mean LOTS of photos. The best part of digital photography is that you don’t have to pay for film. Review your photos shortly after taking them and give yourself an honest critique. This fast feedback loop will help you pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses.

After you’ve got a basic understanding of your strengths and weaknesses, it’s time to start mastering candid photography tips. There are plenty of tips for candid photographers, but if street photography is your interest, then be sure to learn street photography tips too! To begin with, check out our Street Photography Introduction. Then check out our 4 Candid Photography Tips for Blending In and 3 Questionable Tips for Street Photography!

Even after you’ve mastered how to be a candid photographer, you need to continue to find interesting subjects. So keep learning cool photography ideas to keep yourself interested and your skills constantly evolving. I hope you continue to learn more about what is candid photography!

Becoming a Candid Photographer

Candid photography can be an incredibly enjoyable hobby. It gives you an excuse to get out in your city and explore corners you’ve never seen. When you go on a vacation, you have a lot more options than just photographing the same old landmarks that everyone else photographs. And being a skilled candid photographer comes especially in handy for capturing life’s special moments.

I hope you found this guide and this website helpful in improving your candid photography skills and answering the question “what is candid photography.” Please let me know if you have any questions that I can help you with. And if you enjoyed this site, please share it with your friends!


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