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Why Capturing Real Emotion and Real Moments in Photographs is Easier than You Think- Three Tips for Candid Photos

When you start considering your favorite photographs, what stands out to you? Chances are, some of your favorite moments frozen in time are ones when the people you love didn’t even notice the camera in front of them. The moments where your friends, your family, your kids, or your lover were so wrapped up in what they were experiencing that the heart of the moment was palpable just by looking at the photograph.

One of the requests I hear most from my clients is that they want “real and candid” photos. Can a photographer who has never met the person, couple, or family they’re capturing achieve that? One thousand percent yes. Here are my top three tips for capturing the moments that make your heart soar.

  1. Don’t interrupt the moment you’re photographing by asking those involved to turn to the camera and smile.
    • Interrupting the experience that’s creating the genuine emotion can turn the most heartfelt, big belly laughs into a forced smile that sucks the joy out of the photograph. Instead, snap away while your subject is fully immersed in the moment.
  2. Move around your subject to get the best angles for your photo instead of asking them to turn to you.
    • Would it be easier to ask your subject to look your way and direct the action toward you? Sure. Is it a mood killer? Yeah-kinda. You’ll find very few scenarios where once the magic of the moment has been interrupted that the energy will return to the same level after the disruption. Instead, you should do the moving. Work your way around your subjects to find the best angles and capture a photo that honors the genuine emotion they’re experiencing.
  3. Allow your subjects the freedom to interact naturally with each other and the environment around them.
    • Some of the most moving photographs I’ve ever taken are ones where I’ve let my kiddo do her own thing…or let my clients explore the space we’re gathered in freely. This is easier when you’re photographing more than one person, but allowing your subjects the freedom to choose their interactions and what they’re exploring creates an environment where you’re capturing real moments- not contrived ones. The difference between a photograph where you’ve prompted a child to hug their sibling versus a photograph where siblings are naturally playing with one another is night and day.

Remember, pulling back and allowing your subjects the freedom to feel and experience the moments they are in is a really good strategy for capturing real emotions in your photographs. Move your body and your angle for the best framed photos of the moments you’re capturing. In conclusion, I’ll leave you with one of my favorite photography quotes:

“Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”

-Elliot Erwitt

Drop a comment or tag me (@fireandfinchphotography) on social media to share photos you’ve taken after you implemented these tricks. I CAN’T wait to see what you create!

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