What is a candid photo?

A candid photograph is a photo taken of an un-posed moment or interaction. Unlike documentary photographs, which are “fly on the wall” photos of events as they unfold, candid photographs are photos we take of interactions that we are “directing” from behind the camera.

Clients often tell us that they love candid and un-posed images. But they are worried they won’t know what to do or how to act when they are in front of the camera.  During sessions, it’s my responsibility to set up different interactions between family members. And then photograph the genuine reactions and emotions that result. For example, I might have children sneak up on their parents while I’m taking couple’s photos or I may instruct one child to tell another a funny joke that I can’t hear.  

Candid photographs can be funny, serious, or filled with intense emotions. When we give prompts to our clients on what to do, we never know what is going to unfold. This unknown is part of the magic of candid photos.  With candid photos, clients are not typically looking at the camera but are usually focused on one another. Or focused on whatever it is they are doing (e.g., picking apples together, racing their siblings).

When it comes to family sessions, you don’t have to choose between candid or posed photography! A single session can seamlessly blend both styles, providing you with a full gallery of captivating images.  Combining candid and posed images is also a great way to keep your kids engaged in a session, as they have the chance to move around and play in between posed images.