Tilt and Shift Photography Podcast

How candid photography books more clients

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Have you considered how candid photos could boost your photography business? Do you struggle to capture genuine, in-the-moment shots? If so, this episode is for you! 

I recently had the pleasure of joining Karolina Guzik on the Tog Republic podcast. We discussed the world of candid photography and how it can significantly impact your business, attracting more clients and telling authentic stories. I’m here to share insights from our conversation, sprinkled with my experiences and thoughts on embracing the candid moments in photography. 

The Art of Candid Photography (And Why Candid Shots Resonate)

Forget those stiff, posed photos! The real magic is in the candid moments.

That’s the beauty of candid photography – it goes beyond the picture-perfect and dives straight into the real, beating heart of a moment.  Think about it: the burst of laughter, a tear rolling down a cheek, a look that passes between two people…those tiny, fleeting details get lost when everything’s staged.

“Candid is anything that is not directed by the photographer… it’s very wide open, right? Like, it candid is absolutely anything that is undirected. So even those even when you’re doing portraits, and the moments kind of in between those portraits, those are candid moments, right?” I discussed on the podcast. This spontaneity in candid photography is crucial as it brings out the unfeigned, emotive essence that standard photography might not always reveal.

People want photos that feel real, not staged – there’s just something special about seeing real-life moments captured. It lets potential clients see themselves in those authentic scenarios, feeling the emotions and living the experiences through your photos. Candid shots capture those genuine moments of joy and connection. That’s what makes clients say, “I want photos like that!”

Photography Styles: Candid vs. Documentary

Photographers often discuss the concepts of “candid” and “documentary” photography, and sometimes even mix them up. Understanding the difference is crucial for appreciating these distinct styles.

  • Candid Photography: Capturing the Moment

Candid photos are those unposed, spontaneous moments. Think of someone looking off into the distance or a casual interaction. Candid doesn’t necessarily tell a complete story – a viewer may not always grasp the full context of the image.

  • Documentary Photography: Storytelling

Documentary photography is driven by a narrative. It seeks to convey a broader story through images. These photos will include candid moments, but they always offer a context that a viewer can understand. Think of the iconic photojournalism of Life magazine, capturing historical events and deeper human experiences.

  • Is There an Overlap?

Absolutely! Many documentary photos are candid, but not all candid shots are documentary. A strong documentary photograph weaves a story using candid, authentic moments.

Photography Styles and Personalities

As photographers, we’re often focused on directing our subjects. But sometimes, the most authentic and compelling images come from simply observing and capturing candid moments.

  • Embracing the Natural

Many photographers find that the beauty lies in the natural flow of events and people’s genuine interactions. Instead of constantly posing your subjects, try stepping back and letting the scene unfold. This candid approach allows for more unique and emotive photographs.

  • Your Personality and Your Photography

Your photography style is deeply connected to your personality. If you hesitate to take control of a shoot and would rather observe genuine moments, candid photography might be your forte. It’s okay not to be the photographer who changes the energy of a room. Instead, become a silent observer, capturing the intimate moments others might miss.

  • Candids to Book More Clients

Candid photography is incredibly appealing to clients. It highlights their natural connection and allows their personalities to shine through in the images. Lean into those authentic moments, and you might find they resonate even more with potential clients.

  • Tips. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
  • Observe and anticipate. Pay attention to small details, body language, and interactions between people. Anticipate those special moments that tell a story.
  • Be discreet. Blend into the background, so people are comfortable being themselves.
  • Embrace imperfections. Candid photography isn’t about technical perfection; it’s about raw emotion.

Let those candid moments highlight your unique style and capture the hearts of your clients!

Mastering Candid Photography

Getting that perfect candid shot involves a mix of intuition, skill, and a good eye for the right moment.

  • The Art of Anticipation

It’s all about being in the moment, ready to capture those fleeting, genuine expressions. I reflected, “It’s part of the art… part of it? Yes, I think it’s always present if you’re being true to your art.” You’ve got to be alert, ready to catch those unguarded, beautiful moments that happen in a blink.

  • Creating a Comfort Zone

The most genuine candids happen when the subject is totally unaware of the camera. They’re lost in the moment, and you’re there to capture their authentic selves, turning ordinary moments into extraordinary memories.

  • Embracing Life’s Surprises

The thrill of candid photography is all about embracing the unpredictability of life, capturing those unscripted, real moments. It’s about enjoying the unpredictability, capturing life as it happens, not how you planned it. It’s finding beauty in the spontaneous, the unplanned, the real.

  • Highlighting Genuine Moments

Candid photos are unique because they’re so personal. “When you show a candid photo, that is by nature of it being candid, it’s going to stand out because it is not a posed photo,” I remarked. They capture stories that are incredibly personal and impossible to replicate.

Photography Techniques and Creative Growth

Candid photography captures life’s unposed moments, but as photographers, we often battle our inner critic. Here’s how to quiet those voices and find your creative flow:

  • Grant Yourself Permission to Play

It takes practice, practice, practice. Also, you have to give yourself permission to work on it, and to fail. Rigid expectations will stifle your creativity. Approach candid photography as playtime! Experiment with angles, lighting, and situations without fixating on perfection. 

  • Embrace “Documentary” Photography

Think like a documentarian and let scenes unfold. Your role is to anticipate the best angle, lighting, and moment – your subjects shouldn’t feel directed. This builds the “muscle memory” for great candid shots.

  • Let Go of Control

Choose a moment you’d usually overanalyze and try to control. Instead, observe the scene and photograph it as it happens, imperfections and all.

  • Seek Constructive Critique

We’re attached to our work, which clouds our judgment. A skilled observer can cut through emotion and highlight the images that authentically represent your unique voice and perspective.

Photography Marketing and Critique

Getting your photography work critiqued can be nerve-wracking, but it’s incredibly valuable. A skilled reviewer can provide honest, unbiased feedback that highlights your strengths and where you have room to improve.

  • Cutting Through the Attachment

As photographers, we pour a great deal into our work, making it difficult to view objectively. An outside perspective can bring clarity, helping separate the good work from images that fall short–no matter our emotional connection to them. Think of it as the photographer’s version of having an editor. A critique identifies shots that best represent your unique style and those that don’t advance your brand.

  • Shoot Shadowing: A Deeper Dive

‘Shoot shadowing’ offers an even more in-depth analysis. Sharing your entire unedited catalog with a professional allows them to pinpoint what you might miss. This helps you understand your strengths, areas for improvement, and how your work can be interpreted by others.

  • Marketing with Clarity and Purpose

A compelling critique leads to more intentional marketing. To attract the right clients:

  • Understand and showcase your unique value. What sets you apart in the photography world?
  • Target those who will love your work. You might even want people to dislike your work rather than be indifferent. This clarity attracts ideal clients.
  • Think ahead. Don’t just cater to current clients. Aim to attract the kind of client you want in the future.

“But I love this picture!” It’s a common photographer’s dilemma. If you find curating your work difficult, it’s time for outside help. A coach or mentor provides the objective viewpoint you lack- they’ll help you select the images that truly align with your brand. While it may feel uncomfortable to invest in yourself, a coach’s guidance will help you build a stronger and more recognizable portfolio.

Candid Photography: More Than Just Shots

Candid photography isn’t just about taking pictures; it’s about capturing the essence of life’s fleeting moments – the laughter, the tears, the joy, and the unexpected.

Engaging in candid photography transforms ordinary experiences into remarkable memories, capturing the genuine beauty of life’s unscripted scenes. It’s about more than just images; it’s about capturing the heartbeat of the moment, the unspoken stories, and the essence of reality.

So next time you’re out with your camera, remember the appeal of candid photography. It’s about seizing those spontaneous moments, embracing the unpredictability, and crafting a visual narrative that resonates with authenticity, bringing out the soulful, untamed beauty of the real world. Now, go out there and start capturing those genuine moments!






Learn more about coaching and mentoring at bobbibeducation.com.

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