How to be Candid... Shouldn't it Be Easy?


How to be candid?

This seems like a weird post, doesn’t it? Being candid should be easy. It’s just authentic moments and being you. You shouldn’t have to think about it. 

That’s not always the case. Actually, it’s often not. 

It doesn’t matter how much I educate clients about just being themselves and interacting with their family during a photoshoot, as soon as I pull out my camera and start clicking away, I get the blank stares… 

And then the, “So what do we do?”

That’s OK. I’m not going to pretend for even a second I’m not that awkward person in front of the camera. Been there done that. It’s actually kind of ironic considering I’m a photographer. 

So that’s why I thought I would write this post. It’s also something I’ve been thinking about since we had our own family photos taken recently and I felt like they went so awesome, partially because I’m a little more educated now on how to be candid.

Quite often during my family photoshoots I provide what I call “prompts.” They’re basically posing tips, guidance and ideas. If you’re feeling in that “What do we do?” rut, then this is where prompts come in handy. Prompts are my way, and a lot of other photographer’s way, to inspire clients to be candid. 

Here are some sample prompts:

Dad why don’t you pick up your son and get him up on your shoulders. 

Mom lean down and watch her pick that flower. 

Ask her if you can smell it. 

Dance with your daughter. 

Hold hands. 

It is very common for moms and dads to kind of freeze during a photoshoot and not know what to do. They interact with their kids on a daily basis, obviously, so they know how. But then here I am with a camera… something’s different. 

Typically, once we get going my families get more comfortable and moments start becoming more authentic. 

What I’d like to get through to clients is make your own list of prompts before the session as well. Kind of like an activity list. Use things like I listed above. Repeat them in your head.  

And when you start getting into that, “What do I do?” mode during the shoot, go over those prompts in your head. 

If you forget them, oh well, I have my own ideas. 

Here are some samples of candid moments I’ve captured recently.