5 Tips for Taking More Natural, Candid Photos

Once upon a time, in a decade that shall remain nameless (*cough* 1980s), family photos looked like this…


Time (and fashion!) has moved on, thankfully!

If you’re anything like me, the photos you will most treasure in years to come will be the photos that best capture the personalities, interests, expressions and relationships of your loved ones.

The natural, candid photos.

So, if you’d like to learn how to take more natural, candid photos of your own loved ones, read on!

1. Wait for a moment.

Your phone is probably full of great happy snaps of people smiling and having some awareness they’re being photographed. To mix things up a bit, simply wait for a moment – whether it’s watching your kids play together on your lounge room floor, or watching friends talk to each other at a dinner party, wait for a moment when no one is aware you’re taking their photo - when they’re full of animation, relating to someone else. The image will reflect the time and place and fleeting moment between the people you’ve captured.

2. Detail shots.

Often, we photograph a person or scene, trying to fit as much of the action into the shot. But sometimes, the best shots are the zoomed-in shots, the close-ups that capture important details, like a newborn’s tiny little toes or your toddler’s crazy-messed-up-hair from a morning playing in the park. Try zooming in on one key element that you normally might overlook; in my case, I captured my toddler’s super long eyelashes and in the one beside it, my daughters red finger nails.


3. Keep 'em movin!

People are less likely to put on their ‘posed’ face if they’re unaware you’re photographing them. Or, if they are immersed in some kind of activity. Whether it’s children or grown-ups, having some kind of activity to focus on (baking a cake, playing with blocks, picking flowers) will help your subjects look and feel more natural.


4. The ordinary is extraordinary.

If you have kids, you’re probably all-too-aware how fast time flies. That the cute things they do today, they may have grown out of tomorrow. Sometimes, the most striking photos are the images capturing ordinary, everyday things, like kids brushing their teeth, or the way your toddler tries to push you away from the bench when you’re cooking! The fact that time marches on so quickly gives these seemingly ordinary moments their power.


5. Get in the Frame!

We all want to capture these precious moments with our kids, our partners, our friends and family. But so often, we forget to include ourselves. Or, we don’t want to ask someone else to photograph us. I’m directing this, in particular, to the Mummies – Get in the Frame with your kids! Ask your partner or friend to take some photos of you with your kids. Remember the tips above – having an activity to focus on, ordinary moments, the little details – and have that partner snap away. Your kids will want to look back on their childhoods with you in them.

If in doubt, just play! Have fun with your moment-capturing, try new things and think outside the square. Some of the best photos are happy accidents!