Taking better candid shots.

I recently taught another digital photography workshop and the second most asked question behind. “How do I put my batteries in” was how can I compose my photography better? Here, in a nutshell, is what I told them that may help you out too this season:

Watch your lighting!
Hallways and small rooms will bounce light around, which can cause hardness of the flash. Look for high ceilings and stand farther away, like 3 to 4 feet from the wall behind you.

Don’t pose subjects too much!
People look more relaxed and more importantly comfortable when they’re engaged in activity. Anything that keeps their mind off you taking their picture is best.

Use your eyes!
Forget that your camera has a viewfinder and an LCD. Get everything in focus, then hold the cam in front of you and rely on your own sight. This lets your subjects warm up to you and helps you read their expressions.

Shoot first, ask questions later!
Be cool about finding that “perfect” shot while the camera is in your hands. Move around, get as many angles and takes of your subjects as possible. Click quick and click often.

That’s why there is Photoshop!
Back at home, you can refine your raw material into a beautifully composed candid. Purists shun this software use as a kind of photographic half-truth; for the rest of us, there’s Photoshop.

Keep it simple!
Avoid clutter in the shot. Less is more.

Be Cool In Public Places!
While in a public place, it’s basically fine to photograph people. If they complain, you need to stop. If you’re not sure, ask permission before hand. Your subject may be alright to pose, but explain what you saw them doing and ask them to continue as if you were invisible.

Go ahead – Try different angles, lighting and locations. Look at photos shot by others for inspiration.

Hope these tips make for a better photographic experience!

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