Plan For Spontaneity
This may sound like a contradiction but it is a good idea to plan for spontaneity. What I mean is, think about the event that you are photographing. If you are at a friends birthday party, think about where most of the guests will be during the party and think about where you as the photographer can stand to take photos without being noticed. A lot of people stand in kitchens at parties to get away from the music so they can talk and tell jokes. Think about where you could stand and capture moments of spontaneity from the guests without drawing the dreadful posed “say cheese” kind of photographs.
Take Lots Of Photographs
Digital cameras with big memory mean that you have the ability to take a large quantity of photographs at no real cost to you. This is perfect for taking candid shots. Take as many photos as you can from many different angles and from many different zoom settings. From this you greatly increase your chances of getting some real gems.
Some of the best candid shots I have taken have been when people are interacting with each other. It might be an animated conversation about politics or discussion of a book they have read. It could be a couple of children laying with a toy. The point is, human interactions result in some of the most incredible photographs.
Never Leave Your Camera At Home
This is a simple tip but probably the most important one. How many times in the past have you been out and about and seen something where you suddenly say to yourself, “I wish I had my camera with me”. I know this has happened to me so many times. You don’t have to carry a big Canon Eos SLR with you all the time, just a good quality point and shoot digital camera will suffice for some good spontaneous shots. Don’t forget to take some spare batteries with you though!
Stealth Mode With a Long Zoom
For the ultimate in stealthy candid photography, use a camera with a long lens and hide behind some nearby trees or bushes. Paparazzi photographers use this technique a lot to take photos of celebrities in candid moments. You can use this technique to capture candid shots of friends and family also though.