How to compose your candid photography
Set up your portrait
For our portrait shoot we used two external flashguns. The background for this shot is vitally important, so look for interesting elements that will lend context to your subjects: in our case we used the smoke in the distance, and the fire engine in the right of the scene.
Try to leave plenty of space for your subjects in the foreground of the shot, so they’re not competing with background elements, and shoot at a wide angle to make your subjects more prominent in the frame.
Composition and angle
We shot our firefighters from a low angle to make them look more dominant, and got them to cross their arms, which also helps to make them look dominant and powerful; subjects with their hands dangling by their sides tend to look awkward. Another option is to get your subjects to hold tools or other props.
Tips for shooting on the job
As well as shooting your subjects in action, watch out for interesting and candid moments away from the action. Look for relationships and connections between objects and people, and perhaps try to shoot a sequence of images that show a story.
What you include – and don’t include – in your frame can make the difference between a great and average image. You’ll need to be quick to react to opportunities; use AI Servo mode and the Continuous drive mode for moving subjects.
PAGE 1 – Set up your camera for informal, candid photography
PAGE 2 – How to compose your candid photography
PAGE 3 – How to edit your candid photography: steps 1-6
PAGE 4 – How to edit your candid photography: steps 7-12
PAGE 5 – How to give your candid photos a documentary look
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