Today we’re breaking down what is behind a candid photo and how to achieve beautiful candid images during your session. Here are my top tips for candid family photos! As a Northern Virginia Family Photographer, many of my clients request one good “everybody looking at the camera” shot. But they generally prefer a more candid gallery […]
Today we’re breaking down what is behind a candid photo and how to achieve beautiful candid images during your session. Here are my top tips for candid family photos!
As a Northern Virginia Family Photographer, many of my clients request one good “everybody looking at the camera” shot. But they generally prefer a more candid gallery of images! These are my FAVORITE type of session to photograph, because I know how valuable these images are down the road. They more accurately portray “what it was like” during the time of your photos. Whether it’s your toddler grasping you hands while learning to walk, or a preschooler snuggling into mama during an in-between moment: These little vignettes help tell an accurate story of your love and your lives together.
Simply put, a candid photo is one where everyone is not looking at the camera and smiling. A candid photo is one that is made during an in-between moment. Sometimes I prompt my clients and a candid moment unfolds, and other times they happen entirely on their own. Most “candid photos” have been set-up by your photographer. This is good news, because it means that any family can achieve a set of candid images! I observe how you naturally interact together, and use this to help tell your own personalized story.
We often gravitate toward these candid images because they tell a story just by looking at them. So how can we achieve more candid images during your session? Here are some tips to prepare:
Do your best to prepare yourself and your family for your session. Tell them that you’re taking photos. Instead of telling them to “smile nicely and behave”, instruct them to have fun and not be afraid to laugh! Candid images are unlikely to happen if we have to pause often to “bribe” with candy or other treats. Don’t feel the need to promise any treats or threaten if their behavior gets a little crazy.
Set-out the things you need for your session in advance the day before. Day-of, start getting ready earlier than you think you need to. Be sure to leave the house early so you have plenty of time to arrive at your session without rushing. I find that my own family’s energy mirrors my own, so when I’m calm and happy, they will be, too. This calm goes a long way to helping everyone relax and have fun – and this is where the magic happens!
To have fun and laugh! I find it can be helpful to think through a normal day with my family and make note of any inside jokes, games we like to play, or memories we can talk about that make them feel happy or silly. Did your child just learn to count to 10? Or can they name their colors in Spanish? Do they like to sit on Dad’s shoulders? Or do they love it when Mom blows raspberries on their cheeks?
These little games can be fun prompts to offer during your session to get them focused on a task and forget I’m standing there with a camera! During the session, you can reference these jokes or play these games to help everyone show their genuine smiles. I have a few ideas I come with, but it’s always more genuine if you can draw on something your family loves to do together.
This feels counterintuitive because we often associate family photos with everyone smiling at the camera. Instead, just interact with your family. I will tell you to look at each other, to hug or kiss, to walk or play, or even have a tickle fight! When in doubt, pick someone to look at, and enjoy your time together.
I always encourage parents to keep smiling, no matter what your kid is up to. Sometimes my favorite photos happen when your kids are not listening to what we asked them to do. But they ARE being authentically themselves! It will be a more beautiful capture if you’re smiling at them lovingly, I promise!
Overall, embrace the crazy and the chaos – you might even encourage it a little – because these moments are the ones you’ll treasure years from now.
I love to work with clients that value authentic moments over perfection. Ready to fill your walls with effortlessly candid, and “true to you” images? Inquire today!
Interested in what a candid family gallery looks like? Check out these posts:
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