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How to capture candid moments like a pro

Looking to capture this year’s Father’s Day moments in a memorable way? Take some time pre-June 15 to perfect the art of candid photography. Here are some must-know (and easy-to-master) tips.

Photo shop: altrendo images / iStock / 360 / Getty images

Be prepared

If you want to document some fun and fleeting moments for your family, then have your camera ready (seems obvious, but still totally worth a mention). Make sure the battery is charged, and have an extra pack at the ready just in case the one you’re using runs out.

Get ready to “burst”

The fastest way to capture a candid moment is to take a ton of pictures, and the easiest way to do that is to set your camera to “burst” or “rapid-fire” mode. These options (often symbolized by an image of a person “running” on your camera-setting dial) increase your camera’s shutter speed, allowing you to take more pics in a shorter period of time. Our suggestion? Set your camera to burst, take a posed pic of your subjects, and then crack a joke or two — the reaction image will be 100 times more candid and memorable than the first shot you snapped. What’s more, if you’re using a digital camera, then you can delete any of the pics that didn’t work out.

We’ve got more tips on acing family photos. Here’s the 101 >>

Mix it up

Most people shoot their subjects straight on or at eye level. An interesting way to mix the photography routine up — and to get some candid images — is to take shots of subjects at random angles. Hold your camera near your hip, and shoot someone at an upward 45-degree arc; lie down, and shoot them from afar; stand on a deck, and snap some shots from above. A fresh perspective is only an altered camera angle away.

Go long

Zoom is both good and bad when it comes to photography. It’s good when you want to home in on a specific part of an image or narrow the focus of a print; it’s bad when you’re trying to snap a shot of someone in a relaxed state (are you ever calm and cool when you know a lens is staring at your cheek?). If you want to keep your shots candid, then save zooming and narrowing your image’s focus for post-photo production in Photoshop.

Be active

Let’s be real. People sitting and staring at a blank wall aren’t the most interesting subjects (unless you’re going for something that’s moody and artsy; then have it). So if you’re trying to capture a candid moment, then make sure the person you’re photographing is doing something. From kicking around a soccer ball to flipping meat on the grill, people are at their most relaxed when they’re focused on an activity, not a camera. Give them a few moments to get into whatever they’re doing, and then prepare to snap away!

More on photography

A guide to having a professional family portrait taken
4 Ways to be more photogenic
Photo frames: Making your own family collage

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