8 Ways to Get Candids Without Being Noticed

1. Keep Moving
You are a vapor in the wind. The longer you stay in one spot, the more people are going to notice you. (The exception is the ceremony, of course, but for the rest of the day, you need to be very mobile.) There will be times when you find something amazing happening and you’re in the perfect spot and you need more than twenty seconds to nail it. Cool. But don’t linger too long. Hit and run. Besides not being noticed, you’ll find that if you move you’ll see another angle, another expression, different lighting, a better background on the same scene. Adjust, nail it, and move again. Think about the servers at the reception. When is the only time you notice them? When they are standing against a wall (not doing their job). Same with you. Get a move on, Jack.

2. Telephoto
This is the opposite of that “Shoot from the Hip” tip and is obviously preferable to it in many circumstances. Back away from the action and shoot with the telephoto. This is common sense. Telephoto in a crowd not only moves you far enough away from the subject that you won’t be noticed, but you crop out a lot of the clutter. Go with a wide aperture and shooting telephoto isolates the subject via depth of field as well. 

3. Look AROUND The Kids
When is absolutely no one going to notice you? When there are cute kids doing cute things. And when are adults going to be smiling and laughing with no self-consciousness? When there are cute kids doing cute things. You just hit the jackpot. Obviously, you want to shoot the cute kids doing cute things, but as soon as you’ve nailed it, zoom out to see moms, uncles, friends laughing at the kids. Include them in the pics with the kids if possible. If not, shoot the adults on their own.

4. Use Natural Light
Sometimes you need the flash, but if you can get away without, give it a shot. Of course, it helps to have really fast lenses. 

5. Bounce the Flash
No matter how fast your lenses, you’ll need to use flash in a lot of instances. And it’s awfully hard not to be noticed when you have a flashing light attached to your head. Solution? Turn that thing around and bounce it off a wall behind you. The flash is pointing the other way and it’s like someone is taking a picture in the opposite direction. One of those many benefits of bouncing the flash is that you are less noticeable to the subject.

6. Keep Shooting
The natural tendency when you’ve shot a formal shot is to put the camera down and start getting ready for the next one. But some of the best candids you’ll get all day are the ones between the posed shots. Keep that trigger finger itchy. The subjects are not expecting you to keep shooting and they are much more natural in those few seconds. 

7. Shoot From the Hip
There are times when you are really close to the action and you know that as soon as you raise your camera, you’ll ruin it. People can feel that camera and everything changes. Don’t do it. Shoot from the hip. This works best if you have a wider lens on, preferably 24-70mm or so. Shoot a few, zooming out a little and moving the camera slightly between frames. You can be almost positive you got the right angle, but moving the camera between frames gives you a little insurance. Review the images discretely without moving your body and shoot again.

8. Get Low
It wont take long in the wedding industry to know that guest lists can get out of control. The result is that the reception venue gets a little crowded.

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