I’ve come to find that so many of my favorite photos that I have aren’t the ones where everyone was looking and smiling at the camera. While I do love those (and make sure to take those photos), I find that I REALLY LOVE the candid photos. The photos that allow you to peek back into what life looked like!
And those seem to be the favorites from most of my sessions as well! Some of the sweetest photos are where nobody is looking at the camera. You can see how everyone interacts together. Those photos bring you back to that moment in time! And that’s really special!
However, I think I should let you in on a photographer secret?
Those ‘perfectly candid’ photos aren’t actually candids. They’re all prompted and posed.
I don’t expect my clients to show up to a session and just instantly feel comfortable in front of my camera! They don’t start the session acting cute and lovey, while I quietly take photos.
I give a few guidelines and prompts to walk them through how to pose. And then we capture those beautiful ‘effortless’ photos!
But here’s the thing… over the years, I’ve implemented these prompts and guidelines into my personal photos. The photos just taken on my iPhone. And I love it! It captures the moments so much better and in a way that I really want to remember it!
So, today, I’m giving you all the words and the tricks I use so that you can begin to capture those ‘perfectly candid’ photos on your phone too!
Give Your Hands Something to Do
Stick straight arms look a little awkward in photos because we don’t naturally stand that straight and still.
To make photos look a little more natural make sure you give your hands and arms something to do. Here are a few ideas:
- Hands in your pockets
- Play with your hair
- Hold onto a coffee or a drink
- Grab onto a piece of apparel
- If you’re with someone hold onto to their arm
Change Your Facial Expression
You don’t need to always be looking at the camera and smiling. Just simply by changing up your facial expression it can easily make a photo look way more candid! Here’s a few ideas:
- This is funny, but if you open your mouth in photos it looks as if you are mid laugh – super cute! Or you could actually laugh, that works too!
- Look off camera
- Smile and laugh with each other
- Soft, gentle smile
- Smile down
Add Movement to Your Pose
The other way to make your photos look more candid is to add movement to your pose. It’s super simple and it creates such sweet photos. Here are a few ideas to play with, these are cute for both couples and parents with little children:
- Kisses or Snuggles
- Eskimo kisses (nose to nose)
Bonus Tip: How to Pose Little Children
Posing squirmy little ones can be quiet the challenge! But I’ve learned that sometimes less direction is better. For kids ages 5 and under the instruction needs to be VERY SIMPLE… here are the two poses I give:
That’s it! You can ask little boys to put their hands in their pockets (sometimes you need to help them find their pockets). For little girls have them hold onto their dress.
For the photo above of Gallen playing with his toy truck during the Jette’s session, I simply said “Okay bud, why don’t you sit here and play with your truck”… you can get creative with posing that is super simple.
If they are standing with a parent, you can ask them to give hugs and kisses and play with the poses above.
And have patience. Sometimes the sillier photos of your children are the ones you might end up loving more!
I typically like to start by taking one with everyone looking and smiling at the camera and then choose one candid pose to play with. For bigger groups it’s fun just to say “Okay, now everyone smile and laugh with each other!”
It takes 2 seconds and often everyone prefers the latter photo!
Hopefully, this helps give you a few ideas on ways that you could play with more candid photos! So that you can begin to capture photos that you just absolutely love of your everyday life!
If you would like more tips on how to shoot the photos on your phone, you can download this free BGP Guide: 10 Tricks to Take Better iPhone Photos Today! Where I walk you through the ins and outs of what makes a good picture!
If you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments below! And if you play around with these tips, be sure to share them and tag me on Instagram at @bethiegrondinphotography, I would LOVE to see how you play around with these prompts and share your ‘perfectly candid’ photos *wink wink*!!