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Event Photography: Fabulous Candids

Capturing great photos at a party or event in a spontaneous (unposed) way sounds easy, but how often do your shots come out with kids stuffing food in their mouth, eyes half closed, or blurry foregrounds?

Here are some tips we’ve picked up from professionals over the years (with a couple personal examples of what happens when you don’t listen!)

Flash Photography
The flash lighting isn’t the only thing awkward about this photo!

Turn off the flash

Taking photos using an on-camera flash is generally unflattering, resulting in strange skin tones, shadows, and red eyes. If you’re in low light with a DSLR, you can play with the aperture, and some point and shoots have a natural light setting.

Take a lot of shots—early on

This is so everyone gets used to the camera, and starts to ignore it. Result: fewer goofy faces, more “real moment” captures.

Move around

Sit down, crouch down, lie down – different angles will give you more visually interesting shots, and shooting from a child’s level will reflect the energy and personality of those gorgeous little mugs. Get creative, and have fun with this – rolling around will definitely get them giggling if nothing else.

Candid Birthday Photo
Birthday cake…or water bottles and pizza?

Be aware of clutter

This birthday shot is a great example of a special moment – and water bottles. Taking a moment to clear off the party table a bit or move toys or clothes out of the way results in less visual distraction, and therefore better photos.

Go for black and white
It works for portraits, and we love it for candid captures too. You can shoot in RAW if that’s an option for you, or shoot in color and convert the photo later with your software or app. (Surprisingly, B&W photos often turn out better than color in low contrast or low light situations.)

Happy shooting out there! Share your photos of great candids with the community by tagging us or using hastag #MOMtography.