Candid Posing Guide
How To Take Candid Photos On Demand
For wedding photographers and engagement photographers, emotions are everything.
Actually, I take that back.
For photographers period – Emotions are everything.
Today we’re going to dive into some great tips for taking candid photos. Getting those truly candid photos is an art form, but unposed candid photos and real moments are what make for the most memorable (and meaningful) photos.
Following is the ultimate Candid Posing Guide – Some of the best tips and tricks for taking candid photos and getting real emotion out of your couples. Whether you’re a wedding photographer, engagement photographer, or just a photographer looking to take candid shots of couples and get away from more traditional posing – This candid posing guide will help you get there.
Why Candid Posing?
When you start out in photography, there is a TON to learn.
Camera settings, strange terms like ISO, aperture and depth of field, starting a business, creating a brand, designing a website, doing taxes…
But there is one thing that seems harder and more confusing than everything else:
Traditional posing is tough. With some couples the poses look great – But with others the same exact pose looks terrible! Not all poses would work with all body types, or even the outfits a couple was wearing.
Even when poses DO work, there is a problem
Because everything is posed, the smiles and poses and moments you’re photographing aren’t real. They’re fake smiles & pretend moments.
Its no wonder the couples aren’t blown away by your photos.
Your couples don’t want pretend.
They want to look back at their photos and actually remember something special
Forget the fake laughs and pretend smiles. Learn to craft real, genuine moments – every time!
Want to create amazing moments and turn your clients into raving fans?
Do you struggle with posing?
Can’t get poses to look natural?
Tired of memorizing a million different combinations, only to have your mind go blank on the day?
Tired of the fake laughs and pretend emotions?
Enter Candid Posing.
Goodbye posing – Hello authenticity.
You’ll never approach posing the same way again.
Tired of struggling with posing?
Download our free candid posing guide, and kiss cheesy posing goodbye.
So What Is Candid Posing, And How Do I Do It?
If we were to boil down everything about how to take amazing candid photos of couples into one nutshell, it would be this:
Create real moments, and then photograph the real emotions that result.
Its honestly that simple. The most meaningful, knock your socks off photos revolve around energy and emotion. Capturing amazing candid photos is the art of knowing how to create moments on demand.
And here is the key:
The composition of your photo is not nearly as important as what the couple FELT in that moment.
Think about your most treasured photos – What makes them mean so much?
Chances are its not because the photographer had the perfect exposure, or the ISO dialed in just right…. Its probably not because the photo uses the golden ratio, or the rule of thirds. I’d bet its probably because someone put you in the “perfect pose”
So why are they your all time favs?
If you’re anything like me, its because they’re photos of your most favorite moments.
They matter because of the significance, meaning, and emotions behind them.
When I realized this, a lightbulb went off.
I knew I had to change what I was doing.
Creating amazing photos isn’t about memorizing a list of 500 poses from pinterest, and then contorting people into uncomfortable positions.
Creating amazing photos is all about creating amazing moments.
And once you can figure out how to create amazing moments with your couples, you don’t need to worry about posing anymore. When the moments are REAL, the photos will mean 100X more to the couple. They’ll turn into raving fans, and tell everyone they know about you.
And that’s the reason we made the Candid Posing Guide.
Step 1: Stop Posing, Start Connecting.
Candid moments start with real connection.
Being a great photographer involves more than just memorizing a bunch of technical skills – It also means developing your ability to connect with your subjects and make them feel comfortable / get them having fun! Your success in capturing candid photography will inevitably be the result of your ability to do this consistently.
We’re taught from a young age to guard our emotions and hide how we’re feeling from the world – Especially around people we don’t know! So the biggest hurdle in capturing authentic and real portraits is in building rapport with your couples, and ensuring you’re allowing them to express themselves creatively, emotionally and in a way that is 100% authentic and unique to them.
Here are 5 key tips to ensuring couples feel amazing during your shoot:
1) Start with chitchat.
Don’t be in a rush. Get to know each other, forget about the photos for a bit and shake out some of the nerves. If you have the room in your schedule, add an extra 15 minutes to your sessions to allow for some hang out time. If you really want to impress your clients, find out what kind of drink they like and pick some up on the way to the shoot! This is a quick way to develop some instant rapport and positive feelings.
2) Give amazing feedback.
Don’t get lost in your camera. Positive Reinforcement = essential! The better your couples know what to expect and how things are going, the less they’ll be worrying about how they look and whether they’re doing alright.
Having a camera pointed at you while the photographer stands in complete silence can be pretty unnerving! Tell your couples how amazing they look, how awesome they are, how unreal the photos you’re getting! (Even if things feel awkward, you’ve GOT to find something to encourage them with)
Attitude and feedback are contagious. It will bring out the best in them and give them the courage they need to be real and honest in front of the camera.
3) ALWAYS be positive.
Even if something isn’t working or doesn’t look very great, rather than saying “ don’t do that,” put a positive spin on it. “that’s beautiful, now lets take that one step further
4) Get excited!
As a photographer of people, think of your role as equal parts photographer and encourager. You want to get the BEST out of people. To do this, YOU have to bring the energy, fun and enjoyment in yourself that you want to see in them.
This one can feel strange if you aren’t normally a super excitable person, but trust us, going out of your way to bring the excitement and energy will make your shoots 10x better and more enjoyable.
Screaming “Oh my gosh, you’re a model!” or yelling things like “UNREAL”, “That was PERFECT”, “There’s no way you haven’t done this before” will tear down any self doubts your couple has and make the experience so much better.
5) Show them the WOW images!
One of the best ways to get your couple feeling awesome is by showing off the amazing photos you’re capturing. This gives them visual feedback and will get them excited + loving the process.
Step 2: Prompt – Don’t Pose.
Now that you’ve got your couples comfortable and having a good time, its start to get them interacting with each other. The best way to do this is with prompts.
A photo prompt is like a pose in reverse. Instead of using a pose, you use an activity that will *hopefully* lead in the direction / response you’re aiming for.
With a pose you might say “Look at the camera and laugh hysterically”
With a prompt you might say “Hold hands and tell me the most embarrassing story you can think of about your partner”
With a pose you might say “Give each other a hug”
With a prompt you might say “Pretend you’re FREEZING and you can only warm yourself up by getting as close as you can to each other”
With a pose you might say “Kiss her on the forehead”
With a prompt you might say “Take turns kissing the favorite part of your partners face – Other than the lips!”
Posing is set in stone, totally inorganic
Prompting is an activity that allows your couples to respond for themselves
Here is a real life example of a photographer using poses versus prompts. In the first image, Jordan the photographer was using poses. There are some great shots in there. Now notice the difference in energy when you look at the photo using prompts!
Prompts bring your photos to life – Because they’re REAL emotions
Can you guess which images meant the most to the couple?
Yep – The real, candid photos! Plus, the couple had an incredible time on the shoot too.
Want FREE Candid Posing Prompts?
We’ve put together a list of our 8 from our full Candid Photo Guide with 42 Prompts.
Download it now here!
Hopefully this Candid Posing Guide has been a helpful tutorial for showing you how to photograph those candid moments. It starts and ends with connection, building trust, and getting your subjects interacting in a real and honest way.
Tired of failing at posing?
Download our free candid posing guide, and kiss cheesy posing goodbye.
Pick up from here in our next post,