No longer able to do candids as the kids grow up?

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by WT21, Oct 1, 2012.

  1. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    I used to shoot a lot of candids when my kids were young. They didn't know what the camera really was, so you could get great shots of the kids running around, full candids, fully seeing their face.

    Now that they are older, they well know what the camera is, and their crazy camera-dad is snapping away again, which leads me to fewer face shots (because the only "candid" is when they can't see me) or, posed shots (when they want to pose) or making faces at the camera when they don't want their picture taken. It's also causing me an issue this year that I didn't face before. I have always had a Canon 5D at the holiday season. I just got one for this fall, and the mirror slap is a major "I'm taking a picture" announcement now. Candids are almost impossible now on FF (I REALLY was hoping for mirrorless interchangeable FF to be released this year).

    What's the solution? A still longer lens, lol.
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  2. sprinke

    sprinke Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 5, 2011
    Pasadena, CA
    Real Name:
    Ah yes, the dreaded "Camera Face" forced smile.
  3. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    I find even mirrorless isn't that discreet compared to an electronic or leaf shutter - people hear the click and after that they will often pay attention to the camera. Generally though if you have the camera around enough, people start to ignore or forget it. It does help if the camera is small, like an RX100 or a cell phone.

  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    I can't help much on the FF front, having never used one, but here's some things I've noticed help:

    1) The smaller the camera & lens, the less people pay attention to it. It seems like P&S cameras (or cameras that look like one) are practically invisible. People seemed to notice more even when I am using a silver lens versus a black one for that matter. While I was initially skeptical I suspect that the practice of blacking out camera logos and such actually does make a difference for street photography.

    2) Longer lens helps lots.

    3) Quiet shutter really does make that much difference. My experience was the X100 and/or G5 with the electronic shutter is that it is very helpful for getting natural candids especially multiples in a row.

    4) Using the viewfinder draws instant attention. Either frame and snap the shot quickly, or use the screen instead if you can.


    5) Turn off the AF assist lamp in low light. :tongue:
  5. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Get a new wife and have more new kids May be still cheaper than investing in a new gear system hahahahh :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:
  6. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    I have the same problem with my dog, who will avoid "eye contact" with the camera now :rofl:
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  7. Bhupinder2002

    Bhupinder2002 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Haahhha go and check some dog forum ..Ur dog might have started a thread-- How to avoid a photographer master? hahhhhha
  8. arch stanton

    arch stanton Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 25, 2012
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  9. RnR

    RnR Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
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    Its not just kids that suffers from this condition. My mother suffers from it as well. Her face instantly goes into 'pose' mode if there is a hint of a camera lens pointed her way.
  10. Gyles

    Gyles Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 15, 2012
    Sunny Norfolk, UK
    Real Name:
    Travelographer and self confessed Hexaholic
    Grandchildren?.........I've just been blessed.
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  11. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    • Like Like x 1
  12. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
    I recognize this issue.

    I get my best results either standing off with a 100-300mm and waiting for the shot while trying to look innocuous, or by using a smaller, high quality camera such as an EPL3 or even my LX-5.

    Another thing that has helped is that I've got everyone thinking that I am shooting video most of the time. When they ask if I am taking video I always respond that I am. Whether or not I really am. Heh. Since they cannot keep the face up ALL the time, they revert to relatively natural and ignore me. Honestly, this has had the most impact.

    BTW, the discussion has mentioned eye contact. I may be wrong, but I regard a candid as any photograph where the subject generally does not know (s)he is being photographed - or at least looks so. Eye contact, by definition is to me a portrait. Eye contact in the absence of formal pose and/or studio environment does not make a shot candid. It makes it informal.

    can·did -

    1. Truthful and straightforward; frank. (EDIT: In photography, this might be achieved by the subject being portrayed without their knowledge, hence, the follow on definition...)
    2. of a photograph of a person. Taken informally, esp. without the subject's knowledge.

    So informality is a criteria, but so is the naturalness that comes of carrying on without knowing one is being photographed.

    Simplistic I know, but an important distinction. It may be helpful in some sense because it means the photographer has to have the skill and strategy of capturing people when they are not aware. Bearing this in mind really will result in a higher number of candids, assuming that is what the photographer is after.

  13. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Nice! Have to try this approach.
  14. Hyubie

    Hyubie Unique like everyone else

    Oct 15, 2010
    Real Name:
    I think my kids have already developed a reponse on an almost instinctual level to cameras. :biggrin: They can make their faces as unavailable as possible without making overt movements. They're that good at avoiding the lens. One second they're a picture ready to be captured and the next minute -- even with the newer Oly's much faster AF -- it's either pictures of hair or backs or blurs or books. So it's that, or posed images. Candids are indeed a rarity. (Thank you 85mm lens.)

    BUT - I'll continue exposing them to my cameras. That's what the 8-gig memory card is for, as opposed to film. :smile: One day I hope they'll develop an immunity to the camera, much like the President if you've watched the National Geographic episode "The President's Photographer".
  15. pcnyc

    pcnyc Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 15, 2010
    yeah, i hear you. these days my 5-year-old runs and hides when he sees my camera, while my 3-year-old runs to me and asks to see the pictures before I even had a chance to turn it on.

    my advice is to keep finding new toys/places for them to play with and snap as much as you can before they got bored with it :)