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14 January 2015

Posed vs Candid Photography - Which is better?? Here's some tips for you

Posed and Candid Photography - Which is better??
ft Carmen Hong, Anna Bella Wong and Eunice Yuen
The other day I saw a friend of mine asked this on Facebook - "A posed moment versus a candid moment, which is better??" It had me thinking for a while and both posed and candid photos has their own good (and bad) side. I myself prefer those candid moments as those are the shots that happened in merely second and you won't able to get that in pose shot. The emotion and face expression shown in posed shot are just different than candid photos. However, there are always ways to help you achieve and get more candid shots from the posed shot.

Below are mixture of group photos taken during our photography hangout at Tokyo Pastry the other day. You may wanna check my previous post for individual photos first. I will share with you some tips on getting posed and candid photos.

As you can see, above photo are posed where we placed a chair at the center and have both Anna and Eunice standing together. When there are more than one person in a photo, interaction between each other and the camera is important. You can have both of them looking at the camera or guide one of them to look at their friend instead of the camera to change your eye focus to the main person (who is looking at the camera). Photographers usually use this way to change the focus of their photo to one main subject.

When you are shooting posed couple photos (in this case, we pretend Anna and Eunice are sisters), try to make them stand closer to each other and interact with each other. For example, Eunice place her hand on Anna shoulder which created some sort of "link bridge" that make them look closer. For couple, you can have them holding hands together, or ask them to place hand at the waist, chest or somewhere comfortable and look intimate at the same time. This will make them look even more loving each other.  


Photo above is mixture of both posed and candid moments as I asked them to switch to different pose without exact direction on how to pose. The moment when they start changing pose, that when the candid moments will come out and you gotta be fast to capture it. It is our privilege as a digital photographer because shooting additional photos is definitely more economical than using film camera now. However, do note that the more you snap, that means you might need more time to process the batch of photo afterwards. So, learn when to stop after you think you got the shot you want.


As a photographer, your job is to make your client looks good in photo. Hence, in order to do that, you need to make them feel good too, because that's what you gonna capture and showed in your photo. You can either compliment them by saying "good job", "nice", 'beautiful"  and positive words that are encouraging to make them feel relaxed in front of the camera.

For couple, you can always get help from one of them to tell jokes or share happy moments that reminds them to smile naturally. Just try not to spend too much time on adjusting your setting as your client/friend will think that they should just take their own selfie while waiting for you hahaha.

Below, is one of the candid moment that I got.  Do they look happy??

Now back to the topic - Posed or candid?? Actually it depends on you and the requirement of their shoot. Usually corporate photoshoot will need to be posed very well to show the professionalism in their photo. You definitely won't able to see a photo of the company CEO doing jumpshot in their company profile because that doesn't look professional at all.

For wedding, it is better to have both posed and candid photos because you want to have your couple/client look gorgeous (posed) and happy/smile (candid) too. Just imagine if you have all your photo posed with their usual smile for camera, the photos will definitely look dull and normal.

In order to get more natural candid photo, you gotta try to make them feel comfortable or make yourself less noticeable. For example, when you taking photo of the kids, usually they will be scared when they saw you carry a huge DSLR pointing at them and start flashing at them multiple times. Therefore, try to keep a distant with people who don't usually get that comfortable with camera and shoot from far. You can use a zoom lens and try not to use the flash unless you had to. If you are shooting at a dim-light occasion, increase your camera ISO or use large aperture lenses that can assist you to get some good shots.

You can shoot photo like above when they are minding their own business having awesome teatime at Tokyo Pastry. As mentioned, try to find a balance between posed and candid shots. In wedding assignment, there are certain important shots that you must get first so try to get all those shots first before you try to get additional candid shots. After all, time is the deciding factor for the photo outcome.  


Again look at the photos below, usually I get the posed photo first before I try to get their candid photos. I think we all figured out something weird about the tea set which chicken wing were included in the menu. So we made a joke bout it and boom they laughed. Remember, try to make your client feel comfortable in front of the camera by telling jokes or compliment them from time to time.




That's the chicken wing we are talking about

Fierce sister standing behind

Get them closer for a tight crop photo

Documentary on how we hold additional light to shine on model


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Here are some posed photo taken for Jackie Loi and Carmen Hong. Hope you like the lighting so far




Carmen with her Olympus EPL-7 camera that has a 180 degree flippable screen useful for selfie.


Oh well, one thing I regret is I only noticed that I didn't get myself some shots from my photographer friends earlier in time... But yeah their is always next time right?? That's why photographer should hang out more frequently with other photographers to have their own photo taken professionally. In my case, I took #TCSelfie instead hahhaa.



Carmen Hong, Robin Wong, Anna Bela Wong, Jackie Loi, Eunice Yuen and Calvin Alexi
Last but not least, a group photo for all of us who came out for a photoshoot together. Thanks again to you guys that I manage to learn some new things about remote-flash photographer and hopefully they like how their photos taken so far.

If you think you have a great idea in photography (either taking photo together/being photographed), PM or email me because I am always up to trying new thing. That's how we learn things together and improve right?? Till then, hope to have more opportunities that I can take interesting photos again. More concert and travel photoshoot in 2015!!

Read more about our photography outing: 



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