Posing for the camera might not be an innate trait of humans but flashing a smile or striking a vision in front of the lens is the very natural thing to do in all our coming to have evolved as a species absolutely unable to do without the photographic pursuit. Whether it be in capturing the most defining of life moments like weddings and birthdays and anniversaries or even the most ordinary seeming prospect in daily living, clicking pictures makes for an essential part of our lifestyles. Specifically furthered with the most advanced camera technology being made surprisingly affordable as well as a greater awareness of the many a tips and tricks for capturing the most beautiful photos fuelled indeed by the interest in photography as art, taking photos is as indispensable as pretty much any other of the life activities we dwell in as something routine even in that extraordinary prospect in preserving each unique life moment.
The essence of photography might indeed be that treasuring for ever of every single instant that sums up the beauty of life. But catering to this singular essence in a myriad of different ways and mannerisms evocative of the nature of photography that seamlessly gains expression in virtually every spectrum of living are different types of photography. The distinction might be one alluding to the specific scheme of things fitting in within this basis in classification or it can refer instead to the particular style in which subjects and objects and figures and indeed persons are photographed making therefore photography occur as an art in many different types and kinds of it.
Identifying as one such of the photographic styles immensely popular in its premise of capturing the realest images possible of people, going somewhat against the eternal understanding of striking a pose in front of the camera but embodying to perfection the photography spirit of preserving moments in time by daring to venture beyond this expected outcome in all universality is what is commonly referred to as candid photography. Heralded as an adhering to the photogenic principle of capturing, in shunning any kind of inhibition or consciousness that might set in upon knowledge of a device and a device yielder looking to imprint their person in permanence, candid photography is one of the most realistic ways in presenting life through the medium of the lens.
Even when not being among the earliest and more traditional forms of photography, candid photography today is widely practised across the many types of this pursuit of both the artistic and the real. As a definite mode of taking to the lens with the intention of capturing images without actual knowledge of the person, candid photography came into being only sometime during the second and third decades of the 20th century. Even then though the concept would not be instantly viable at least in the mass knowledge of it till upto the 1960s even when it had well permeated the realm of what summed up the significant almost immediately after inception. Interestingly however, what might have stalled the onset of the candidness pursuit in photography can be the fact that the earliest technologies in capturing were necessarily characterised by a really lengthy exposure time, making clicking candid pics an impossible venture.
Coming a long way since the nascent days of photography and candids came to be a thing courtesy a German Jewish news photographer Erich Salomon noted for his photographing of the social elite and politicians and diplomats of the country during the 1920s and 30s. Evolving through the years since then and entering the mainstream to hugely take over photographic expressions during the turn of the century, mainly catering to the genres of street photography, wedding photography and wildlife photography but not limited to these arenas in exploration, and candid photography today is all the rage in its splendid capturing of the truest human emotions in all their raw and unique beauty.
The essence of candid photographs might be immensely simple- photos that absolutely feature no sign in deliberate posing even though staged candids today happen to be a definite thing. That itself speaks volumes of the immense appeal nestled in the coverture of candid photography as an art form impeccable in its authenticity, so much so that leads one to desire such versions of themselves exploiting to extremes the perfection necessarily imbued in this fore of the art. But despite its popular craze in seeming easiness, candid photography actually stems from the more nuanced understanding of photojournalism. As the purest form availed out of this captivating technique in storytelling, candid photography rests in a simplicity significant even in its charming commonality.
The candid trail along which photography finds most fluent popularity today owing to the compound effect of the aesthetics and its authenticity might occur as immensely basic in its perceived premise of just going on shooting pictures at random. But guiding this expression of the art in all creative manifestations of it also would be such precise hinging on skill and methodical routing of vision that makes it way more intricate an exercise carefully pursued. This practice of skill relates not just to the technical aspects of photography itself but is also as rooted in basic notions of human awareness making this capturing of emotions in their purest form truly immersive an art across this particular essence in every single element of it.
Taking into consideration the physical factors that help seek out candidness as a trait in something traditionally deliberate, it would be logical only to pay attention to the specific photography equipment employed for achieving this result in utter genuineness. And while small sized, black painted cameras capable of masquerading in mass ignoring of their unstriking presence makes for the major case in candid photography in its truest principle of exploration, the very advent of candids is owed to a specific brand of global photographic fame. It had been the legendary beginnings of the Leica identity that spurred also a wave of photographing people in all unawareness of them, emerging as it did as a 35 mm prototype formally in 1924. The beginnings of Leica can thus well be interpreted as the beginnings of candid photography itself and till date this ‘candid camera’ of the 20th century still sets the premise for the types and forms of the photo capturing devices most conducive to this style of capturing the experience of emotions over and above framing moments in time.
Other technical aspects that needs to be carefully considered- or rather done away with to preserve the unsuspecting nature of the person photographed, are such attributes that make exquisite charting out of the photographing glory all the more captivating a concentration upon the aesthetics. Availed in utmost measure this perfection in captures is the guiding goal in good lighting that often needs to be artificially adjusted to make objects and subjects of snapshots shine through in all their being.
Candid photography is understandably limited in its locating of the most ambient lighting since any attempt at correcting the lit up setup would invariably attract attention of the one intended to be casually captured. No wonder most early cases of candid photographs used to be documented in outdoor settings but the modern day preface of wedding venues and event locations being overall lit up to perfection helps considerably the cause of even stunning capture of candids. Add to that the enhanced technology of cameras that make them conducive enough to function well even in not the most perfect levels of light and candid photography today is far easier to practice than ever before.
Maneuvering through such and multiple other even more intricate considerations in what dictates the capturing of remarkable memories out of regular moments but not limited to just this dimension in exploration of the photographic jargon, candid photography comes to rest also upon as essential a premise furthered upon the basis of functioning of humankind. Photographers need to first master the art of communication with people in both verbal and non verbal mannerisms of it so that they can manage to land the most striking ‘unposes’ without the unwanted identification of coming across as an intruder. Making oneself unremarkably integrated into the crowd instead of standing out from others even with those definite photographic equipment in tow is vital to every photographer, even the best of them to translate their level of professional perfection or even amateur impeccability to emerge as a true blue candid photographer endowed with all tricks of the trade. But even here, aspects of the technical still make inroads in the form of exclusive photographic knowledge, whether that be in shot selection or its execution as well as in their approach to and awareness of both the art and its muse.
The reason why candid photography is so preferred a mode in clicking pictures sums the very essence of it. As the realest attempt at actually photographing people in all their living essence of the experience of emotions and the instinctive display of them, unaware that these profound moments of their life are being frozen forever, candid photography captures the soul of every image. And it is in this prospect of encountering and reencountering in the future the realisation of that very moment in importance, not so much of something defining but rather in its more ordinary take on what mostly makes up life outside of the occasional specialties that this emoting in the moment snapping as candids that makes this form of photography reside in a peculiar appeal of its own.
Interestingly as well, it isn’t just the subject candidly captured who looks fondly upon these preserves of the digital or in film. Candid photographs also are more relatable in that they mimic more our real world encounters with people, often unscripted, unposed and unplanned at least to the extent of what might mask up our real selves. In allowing for an almost in person interaction with others and making for a realer account of them, candid photographs are not just true adherers to the photographic principle in preserving memories once lived- they are emblematic of the real state of existence itself. And because people are usually the most beautiful when they are real, it makes for another case in advocating the case of candid photography by expanding the dimensions of the art to such extents that come to occur as the epitome of its perfection.