Don't smile ... you're on Candid Camera!

Posted on: October 12th, 2016
Tips for preserving your intangible legacy - the memories you make, values you share, communities you strengthen, traditions you honor - by our Special Projects Assistant, Marianne Cothern.
Whats Your Intangible Legacy? Image of woman teaching girl to fly fish
Don't smile ... you're on Candid Camera!
by Marianne Cothern

How will you be remembered? In a posed formal portrait or a relaxed, candid shot?
Vintage portrait bride and groom
Photos help us remember people, places and times we cherish. Cameras used to be expensive and cumbersome so photos were limited to special occasions and whatever setting was required to accommodate the photographer. Older candid photos are rare.
These lovely photographs belong to Dale, Ted's wife. They are photos of her grandparents. The formal portraits above are stunning but it's the candid photo below - with all it's lively charm - that sits in a frame on Dale's dresser.
Vintage candid photo of man carrying woman both laughing
I love old photos and spend a lot of time looking at them online. Most of what you see are posed photos of people smiling for the camera. While posed photos are wonderful it is the candid shots that capture an authentic moment that help us truly remember a person or experience.
These days, with camera phones, the majority of us have the flexibility to take photos at any time. Unfortunately, most of us are still forcing our subjects to pose for us and we’re missing opportunities to capture more authentic images of our family and their true nature.
Scroll through the photos on your camera. If most of what you see are faces smiling back at you mouthing the word “cheese,” you may not be capturing your authentic life. You may want to start taking more candid photos.
Stop asking for smiles and wait for an authentic one instead.
Take photos at the market. Doing the dishes. At work. Things you think are boring now...will bring back warm memories for you and others down the road.
Tips for taking candid photos:
  • Be patient.
  • Be stealthy. Try to keep the camera unnoticed.
  • Move around your subjects for best angles.
  • Focus on everyday activities.
  • Seek out behind-the-scenes moments.
  • Take a lot of shots. Don't check until later.
  • Take photos for a limited time then put camera away. Enjoy family without camera.
Is your financial planning forcing you into a formal pose or is it flexible enough to capture your family’s true nature? Not sure? Call us at 805-856-3400.

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