If you ask anybody what their main problems with photography is, chances are, you will hear blurry pictures as one of their main challenges. Nothing is more annoying than getting home from a day out with your best buds or a event, and realizing that most of your photos have turned out blurry. URGH!

Well, they say the best way to solve a problem is to first find out the cause of it.

Here is something useful that I have learned from David Peterson that I hope may be just as helpful to you as it was to me!

Main causes of blurry photos:

  1. Your camera is out of focus
  2. The subject moves while you are snapping a photo
  3. The camera moves while you are snapping

Out Of Focus

An image that is out of focus will appear blurry. These days with Auto Focus, it’s unlikely that the whole image will be out of focus. More often than not, you’ll see one part of the image crisp and clear, but others (including your subject) are out of focus.

To fix focus problems, use the half-press shutter technique. Press your shutter button halfway down and you aim your camera before you take your shot. I feel that this has always improved my pictures tremendously when the camera has fixed its focus on your subject before you snap the photo.

The subject moves while the shutter is open

You can tell this cause by looking at your subject, If some parts of the subject are crisp while others are blurry then the subject has moved while the camera’s shutter was open.

You can avoid blurry images caused by subject movement by changing your camera’s settings so that your shutter speed is faster. Try switching to the sports mode on your camera.

The camera moves while the shutter is open

This is another common problem and will cause the whole image to be blurry.

When the shutter is open for a longer time, tiny movements of the camera can cause the whole photo to become blurry. Even small movements like releasing your finger from the shutter button, or your breathing can cause it. This often happens when you are taking pictures in low light setting or at night.

To solve this problem, the best way is to get a tripod or a automatic shutter device which acts like a remote control in which you press the button on the device to snap the picture without having to touch your camera ;)


I was just looking through photos of my friends and family the other day and I realized that somehow those candid shots that I or we have taken of each other be it un-glamourous, funny and amusing ones, seem to bring back so much more heart warming memories of the past and left me reminiscing of those fun and happy moments, compared to those shots that appear posed with forced smiles on the people’s faces.

Very often, it is the intangibles in those candid shots, that pulls us back in time, that makes these photographs memorable and much more cherished. Its is inequivocable that most of these candid shots may not turn out as ‘neat’ or perfect as those that are posed, but the purpose of photography is to evoke emotions in the viewer rather than serve to be merely aesthetically pleasing (at least, that’s what i believe it should be )

That said, here are some ways to take candid shots of your friends and family =)

# 1:

Take your camera with you and don’t stop snapping! Sounds like a no-brainer? No. Because many of us do not do this. I used to find it awkward or rather self-conscious when i was hanging around with people to always carry my camera around with me and shoving it in people’s faces when i tried to take photographs, afraid that they might get offended. However, the trick here is to take pictures subtlely rather than shoving it in people’s faces. And this brings me to my second point…


Try to be sneaky when you are taking pictures! I feel almost like a private investigator sometimes when I’m trying to take candid shots. But then again, the whole point of taking candid photographs is to capture your subjects when they are not conscious of the camera.

Hence, the one obvious thing you SHOULDN’T do is to go around and say ‘Come let’s take a picture!’ or ‘CHEESE!’ while you snap your camera. Instead, try to hold your camera at your hip and take your shots from the hip rather than putting the camera to your face and looking through your camera viewfinder.

I had troubles doing it the first few times but you could try practicing that and soon it’ll be pretty much easy for you to take a good shot without even having to look through your camera viewfinder!

And one more thing………. turn off that damn flash! :)


Take your shots from a distance and make use of your zoom function. If you have a advance digital camera that has a superb zoom function, great! If you don’t… no worries, you can always take great shots by being near your subjects as long as you try to follow the above tips and take your shots without attracting too much attention from your subjects.


Use the half-press shutter technique. Your subjects are probably having a ball of a time or just being themselves. More often than not, they are always on the move or rather, since you are taking candid shots, they will not actually stop and pose for the camera. Hence, you may get some blurry pictures. One way to overcome this is to first press your shutter button halfway, to get your camera to fix the focus on your subjects, trail and pan their movements and wait for the right moment/ expression/ gale of laughter and hit your shutter button.

Since we are on the topic of being on the move while you’re taking your candid shots, you might want to switch to the Sports Mode which has a faster shutter speed. This will help prevent blurry pictures too.

And there you have it! I assure you that not only will you have a great time looking back at those candid shots but you will also have a great time taking them too. It ain’t that tough, ain’t it?! Go snap those shots today! :D

Photographers Secrets to Taking Family Photographs - Cheaply & Easily