Here are a few tips to capturing candid portraits. I thought I would share and post this favorite picture of my granddaughter at the park.
1) Go somewhere fun and interesting. You can't control candid photography, but you can control your setting and maximize your odds of success. The greens of the park background here make a nice background for the side of my GD that I wanted to capture. That was one reason for choosing this location for our play time that day.
2) Be ready. I usually shoot on AV priority and start with an AV of F8 to F11. Take a few test shots and adjust to taste. Think about your shutter speed and ISO. The above image was captured at 1/125 with a focal length of 70. That speed worked well for this shot, but would have been way too slow if the subject were moving at the speed she usually does. My ISO was set at 400, which is approaching the acceptable limit on my equipment and I liked the DOF, so I decided to live with the shutter speed a bit slow. It worked for this shot, but not for others taken under the same light with the subjects in motiion.
3) Get on their level. Most interesting shots of children and animals are shot at the subject's eye level (or below, or sometimes WAAAAAAY above) This view point forces the potential buyer to see your subject from a different perspective, helping you to grab their attention.
4) Scout your locations and plan to return for different light conditions if appropriate. One of my favorite things to do is to get in the car with my dog and just driving around looking for interesting photo ops. It gives me time with my pup. The car ride relaxes her and I get to socialize and train with her in a wide variety of conditions-a triple win even if we don't spot anything especially interesting.