So many times when I’m shooting a candid style of photography during my travels, I’ll get caught in the middle of taking it by my ‘subjects’.

Sometimes that can simply mean it’s time to move on, whatever I’d intended that photo to convey is no longer relevant – other times it can create an entirely new and even more interesting/entertaining interaction, and maybe even yield a stronger photograph. I want to share one example of that situation.

Walking through a small village in Ha Giang Province in Northern Vietnam you come across a very traditional agrarian lifestyle. My intention was to try to capture and document a small part of that.

Still, it’s impossible to go unnoticed, and the villagers (the kids especially), are excited to see tourists and greet them with welcoming smiles and curiosity.

I came across these kids playing together in their yard (no smartphones in hand!), and had just wanted a quick snap of them in that moment – but instead I was noticed immediately.

Candid no more! Spotted by the kids

I could have stopped shooting there, but instead I rolled with it, and after giving them a smile, I put the camera back to my eye.

That’s when my initial attempt at a candid photo turned into a portrait. It just so happened that this child placed himself perfectly between the drying clothes, leaned over, and with a muted smile the whole image came together.

I couldn’t have posed it any better

Have patience and don’t be afraid to improvise if your original vision goes askew.

Here’s another “outtake”. I had to make the decision to ignore the other children for the sake of a clearer vision.

Considering what is in the frame is as important as considering what (or who) to leave out

Back with more soon!