Photography - Knowledge

Photography Basics: How to Hold a Camera Right (With Infographic)

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Whether you are a beginner or a passionate photographer, one indispensable requirement for good shots is the way you are holding a camera. As the famous American photojournalist Eve Arnold has rightly said, “It is the photographer, not the camera, that is the instrument.” So your inherent knack for photography and your grip on the camera both are equally and critically important. A tripod comes handy for the stability of the camera.

However, it is when a tripod is not available that the real challenge to capture a bedazzling shot comes up. Then, the factor that is significant is how to hold a camera. The correct technique of holding a camera depends on the type of camera and the personal preferences for the type of shot you want to capture.

We enlist the techniques for correctly holding a camera to make it more stable while capturing the moments you will cherish for the rest of your life.

Also read: Tips for DSLR Beginners!

Basics of Holding A Camera

Why does holding a camera the right way make your images look better? Well one important fact is that it minimizes camera shake. Simply put, camera shake is the phenomenon caused by the movement of a camera when either in motion or with a low shutter speed. This results in blurry or shaky images that could also be out of focus.

This is not exactly what a photographer would have in mind when imagining the perfect picture and would definitely be unimpressed with the results. Therefore, it is extremely necessary for a photographer, you, to be able to control this element, continue for some photography tips.

Grip It Well

how to grip a camera

The first step to taking good photos is the learning of holding a camera correctly. Grip your camera sturdily with your right hand. Keep your index finger just above the shutter release and thumb onto the back of the camera. Support the weight of the camera by placing your left hand underneath the lens so that you can twist the barrel of the lens to zoom and focus easily.

Lean Against a Solid Object

Reduce camera shake by leaning against a solid object like a wall or a tree. This will provide extra and instant stability to the camera as it eliminates the potential swinging motion of the body. It is very useful when you are shooting at slow shutter speed without a tripod.

leaning and holding a camera correctly

Tuck Your Elbows In

One of the easiest mistakes made when holding a camera to take a picture is that you keep your elbows apart. Your arms play an important role in capturing excellent pictures as they provide much required stability to the camera. Wen you tuck your elbows in, you provide more support to the camera and manage to spread the weight evenly.

tucking elbows to hold a dslr

Hold Your Breath

When you are shooting with a wide aperture or slow shutter speed, even a breath can lead to shaky images. Take a deep breath while holding a camera correctly and then as you breathe out click the photograph. You will be amazed to see the difference in the sharpness of the image.

Man demonstrating how to hold a camera the right way

Want to capture sharper images? Read : How to find your lens’s sweet spot: A beginner’s guide to sharper images!

Rest Your Elbows On a Surface

An extra support is always welcome. Place your elbows on any surface like a wall or a table. This will help you grip the camera better and keep it steady. Most of the time a person holding a camera will rest their elbow on their knee. This is not a comfortable position.

How to hold a dslr resting elbows

Rather, scoot your elbow back slightly so it rests on the meat of the leg; this way the contact point becomes much more solid.

Use the Portrait Orientation

While shooting in the portrait mode, turn the camera so that the shutter release is at the top with your right hand and the left hand is tucked into your body. If you will keep your lens at the top, your arms will be twisted and you will end up with blurred images.

holding a camera in portrait orientation

Position Your Left Hand

Your left hand too plays a great role in stabilizing your camera for a great shoot. Place your left hand underneath your camera and apply gentle pressure to negate the undulating movement of the body caused by breathing. Meanwhile, in position keep your right hand holding camera.

Man demonstrating how to hold a camera

Make Eyebrow Contact

There are two facial points of contact – the eyebrows and the nose. Rest the viewfinder against your eyebrow. This will give extra steadiness to the camera. Slightly turn your face to the left to provide a flat surface to the camera.

eyebrow contact holding a camera

Bring One Leg Up

Taking the pictures in a squat position? How about creating a tripod with your legs and resting your elbow on the fleshy part, as we have discussed above? This position will eliminate any wobbling due to two reasons: sitting down lowers your center of gravity and increases your balance and you have a solid core to rest your camera on.

Woman kneeling down to show how to hold a camera

Position Your Legs

For a more balanced position, keep your legs open while holding a camera. This athletic stance, that is legs slightly apart, will give additional support to the camera. Place one leg faintly forward than the other. Make sure you do not lean too forward or backward, but just enough so that you are in contact with your camera.

how to position legs while holding a dslr

Holding a camera correctly is no rocket science, but it is an art for sure. Many people do not know what they are doing wrong and remain flummoxed after they see the blurred and shaky images they capture. The only difference between memories etched in history or forgotten forever is a ‘blurred picture’ you took. Adding to your woes is the fact that there is no second chance for reparation.

Techniques recommended by us will help you understand how to hold a camera, thereby eliminating the problem and allowing you to capture moments for eternity with the clarity and quality you expect.

Come back and share a few shots that you would capture using our photography tips, and any extra advice that you would like to share with the other readers to enhance the pleasure of photography. Try out these techniques for holding a video camera as well, they are bound to work great.

Here is an infographic which you can save and share!

How to hold a DSLR Camera