How to hold your camera the right way

How to hold your camera seems like a no-brainer.  All you have to do is pick the camera up, bring it to your eye and make sure the lens is pointing in the direction of what you want to photograph, right?  Well, not exactly. There are wrong ways and right ways to hold your camera.  The right way will give you quick access to the camera controls, reduce camera shake and help you make better images.  The wrong way, well, could do the opposite.  If you want to improve your images one easy way to get there is by making sure you hold your camera correctly.  

First let's review how NOT to hold the camera:

You don't want to hold your camera like the top right photo.

Why?  Because it’s harder to keep it steady and that can result in blurry images.  You also don't have quick access to the camera controls or the lens barrel to do your focusing and/or zooming.


Wrong way to hold a cemera

Right way to hold a camera 

Here’s how to hold your camera correctly:

Take a look at the bottom photo for reference.

Place the camera body securely in the palm of your left hand.  Cradle the lens with your fingers.

Holding the lens barrel like this allows you to both support the camera and operate the zoom and manual focus.  Depending on the type of lens you are using you may also be able to toggle the image stabilization and auto/manual focus switch with your thumb.

Use your right hand to grip the right side of the camera.

Your index finger should be able to easily reach the shutter release button and access the other control buttons nearby.

Keep your elbows tucked in at your sides.

We don’t want to see any bird wings flapping.  Keeping your elbows in provides additional stability to prevent the blurry images.

Make sure you have a strong stance and good balance by placing your legs shoulder width apart.

If you are leaning in to make a photograph you should place one foot in front of the other.

Breath steady and exhale when you shoot.

Holding your breath or inhaling while making a photograph will increase your chances of having slight movement that causes blur.

Now that you know the guidelines of how to hold your camera you can sit back and bask in the glory of your educated camera-holding techniques, make better photographs and enjoy spotting the fake photographers on TV who hold a camera like they have no idea.

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