Holding Your Digital Camera Properly Like It’s Your Baby

When you own a digital camera, you’ve got to treat it right, almost as if it were your very own baby. Wait…just a second there! It IS your very own baby, so you had better hold it gently and carefully. If that’s not convincing enough for you, then maybe a practical reason will affect you better: To avoid buying a new and potentially expensive camera every now and again, learning how to hold it right is the key.

Phoot by Cavan Images
Phoot by Cavan Images

Further, learning how to hold your digital camera in the right way is also integral to snapping perfect shots each and every time. It’s almost like proper form at the gym during a workout. Do something right fundamentally, and you’ll get more effective results with whatever goal you’re gunning for.

To celebrate the New Year, we thought it would be valuable to revisit one of the most basic aspects of good photography. You’d be surprised how many so-called pros still don’t hold their cameras properly!

The Absolute Fundamentals of Holding Your Camera

To purists out there, you shouldn’t even hold your camera; you should just place it on a tripod. At the very least, this will stop the dreaded camera shake, which can be the scourge of sharp and in-focus shots everywhere. A tripod’s legs will make sure camera shake is never a factor since they’ll keep everything totally stable.

Of course, lugging around a tripod with you will be inconvenient; perhaps you just don’t want to spend the extra money although there are many reasonably priced ones out there. In this situation, you can do so much by simply holding the camera with both hands. While this may seem ultra-simplistic, it’s not. When you hold a camera with both hands every time, you increase your stillness to the point where camera shake isn’t a problem any longer. Of course, many photographers are tempted to take pictures with just one hand out of convenience.

Specific Ways to Hold Your Camera Stably

What to Do With the Right Hand

Your right hand should firmly grip the camera’s right-hand end. The forefinger has to be positioned above the shutter release, but only lightly. The other three, remaining fingers ought to be curled around the front part of your camera. The right thumb has to hold the back end of your camera.

The good news is that many cameras today feature impressions or grips that make it super-easy for the correct placement of fingers on the camera body.

One’s right hand ought to grip the camera tightly, but not too tightly to where you’re actually shaking your camera, even slightly.

What to Do With the Left Hand

How you place the left hand is going to depend on your camera. It ought to support the camera’s weight, which means your left hand will either go underneath your camera or around/under the lens in the case of a DSLR.

Close Into Your Body

You can use your body, too, if you want to add extra stability to your camera during a shot. Make sure your camera is close to your body when you’re in the act of lining up a shot with your viewfinder. When you’re relying on the LCD, don’t hold the camera too far away from you. Your elbows ought to be tucked into your sides while you lean the camera out a tiny bit from your face by approximately 2.5 feet.

Use a Solid Object

You can add a good deal of additional stability to your shots by simply leaning up against a solid object such as either a tree or a wall. Alternately, you can add further stability to your shots by simply kneeling down or sitting while you snap pictures.

Sometimes, you just have to stand up and can’t find anything on which to lean for additional support. In such a situation, you are still able to widen your stance by placing your feet a shoulder’s width apart. Of course, the challenge is to keep your body as still as humanly possible when shooting to ensure clear and sharp shots.

Proper Breathing Helps

Sometimes, when you are trying to take the best pictures possible, it all comes down to your breathing instead of how exactly you hold your camera. It’s true! Calm breathing that’s slow and deep can help you to relax and then focus on taking a steady shot. Your technique should be as follows:

  1. Take a deep though gentle breath.
  2. Hold it.
  3. Take your shot
  4. Exhale your breath.

Or you can also try another breathing method that is exactly the opposite, but aims to do the same thing:

  1. Exhale your breath.
  2. Take your shot before you inhale.
  3. Inhale your breath.

Your body rises and falls in significant ways with one of the most basic, human functions there is, which is your breathing. By being totally conscious and focused on it during photography, you are able to gain an advantage, for sure.

Get the Basics of Holding Right; Get Your Shots Right

If you hold your camera in the ways discussed above, you can expect wonderful results when you take your pictures. Holding your camera in the ways discussed above will empower you to experience the requisite flexibility you need to line up your shots efficiently and fast. At the same time, you will be able to hold still long enough to be ready when the critical moment of the shutter opening takes place.

Follow all of the tips discussed above, and you are virtually certain to eliminate that dreaded and oppressive camera shake once and for all. And that’s truly what every photographer—from novice to pro—wants to achieve. While many photographers simply think that they have the basics of holding their cameras down, this is just not the case. Just look through the average person’s photo album, and you’ll dishearteningly see a bunch of photos that are out of focus and blurry, thanks to the camera shake.

How do you hold your own camera? Do you take care to hold it securely and steadily, so that you get the best shots possible, or do you just take pictures without giving much thought to how you’re holding your camera? Whatever the case may be, do tell us all about it in the comments section.

By Marc Schenker

Marc is a copywriter and content marketer who covered photography. These days, he runs The Glorious Company, a content marketing agency


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