One of the most important fundamental concept in photo-taking process is how to hold a camera. This article is very practical for designers and bloggers. It is applicable for SLR camera body or semi-professional model as well. If you use a compact camera, reading this would still be of importance.

Photography Tips How to Hold a Camera

There is no real right or wrong way to do it but here is some concept that are very important for me:

The Position of the left hand.

Do note, we have written this keeping in mind a right handed person. If you are left handed, simply reverse right for left and vice-versa. Well, the palm of your left hand is best used as a support to the camera body, while the index and fore fingers and thumb become conveniently available to turn the focus ring on your lens. Ensure that the entire weight of the camera body rests on the palm of your left hand. This minimizes the possibility of camera shake, and thereby blurred images.

The Position of the Right hand

The right plane of your camera is to fit snugly into the right palm.  Many cameras are ergonomically designed for this grip. Keep the forefinger of the right hand free to fire the shutter. On a film SLR, the thumb remains in place to wind the film advance lever while, and on a DSLR the thumb remains in the same position as it would on a film camera, only gripping the camera body rather than being wind-ready for the film advance lever. The remaining 3 fingers provide additional stability to the camera body (but still ensuring that the entire weight of the camera remains on the palm of the left hand). If you try and support the camera completely with the right hand, you will probably get a camera shake.

The Elbows

Alright, now for the elbows. While your left palm takes the entire weight of the camera, it would be of little use if the left elbow were unstable! Rest the left elbow on a sturdy surface whenever possible. If you cant find the right surface, rest it on your knee! In circumstances where even this is not possible, you can just use the palm support alone, concentrating hard not to move the elbow – resting the elbow into your abdomen is a good idea to provide additional stability. However, when shooting on a lens with a longer focal length than about 200 mm, it becomes crucial to have elbow support, from personal experience – while I agree that some folks may have steadier hands than others!

Shooting Vertically (Portrait format)

You could also use a vertical support such as a door’s frame, the edge of a building wall, or even a tree trunk. In such case, you need to rest the under side of the left hand, holding the camera body vertically. At the same time the RIGHT elbow can rest on the same supporting plane, giving rock steady stability.

Holding the camera in the correct grip goes a long way to ensure you don’t miss out on winning images simply because of a slight camera shake. Remember – the slower your shutter speed or the longer your lens – the more important it is to support the camera as best you can.


Try shooting with slow shutter speeds as an experiment – use shutter speeds like 1/15 or even 1/10 of a second – without a tripod! Use a wall, use your knee support, and most importantly – use your imagination and creativity to find the right surfaces to rest your elbows on. The grip of your hands on the camera body remains constant, whatever support you use.

Posted by brantwilson

Brant Wilson is a staff writer for the DesignMag network. Brant enjoys all things design and development, dogs, and candy. Brant is passionate about training freelancers. Learn how you can earn $125+ freelancing. Start learning for free now! Connect with Brant on google+

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