How To Hold A Camera Properly To Take Sharper Photographs!

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how to hold your camera

There are no technicalities when you are looking at how to hold a camera. But more often than not, I see a lot of people struggling with the process of doing so.

I understand that when you are a beginner, it can be an overwhelming aspect, but the good news is that if you are doing it right, it will stick with you for a longer time.

Once you master the art of holding a camera, you will be able to take care of everything in the process. Now, if you are wondering how to hold a camera, you are in the right place.

The purpose of this guide is to help everyone understand how the camera is held, and honestly, it is not that difficult in the first place.

This means that you will do just fine by going through a few basic points, and you will do good.

Why Does It Matter?

When you are talking about holding a camera the right way, a lot of the times, people are going to ask you just why does it matter. I understand where the question is coming from because when I started photography, I used to think about it, too.

Image of a guy taking photos with canon camera

But the thing is that you need to know that the way you hold your camera affects a lot of factors, including the composition of your photos, and for a lot of us, the composition is one of the most important things that there are because you can easily take the photos that you want with the right composition.

If the composition is not right, then you are only going to regret the entire process altogether. Thankfully, holding the camera right is one of the ways through which you can get all the perfect compositions, and that is why it matters a lot.

How To Hold A Camera

Now that we are done with all the formalities, I want to extensively look at how you can hold the camera. I know it is something that looks simple and straightforward, but there are a lot of steps here that you can look into so you know what you are doing.

Holding A Camera Standing Up

Whenever you are looking at holding the camera while you are standing up, this is perhaps one of the most common postures that you would normally use whenever you are taking a photo.

Now, it is important to understand that when you are standing up and holding the camera, you have to be certain that your hands and arms are relaxed.

Image of a photographer holding camera

Now, as far as relaxation is concerned, you are not to make your limbs a lot stiffer because doing so can create issues for you, and that is how things are going to get out of hand. The wiser thing would always be to let your body be relaxed, and that way, you will be able to hold the camera the right way.

Try to wear a camera strap so you can raise the camera to your eye without a lot of work. I know it might sound strange at first, but this works for a lot of people and does so without any issues.

Holding A Camera Sitting Down

Now, when we are talking about holding a camera while you are sitting down, things are a bit odd for a lot of people here. Unless you are sitting down with some support, like on a chair, the camera holding is more or less going to be the same.

However, if you are sitting down on your legs or your knees, then holding a camera will require a lot better support, and you will have to be a lot steadier, as well.

image of photographer taking a picture

This does become a chore for those who are newcomers, but overall, you will not have any issues once you have mastered it. We all know that after you have practised enough, you will be able to use any posture for the sake of taking pictures.

Just be certain that you are taking pictures again and again in all possible postures so you truly master the art of doing so and nothing comes your way.

How To Hold A Camera With A Grip

Now, the good news is that when you are holding a camera, you will run into some of the cameras that will not be that easy to hold. They are either too big or too small for some people. For instance, the mirrorless cameras, or the cameras with crop sensors are normally smaller.

Image of camera using a 80mm lens

The right thing that you can do here is getting a camera grip. Now, as far as the camera grip is concerned, the obvious benefit to it is that it will allow you to have more grip both in portrait or landscape orientation.

Another benefit of a camera grip that most people are not aware of here is that when you are looking at a camera grip, you are going to get access to another slot for the battery.

This means that you can power your camera with two batteries, and that will allow you to have a great overall experience.

Granted, camera grips make your cameras heavier, but it should not be something that will come in the way.

How To Hold Telephoto Lenses

Another thing that you must know is that when we are talking about holding a camera, you will often find yourself in a situation where you are using a telephoto lens.

Now, these lenses are generally heavier than the prime counterparts because of more sturdy construction and more glass being used inside the lens itself.

image of man holding big telephoto lens

However, what you must understand here is that if you want to hold a camera with a telephoto lens installed, you can use the barrel of the telephoto lens as a point of holding. That will allow you to have more control over the camera and the lens as well.

You can easily reduce any shake that might come your way. Just be sure that you are holding the lens barrel from the underside, and you will do just fine when it comes to taking pictures steadily. It is not that difficult. Therefore, better to learn as well.

Holding The Camera In Portrait Orientation

Normally, there is a rule of thumb that unless you need the composition to be in the portrait orientation, there is no real reason to hold the camera in that orientation. It often becomes difficult as well since you see the whole weight shift in a way, and holding the camera the right way becomes a chore.

Image of girl taking a portrait picture

However, if you are still holding it in that orientation, be sure that you are gripping it from the top and the bottom. That is the right way to hold the camera in the portrait orientation.

Thankfully, the grip does move to the top. Therefore, you can easily hold it from the grip and the bottom side in the portrait orientation, and you will do just fine.

Again, portrait orientation is only needed when you want to have that perspective in the photo.

Otherwise, most people just prefer taking photos in the landscape mode and then make the adjustments themselves as that orientation is more on the natural side as compared to some of the other aspects.

Holding The Camera In Landscape Orientation

Perhaps the most common way of holding a camera is in the landscape orientation. If you see a camera body, you will realise that even the body is designed in such a way that it makes the landscape orientation more natural.

person taking a picture beside lake

In this orientation, the camera is supposed to be held from the side where the grip is and the bottom of the camera. This makes it a lot easier because that way, the camera gets a resting platform, and you can take photos with ease and without any issues that might come your way, either.

Just be sure that you are providing the camera with enough support and it is not hovering in the area from one side because that is going to severely affect the balance, and you will end up having a difficult time taking the picture that looks good and is not blurry at all. Rest assured, things will work just fine that way.

Use Left Eye To See The Outside Field Of View

Now, when you are talking about which eye you want to use to see the outside field of view. This is largely dependent on how you are holding the camera, and how you are used to the idea of taking pictures.

This is an entirely subjective aspect, and therefore, you are not supposed to be confused here.

Just use the eye that you are most comfortable with, and you would be able to take great photos every single time without having any issues that might come your way. It is not that difficult, to be honest, and that is the reason why it works so well.

More Stability By Leaning Against A Solid Object

Another thing that you should be aware of is that when you are taking a photo, you should lean against a solid object like a wall of sorts. This helps you provide stability, especially in situations where you are cornered, or the shot that you need to take is not easily done.

With that out of the way, when you are looking at the learning process, it is not something that should be very easy to handle. There are rarely any difficulties that come in the way whenever you are looking to get the right pictures, and leaning against the solid object is just a way that will allow you more control.

What Is Camera Shake?

When you are looking at holding the camera, one of the more common things that you are going to realise is camera shake is a very evident issue that you face. Camera shake happens when you are taking pictures, the camera moves just a bit, and it introduces a blur in the camera.

showing what a camera shake look like

With that out of the way, the thing that you must understand is that camera shake can be compensated by using image stabilization.

Image stabilization is normally available in-camera bodies known as IBIS (in-body image stabilization), but some of the higher-end lenses are also available with image stabilization.

Thankfully, camera shake can be handled after you have practice with your camera for a good amount of time. There are a lot of ways through which you can go ahead with the process. But what you must understand is that you don’t need to always worry about it.

Shutter Speed And Focal Length

You might be wondering why I am mentioning shutter speed in a guide where I’m talking about holding a camera. That is because when you are talking about this, shutter speed plays a very important part in the process.

The faster the shutter speed, the lesser the chances of having any camera shake. Therefore, you can try to compensate by setting the shutter speed higher. For instance, the normal rule is that your shutter speed should be twice your focal length.

showing how to camera display looks like

So, for instance, if you are using a lens that has a 50mm focal length, then you should go for a shutter speed of 1/100th of a second. However, if you have ample light, you can go as high as 1/250th of a second, and it will still look good.

This process is a bit tricky to learn, but once you have mastered it, you will not have any issues when you are taking pictures. This will make your photo-taking journey a lot easier and simpler, too.

Hand-Holding Techniques

A lot of the time, when you are taking photos, your way of holding the camera might not make sense at all. The thing that you need to understand here is that you must have proper techniques through which you have to hold the camera because otherwise, you are going to run into more issues.

image of a guy holding camera

Now, the thing that you must understand is that there are certain techniques that you can use while taking photos and that can work for you.

  • Standing Perpendicular to Your Subject: When you are holding the camera, the most balance you are going to have is when you are standing perpendicular to your subject. This will allow you to get a perfect balance every single time.
  • Pushing the Elbows to the Side: In addition to that, you would be glad to know that you are pushing elbows to the side so you can have an easier time understanding the situation and you are not running into any problems, either
  • Hold the Camera from the Balance Point: Every camera and every lens combination is going to have a balance point. In simpler words, where the center of gravity is located. It shifts every time you change the lens; therefore, finding the right one and holding the camera from there is key.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1- How do you hold a camera without shaking?

Answer: There are a lot of ways through which you can hold a camera without inducing any shake. The best way is to follow the steps that we have given in the guide, so you don’t run into any issues whenever you are taking pictures.

Q2- How do you hold a heavy camera?

Answer: Some cameras are heavier than the normal ones for one reason or another. But there is no reason to worry about the process because at the end of the day, you will easily be able to hold the camera by finding the right centre of gravity, and you will do just fine.

Q3- How do you film without shaking?

Answer: If you are looking to film using your camera, the right thing is to do it using a gimbal or a camera stabilizer. These things are two of the most important things that you can use while you are taking photos, and in almost every case, they work well and that too, without any issues that could come in the way of your filmography experience.

Q4- How can I stabilize my camera without a stabilizer?

Answer: You have to have a stable hand if you are looking to stabilize the camera without a stabilizer. But in addition to that, you can use a tripod as well, which works just as well. Last but not the least, if your camera has in-body image stabilization, make sure that feature is turned on and you are good to go.

Q5- What is a focusing ring?

Answer: A focus ring is usually found on the lens of the camera that you are using, and as the name suggests, it essentially is a ring that goes around the camera. You can adjust focus using the ring; this works only in manual focusing mode. Therefore, you must understand that whenever you are using the camera.


I would understand if the camera holding is overwhelming for you. I still remember the time I held the camera for the first time, and the process was overwhelming, and I did mess up a lot of times, too.

However, it is important to understand that you are doing it the right way, so you do not end up getting into any situation that you don’t want to be in. Thankfully, following the guide we have shared with you should help you hold the camera the right way.

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