How to stand and hold a camera – basic DSLR photography tips

Hi, this is Tom Greenwood from
In this video we’re going to look at something pretty basic. How to stand and how to hold
the camera. You might wonder why this is important. Well,
the fact is we’re looking for stability. If the camera is wobbling about when you press
the shutter button, there’s a good chance you’ll have camera shake and horrible blurry
images. This is particularly important when you’re
shooting in low light and using slow shutter speed. Now, this is wrong for a number of reasons.
Let’s start by looking at the feet. Now here her feet are close together and they’re
not pointing in the direction of the camera. So she’s really not creating a stable base
on which to take a photo. Here her feet are further apart but they’re
really too far apart now. She’s going to be wobbling about. Instead you want to have
your feet directly below your shoulders. In fact, it’s a pretty normal standing position. And now for those arms. You want to think
in terms of a tripod and not a trapeze artist. Pointing your elbows outwards is not going
to make you more stable. In fact on the contrary, you want your elbows tucked close into your
body. If you need to get low, it’s important to
get as stable as possible and this crouching position really isn’t going to do it. Again
we’ve got arms flapping around and the whole body is essentially balancing on tiptoes. By contrast, this is much better. She’s
solidly grounded. Notice how her elbow is resting on her knee and there’s basically
a straight line going from the camera, down her arm, down her leg, to the ground. Nice
and firm. These days a lot of DSLRs offer live view.
So rather than look through the view finder, you can look at the LCD screen on the back
of the camera. Now this is a bad idea. Again the camera is far less stable when you’re
holding it at arm’s length. It’s always better to take the old-fashioned approach,
hold the camera to your face and look through the viewfinder. Now in terms of actually holding the camera,
it’s pretty self-explanatory. Your right hand grips the camera with your index finger
on the shutter button and your left hand supports the weight of the camera and gives stability. Depending on the size of the lens, you might
use your left hand to actually hold the underside of the lens. And it’s always good to have
a finger at the ready to flip the manual/auto-focus switch. I hope you found this clip useful. Please
take a look at the other clips in the series and subscribe to the channel.


  1. Matthaus Atkins October 6, 2014 at 5:14 am

    From what seems a simple task, some people just don't todo it right!! Man it's frustrating when watching someone else stand wrong!!! Great video man!!

  2. Lawrence Petersen November 9, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Cool vid.

  3. Li Jian Tan November 27, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    Really informative and helpful. Thanks. Subscribed.

  4. Jürgen Kaßnitz December 18, 2014 at 9:33 am

    What`s about her left hand? Is the lady afraid of getting her fingers burnt on a really hot camera?

  5. Brooks Leibee December 19, 2014 at 12:48 am

    Her left hand was still at a weird spot. From my knowledge and experience Ive found that your left hand is best for balancing the weight of your lens, compared to the weight of your camera (which is being held and operated by the right hand). The stances were great, however, I'll have to disagree with your handling method.

    No offense, your video was very well made and informative aside from my nitpicking.

  6. Dao Quang February 3, 2016 at 2:13 pm

    Is that a 5D mark 1 there? is it still good to use that one nowadays?

  7. Izwan Zakaria July 2, 2016 at 7:58 am

    You're a genius!

  8. Ayla Berenji December 18, 2016 at 3:52 am

    thanks it helped me

  9. shyam Poshala January 28, 2017 at 10:46 am

    I like the way u explain it's very clear and very calmly

  10. Chris G March 13, 2018 at 7:59 am

    Excellent tutorial! Thank you very much for this, I’ve been having a nightmare with photos looking great on the led screen, and blurred out when I open them on the laptop.

  11. Thor2745 April 26, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    Hi, I have a condition called Essential Tremor in my hands and when I actually go to lightly press the camera shutter button for auto focus, sometimes my finger will shake before I can manage to get off the full release. Do you have any recommendations for assisting me? Cheers and thanks for the great videos.

  12. NightShooter Web Development October 3, 2018 at 7:10 pm

    For me I always shoot with my legs like a snooker player, one bent and one straight and that gives extra stability.

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