How to Hold a Camera Steady

If you’re new to photography and don’t know the correct way of holding your DSLR, then I recommend that you continue to read this article. Don’t underestimate its importance. Your inability to grip your camera properly will indeed affect the results of your photography attempts.

how to hold a camera

Photo captured by danny ray pagayon (click image to see more from danny ray pagayon)

The Importance of Holding Your DSLR Correctly

Holding your camera the right way is indeed the very best method for photographers who wish to minimize camera shake. Get your right hand to grip the camera firmly while your left hand supports the camera from beneath the lens. Doing this will vastly minimize camera shake when you press the shutter release button. This makes it easier to shoot sharper photographs with slower shutter speeds.

It doesn’t matter if there is a lot of light, or even if you use a fast shutter speed. There will definitely be noticeable distinctions between photographs that are taken with a well-held camera and photographs taken with cameras that are not held properly.

Many people think that sharp pictures are only obtainable with expensive cameras and lenses, but that’s not entirely true. Normally, well-held cameras are the reason pictures turn out looking sharp. Better equipment only gives you better photography results if you know how to use it the right way.

What Makes a Good Grip?

Use your left hand’s heel to support the camera from underneath. When your right hand presses in the shutter, the camera body will move downward. But once your left hand is in place, camera shake is drastically reduced and sharper images are obtained.

When you first learn the right way to hold a camera you might find it to be somewhat uncomfortable to hold it that way. It’s alright to feel that way. In time, holding your camera that way will seem natural.

Take the Shoulder Strap Off Your DSLR

When you have a good grip of your camera, you can take the shoulder strap off your camera. It does get annoying when the strap falls onto the front of your lens while you’re shooting. However, if you’re in a situation where you might drop your camera, then it is best to leave the strap attached.

Dos & Don’ts When Holding Your DSLR


  • The one thing you must do when using lenses that are heavy is to support your DSLR from underneath. If the lens you use is heavy, your whole camera will tip forward. Even the smallest camera shake will be emphasized by the narrow angle of view.
  • Grip the camera from beneath for optimal support. This includes portrait photography attempts.
tips for camera hold

Photo captured by Eduard Eddy (Click Image to See More From Eduard Eddy)


  • Don’t hold your camera on both sides. When you need to adjust your zoom, your left hand will move to adjust it and that leaves your right hand to be the only support of your camera. Hence, your DSLR will not be held properly, leading to camera shake.
  • Avoid using a camera that doesn’t have a viewfinder. Otherwise, there will be a need for you to use the screen to compose your picture. This will result in a destabilized camera.
  • Never use just your fingers to hold the camera on both sides. As long as your hand is not holding the camera from underneath, there really isn’t a better way to handhold your camera to provide support and minimize camera shake. It really is important that your left hand supports your camera from beneath it.

About the Author:
This article was written by Michelle Lee Fui Jinn, tipsforphotographers dot com. It takes time to practice and improve your photography skills.

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6 responses to “How to Hold a Camera Steady”

  1. Thomas Solet says:

    It’s al about the basics. Great article!

  2. Dave Karsenough says:

    “It is also best that you avoid using a camera that does not have a viewfinder. Otherwise, there will be a need for you to use the screen to compose your picture. This will result in a destabilized camera.”


    That would eliminate almost every non-DSLR camera available, including image-stabilized high-end cameras from Panasonic, Fujifilm, Sony, and so on. Most of these cameras have LCD screens that can be “powered up” to be brighter than a dim pentaprism viewfinder on a DSLR. Most mid-priced compact cameras have image stabilization, too.

    This author’s advice is nonsense. You can hold a compact camera comfortably and securely from underneath, simply by placing the camera firmly in the crotch of your thumb and forefinger (thumb in the “thumbs-up” position). Or use a small tripod or monopod.

    And the comments about not using a shoulder strap? Spoken by someone who’s never dropped a camera. What, you have? Then maybe a shoulder strap is essential; you can wrap it around your wrist to keep the camera from slipping, too.

    Honestly, a little common sense would have helped this article’s credibility immensely.

    Thank you.

  3. I absolutely agree with Dave on a question of shoulder strap. I have dropped my camera so many times you can’t even imagine. Usually in places where it would be the final fall of my camera if I hadn’t have the strap on it. It happened to me few times that vertigo hit me in the worst moment. Apart from this, I quite liked the article.

  4. Peter says:

    se your right hand to grip the right hand end of the camera. …. So practicing holding your camera with two hands gives you near-tripod

  5. Edwin says:

    The advice to take the neck strap off is about the dumbest advice I’ve ever seen. I’ve used my cameras in every situation imaginable with it secured by the neck strap being around my neck. The only exception is when my camera is on my tripod.

  6. Jay Gaulard says:

    Great post. While I keep my neck strap on while out shooting, I do think most folks need a longer one. Perhaps it’s the straps these cameras come with that get people in trouble. They are far too short and can be a hassle to deal with. With a longer strap or one that goes across your chest, I think it will stay out of the way.

    Take care,


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