How do you hold your camera?

So Many Different Ways to Hold a Camera…

How do you hold your camera…. whilst walking in Riga, I saw so many photographers holding their cameras in a weird variety of styles, I thought I’d get a few shots of them.

The majority seem to use the little screen on the back of the camera, so hold the camera about 6-12 inches in front of their face.

how to hold your camera properly

Many cameras have no other option – my phone certainly doesn’t. But lots still have a “viewfinder”, which I’d recommend using; but why?

Why use the viewfinder?

I don’t really like the “back of the screen approach” for 2 reasons:-

1 – Stability

You are more likely to get camera shake with a camera held out at arms length, than pressed against your forehead. If you use your arms and head as a “triangle” support, you get more rigidity – triangles are strong, look at pylons, or sky scrapers, they are full of them.

This lady shows how I do it:-

  • hold the weight of the camera in your left hand – place it below the camera body, or lens if you have a large optic
  • put your right hand on the grip,placing your finger over the shutter button
  • squeeze your elbows into your rib cage
  • now put the viewfinder to your eye – make the camera press firmly on your forehead

This gives me maximum rigidity and chance of getting motion-blur-free photos.

how to hold your camera properly


2 – Faster Autofocus

The autofocus system in  DSLR is far faster when using the viewfinder than using “live view” or the screen.

This may not be an issue for static subjects, I use “live view” for architecture, landscape and static car shots. But for anything that moves – street, sport, wildlife – you need to be able to “snap” into focus instantly to grab the moment.

If you’re in live view, it may take a second to focus and you will miss the moment. If you use the viewfinder you are far more likely to get a sharp image just at the right time.


Here are a few more examples from Riga

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