Reduce Camera Shake – How to Hold a Camera Steady

hold a camera steady

Camera shake is considered to be one of the biggest issues of a photo shoot. This is a problem that’s faced by each and every photographer at certain times of their career.

No matter whether you are a professional or an amateur, you just have to agree that this is a mistake that cannot be overlooked especially when you see the effects it can have on a perfectly-timed photograph.

In here I have discussed a few ways through which you can reduce the amount of camera shake to the bare minimum. Let’s go through them without further ado.

1. Put your elbows in

If you are taking the photograph on your feet, it’s advisable to pull your elbows in, take a deep breath and hold it till you press the shutter. Yep, exactly similar to the way you pressed the trigger on your sniper in “Call of Duty.”

Believe it or not, that military technique (of holding breath) does work in steadying yourself before you press on the shutter. And that “elbows in” technique is primarily made to increase your center of gravity and a mutual support.

Try this technique. You camera shake would surely improve drastically.

2. No tripod? Improvise and create one with your knee

Remember improvisation is everything. No tripod, no problem. As long as you have a brain in that head of yours, there’s always a solution.

Go down on your knees and pull a knee up as a form of an elbow support. There! You have readied your very own version of a tripod in no time. Support one of your elbows on your lifted knee and you will be set for the shoot. Here’s your example. It’s as easy as a piece of cake.

3. There’s something called the “machine gun hold”

It should look something like this one right here.

This technique will be a bit awkward from the point of view of the photographer and hence, it’s seldom used by professional photographers. It’s also difficult to maintain this stance for a longer amount of time.

But in case you are involved in a “on your feet” shoot, try it nonetheless. It works!

4. Simply sit down on your bottom and create a support

Everybody knows this fact that sitting can definitely increase an individual’s balance. It lowers your centre of gravity significantly in comparison to that of your standing as a result of which your balance improves drastically.

But it doesn’t mean you should do it however you wish to do it especially at times of the shoot because it doesn’t work that way. Here’s how you should do it:

  • Sit down.
  • Pull up both of your legs in a comfortable position.
  • Lean forward a bit and put both of your elbows at the top of your knees respectively (left on left, right on right. That’s it. You are set. Take a quick peek at this example.

5. Your left hand should always support the weight of the camera

This one specifically goes for you if you are a right-handed photographer and is also dependent on the type of camera you are using at the time of your shoot.

The thumb rule* goes something like, your right hand is for the shutter and your left hand is for the support. How you use your left hand for support is an entirely different matter though.

Anyway, take a peek at this image.


The man’s using his left hand as a form of support and his right hand is reserved for the shutter. His sitting posture has also made it possible for him to receive additional support from both of his legs. This is a good posture indeed. You are advisable to take a leaf out of this man’s book.

*If you are a left-handed photographer, this rule reverses completely.

6. Leaning against a solid object for extra support is also advisable

Leaning on solid objects like a wall or a tree is definitely recommended during a shoot for extra stability. And if you are taking the photograph while lying down on the floor, an elbow support on the ground is an absolute must.

Always remember: “the stiller you are, the stiller your camera’s going to be.” So implement any tactic in your arsenal to find some support at all possible costs.

Okay, it’s time to bring this to an end for now. I hope you find these tips handy enough for your upcoming photo shoots. If you have any sort of a query, you are more than welcome to put it to me in the comments section below. I’ll answer as soon as possible Ciao!

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