Teach Your Child How To Hold A Camera

Camera Shake

Have you ever thought your camera has a problem focusing? You set up a shot and it looks perfectly focused in the viewfinder. When you check the image on the camera screen your subject is slightly blurry. This is usually not a problem with the camera or the lens. The more likely problem is the way you are holding the camera.

It may not seem like that big of a deal but more pictures are ruined by camera shake than anything else. It becomes even harder to hold the camera steady when you are shooting in low light.

Kids are usually not aware of this problem, especially very young ones. To keep pictures from being blurry teach your child to hold the camera correctly.

The pictures above show what camera shake looks like.
It means the difference between a sharp photo and a photo that will probably just be deleted.

How to hold a camera

Here is the proper way to hold a camera:

  1. Wrap your right hand around the right side with your pointer finger over the shutter button.
  2. Hold your left hand flat with your palm up. Support the bottom of the camera with your left hand.
  3. If you have a large lens, wrap your left hand fingers around it from below.
  4. Tuck your elbows into your ribs.
  5. Look through the viewfinder to create more stability.

What is wrong with these pictures?

Stand up straight

Don’t lean forward or backward.  If you need to get closer just take a step forward or zoom your lens in. You should also place one foot a step in front of the other for added stability.

Breathing is important

Right before taking a shot breathe in and let it out. Slowly press the shutter button at the bottom of that breath. Your body has the least movement right after exhaling.

Shooting in the vertical position

When taking pictures in the vertical position you have to rotate the camera. Always rotate so your right hand goes on top instead of on bottom. It’s very awkward and unstable to have your right hand on bottom.

Straight Horizon Lines

Now that you have learned how to properly hold your camera we need to talk about holding it straight. When taking pictures of beautiful landscape scenes your picture can be ruined easily by having a horizon that does not appear level.

When you look at the first picture below it should look strange. We are used to viewing level horizons in real life but this picture is at an angle. As you are lining up your shot, make sure you pay attention to the horizon. If it’s not level, tilt your camera to correct it.

Notice how the horizon line is not level above

This looks much better


  1. Always practice holding your camera correctly to reduce blur.
  2. Stand up straight.
  3. Press the shutter button at the bottom of your breath.
  4. Hold the camera straight, especially when taking pictures of horizons.


Photo Assignment

Take a picture of a level horizon while holding your camera correctly

Click the link above for a printable photo assignment worksheet.


Share Your Thoughts:  What photo techniques do your kids want to learn next?

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