My First Camera: A Few Simple Tips

Getting your first camera can be very exciting. You probably want to get out there and take lots of pictures or perhaps you have already started taking photos. Either way, here are a few very simple tips to help you take the kind of pictures everyone is going to love.

camera back

Hold your camera steady

If your camera moves the picture might be blurry. It is best to hold the camera with two hands. Keep your elbows against your body so that your arms don't move.

The viewfinder or the screen

If you can choose between using the viewfinder or the screen on the camera, then use the viewfinder. Holding the camera closer to your face makes it easier to keep it still.

Press the shutter button carefully

Keep your finger on the shutter button and be careful when pressing it. If you press it too quickly the camera might shake.

Hold the camera straight

Crooked pictures don't look very good. You should make sure that people, trees, houses, or whatever you are photographing are straight.

Steady yourself

If you move less then the camera will move less. To make it easier to keep the camera steady, you can sit, kneel, or lean against something.

When you are standing you should keep your feet shoulders width apart, and if you have just stopped then wait a few seconds until you have steadied the camera.

child holding camera

Use tripod

Using a tripod is a very good idea, which will help in almost every situation.

A tripod will help a lot when you are waiting for something to happen. Keeping the camera still gets more difficult as you wait and you risk missing a good shot completely if your arms get too tired.

Do not let the camera get in the way

Sometimes it can be easy to get so carried away with trying to get a good picture that you forget to be polite or careful.

Remember:

  • Some people just don't like it when you get too close with a camera.
  • The flash on the camera can be a problem. It can annoy some people and it can also scare animals or very young children. So do use it carefully.
  • Be careful when you move around. Remember to look around and watch your footing.

by Simon James Allanach, edited by Alan Frost
For profiles, see Free Photography Resources