How to Hold a Camera if you are Right Handed

Holding a camera properly and correctly is quite elementary but essential.   This is not a personal choice; camera and lens designs have been made to satisfy specific ergonomics.  Failure to hold a camera correctly will end up costing you shots, especially in lower light situations.  

THE CLAW:  Unless you are Jim Carrey, there is no reason to operate a lens this way.  Clawing the lens gives no support to the lens and you can not rely on VR to compensate for bad practices.  Clawing a lens either from above or the side may feel correct but this practice needs to be abandoned. 

THE CUP: The lens must be cupped from below, in the palm of the hand.  The hand and arm provide support which gives stability and reduces the need for faster shutter speeds.   This needs to be practiced if it does not feel natural.  Cupping a lens has nothing to do with lens size, even the smallest pancake lens should be cupped and zoom / focus should be operated from below.   There is only one correct way to hold a camera and lens for a right-handed person.

BALANCE:  Nikon designers spent a lot of time and effort developing ergonomic equipment that feels intuitive.  Most lenses and camera bodies have that sweet spot of balance.  Longer lenses also have tripod mounts that often complement this equilibrium and balance well in the palm of the hand. 

CAMERA STRAP: The camera strap is not just a neck or shoulder-strap, its primary role may be to help you carry the camera but the strap should always be considered a safety line first.  The strap should always be securely wound around the wrist when handling a camera.  With proper balance, photographers gain confidence and rely more on the excellent ergonomics, holding cameras with one or few fingers.   A back-up system should always be in place in order to save the equipment from falling and hitting the ground or pavement, this easily happens when being bumped or tripping over an obstacle.  Last but not least, the strap will also prevent theft. Think of the very skilled street thieves that use mopeds in London, Rome and many other cities.  See how easy it is to steal a phone, camera, bag in this video         

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