How to steady your camera without a tripod



Tripods are great for getting your camera into position and keeping it steady while you capture the perfect shot, but they’re also bulky and cumbersome to carry around; so there may be times when you don’t have your tripod with you but still want to achieve a clear and steady shot. Your first port of call should be to adjust the settings of your camera and make sure you have enough natural light available so that you can reduce the shutter speed and reduce the aperture. If you still find that you need some extra help keeping things steady, here are a few tips of the trade...

1.Lean on something: Look for something large and sturdy nearby that you can lean on, such as a tree, wall, or boulder. Resting on something solid can help to combat the shakes and allow you to drop your shutter speed a little for a better shot.

2. Adopt the right posture: The way you stand when you’re taking a photo can have an impact on how steady the shot it. Aim to stand with your feet shoulder width apart to give you a good grounding, and keep your elbows close to your body to help reduce shake. Use the viewfinder rather than the LCD screen, and keep the camera close to your face; inhale deeply, then exhale and take the shot.


3. Get on the ground: The ground is your natural tripod, and you can get some pretty great shots from a lower perspective too. Try lying on the floor on your stomach, and use your hands, elbows, or camera bag to create some height and angling for the shot. Alternatively you could crouch or sit on the ground, resting your elbow on your knee to turn yourself into a human tripod.

4. Find a natural tripod: You may not have your actual tripod with you, but if you look around and use your imagination you should find something that you can use as a tripod. If you’re out and about you could try the crook of a tree branch, a large rock, a wall etc. If you’re indoors look for a table, chair, chest of drawers etc, anything that is stable can be used to keep your camera steady and line up the perfect shot.

5. Get closer to the subject: Zooming in on whatever it is you’re photographing can increase the negative effects of shaky hands. Instead, try zooming out and moving closer to the subject, and any slight shakes will be much less noticeable in the final images.

If you’d like to learn more about the food photography services we offer here at Stephen Conroy Food Photography. Please take a look around the website, and don’t hesitate to contact us.


Stephen Conroy
Food Photographer & Director