Compact Camera Photos
Learn just one tip, and you’ll instantly have better photos with your compact camera.
Pocket cameras are wonderful. Sure, as a professional, I’m usually armed with several pounds of equipment, but smaller cameras still have their place. By following one simple tip—learning how to hold your camera—you can get amazing photos. Let me explain.
A Matter of Perspective
The position of your camera determines what is included in the frame, the perspective and the way light and shadow play across the subject.
I could hold my small camera, or even my camera phone, out in front of me at arm’s length, the way so many people do. But the result is often an uninspired photograph. With that in mind, you have to ask yourself a few questions.
Would the image be stronger if I walked closer to my subject and placed it on one side of the frame instead of in the middle? What if I bordered a distant landscape with some nearby bushes or trees for a stronger sense of depth?
Could I back up a few inches and put one blossom in the foreground, with a few dewy buds in the background? Instead of looking down at my cat, what if I crouched or lay down at her level and looked her in the eye with my camera?
Take a Little Time
Great photographs take time. Experienced photographers study their subject and explore its visual possibilities, shooting several variations. Using a single lens, I may start with an overview photo and then move in to play with the effects of different angles, focal lengths, composition or lighting. I look around and try to find a way to place my subject in a larger environment. I’ll hold my camera high, then low, as well as at eye level, to vary my point of view.
As you’re practicing, take your time and experiment. With digital cameras it doesn’t cost anything extra to play. Back at your computer, look at your pictures and think about which ones you like best and why. Consider how you could make the inevitable clunkers better next time.
Repeat the process, and in time you’ll see a significant improvement in your photographs—just by changing where you hold your camera when you press the shutter button. Oh, and one more thing: Remember to have fun along the way!