Using your shoulder as a camera rest

A tip I passed on to a participant at a photo workshop last weekend was one I learned from Joe McNally: not on how to light your subject or how to interact with them, but how to manage your heavy camera.

By holding the camera in one hand and the flash in another, with the latter held off to one side or much higher or lower than the camera, you create instability in your stance and so you’ll induce camera shake. Depending on the shutter speed, this will often result in unsharp photographs. After just a few minutes of photography, you’ll make the muscles in your arm and wrist tired, which will only exacerbate the problem.

By using your shoulder as a support for your camera, you can minimize the imbalance and thereby make your task much easier. Watch the video above to see Joe’s more detailed explanation and his demonstration of the technique.