Join Now Sign In
Get full access to articles, free contest entries and more!

8 Tips For Better Handheld Shooting

Handheld shooting is a great way to convey emotion and intimacy in video. It’s never been easier to capture beautiful handheld shots for your videos. These days most mirrorless cameras include built-in image stabilization, which makes it easier than ever to get beautiful handheld shots.  Jaired Sullivan of Wayward North shares his quick tips on shooting handheld during a wedding. Ultimately his tips will be helpful for any filmmaker looking to shoot handheld for their next project. 

Add Some Accessories: 

Adding a cage, a top handle and a side grip to your mirrorless camera will give you more areas where you can hold the camera while filming and add weight to the camera. Both of these things will give you more control and make it easier to shoot smooth handheld footage. Attaching a monitor to the top of the camera will make it easier to view what you are shooting.  

Lens Selection: 

A number of lenses now feature image stabilization too. Pairing an image stabilization lens with a camera body that also features image stabilization will make your handheld footage extremely smooth. Lenses with wider focal lengths work best for shooting handheld because they generate less shake than a longer lens might. 

Tuck Your Elbows: 

Keep your elbows tucked into your body while shooting. Doing so will give you a lot more control over your camera while you are filming and will be more comfortable during a long day. 


Keep Your Camera Close: 

Holding the camera as close to your torso while shooting will help reduce shake. When shooting this way it’s extremely useful to have a monitor on the top of your camera so you can see what you are filming. 

Use Your Hips: 

Any camera movements that you make should come from your hips and your legs rather than your arms. If you are doing a push in shot, move your hips and feet before you ever move your arms. Keep those steps gentle to reduce camera movement though. Don’t forget to bend your knees. 

Shoot in 60 FPS: 

Shooting at 60 FPS will let you slow your footage down in the edit—a handy trick for covering up shakes that might be present in the footage. 


Cradle the Camera: 

Hold your camera like you’d hold a baby.  Keeping two hands on the camera while shooting handheld footage will give you more stability and control, which ultimately means more attractive video footage. 

Use a Strap: 

If you are just starting out and can’t afford accessories for your camera, a simple strap can be extremely useful. Pull the strap tight against your neck and hold your camera out in front of you. This technique will create three points of contact against your body to help shoot smoother footage.

Leave a Reply

Save Your Favorites

Save This Article