How to Properly Shoot a Photo in Portrait Orientation

Do you know how to actually shoot a photo in portrait orientation? You’re probably going to say yes because what you’ve been doing so far has been effective enough. But trust me, it isn’t efficient enough. You’ll learn this even more when go shooting commercial portraits, weddings, concerts, events where you’re in a pit, etc.

I’m confident that you’ll find my method much more effective.

Shooting in Landscape

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Portrait shooting good form landscape (1 of 1)ISO 1601-60 sec at f - 4.0

When you shoot in landscape orientation you’re probably doing something like this. In fact, what you’re ideally doing is tucking your elbows in even more so to your gut. Why? The closer in your arms are to your body, the more stable they are and therefore the more stable your camera is.

Shooting in Portrait

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Portrait shooting good form (1 of 2)ISO 1601-60 sec at f - 4.0

When you shoot in portrait mode; most people do this. In this stance, one arm is tucked into the body but the other is freeform. It’s not stable but it’s what the body naturally does because of the way that camera grips are positioned.

However, it’s not the best way to shoot.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Portrait shooting good form (2 of 2)ISO 1601-60 sec at f - 4.0

Instead, this is the best way to shoot. In this photo, both elbows are tucked into your body, the right hand grips the camera, the left hand is in front and grips the lens while the body stays tightly in on itself–therefore providing more stability. The left hand also holds the center of balance on the lens. It works well.

So how did I find this out? Try shooting in a press pit. When a bunch of photographers are very tightly packed together, they’re bound to elbow one another often especially if your elbow is flailing about. But if it’s tightly packed in, then you can only be thrown off if someone directly hits you instead of your elbow/arm.

When your elbow and arm are up in the air, they’re much more likely to be more loose. Instead, tuck them both in the same way that you’d do when you shoot landscape.

Give it a try!