Photography 101 | How To Hold Your Camera

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Howdy!

I am pretty open about my life on the internet. I honestly like educating people about my condition Arthrogryposis and figure out how to adapt to my surroundings. I don’t really remember the day I picked up my fork to feed myself or put the pencil in between my toes to write, it just happened. I love being able to do things for myself. I love not having to depend on a family member or one of my friends to do something for me. I’ve always been resilient and I don’t like to give up easily.

I’ve always tried to post my own pictures on here. Unfortunately, when I first started blogging, I think I was too afraid to show the world that I was real. There is a face to this disability, she has a name and a story. One day I just started including my own pictures from my phone every once in a while. I was really inspired to edit and use filters on the pictures but also being able to make up a complete blog post with a photo was pretty fun!

Last year, I hosted a blog chat and our theme was photography and what kind of props we like to use for our posts. I was very proud of myself for just thinking of it off the top of my head! I gave you a sense of what I liked to use but I never shared on how exactly I do any of my photography for my blog!


I would say from the end of 2015 to now, I’ve hit a new level of photography. I still don’t consider myself a “master” at it or anything, but as far as getting a certain angle, I try my best to get it on my own.

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One of my beloved angles is from the ground view. It’s a simple way to take a photo of anything with a flat surface, but in my case it’s my most popular pose to snap a picture at our cats!

I have learned to go slow, don’t rush the experience. I know with dealing with cats, they are not interested in getting their pictures taken. Okay, maybe Nelson and Bear-Bear like it, but that’s about it. Everybody else just tolerates it I think. I know for a fact that Midget and Bootsie absolutely hate it because I can rarely get them to stay put to capture them on camera.

And sadly, sometimes they will be laying on something high up like dad’s grill or sitting on the post at the back door and I can’t get to them no matter how hard I try. It’s at those times where I holler at my mom to come outside and get them all around so I can take photos of them. Sometimes they lay in certain positions or on my lap and I’m not able to get the shot myself so she’ll take the reins and the ending result is something adorable like this!

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The rest of the time, I do everything else. The pictures are taken by me. I do everything on my blog, nobody does it unless I’ve granted them access but I haven’t been asked by Blondie or anybody else in a few years so, everything that you’ve read on here that doesn’t say “Guest Post” in the front is by me.

I don’t use that Dragon software. I actually hate it. I don’t like the easy road and when we got to try it out in my computer class freshman year, I could have cared less, especially when everybody kept coming up to me saying, “Meghan, this would be perfect for you!” No, thank you. I have enough trouble trying to speak, I can’t imagine how many issues I’d have with that. However, if it works for you. That’s fine.

The Simple Forward:

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I think this is the second simplest way to hold a camera of any size with your feet. I’m naturally a left footer, so this works really well for me!

I know it’s a little hard to tell, but both of my feet are deformed and my right foot is called a clubfoot. A good chunk of it is pointed to the far right where my heel is headed to the left. I have a section of my bones on the left side of the foot and it makes for a slight flat surface. If I were to lay my foot out straight without twisting the leg at all, I can hold a fairly large book or notebook on top and balance it and move to one side of the room. It takes a lot of practice and I still spill things, but it works.

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As far as holding my camera though, I put the camera at the edge of the bones so that it standing flat on the area of the foot. Thankfully, there is just enough room for a small camera to stand straight for a good even-leveled photo. For some added security, I place my left foot on top where the “palm” of it is keeping it from tipping over and using my big toe to push the button to finally get the shot. This is my nana’s camera, so hers is lighter and kind of smaller in width, so it doesn’t fit as well in the space on my right foot as much as mine!

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I’m still doing the pose here, but the difference is that whenever I’m sitting higher up whether it’s on my bed or in the wheelchair, I will naturally tilt my camera forward to get a closer look at whatever I am wanting to take.

Example:

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This was taken at the side of my bones because of the entire angle of the colored pencils. Whenever I take pictures on the side of my right foot, the item will ultimately be at a horizontal line. I try my best not to do this but I do feel the most comfortable with this technique!

I also have a second way to hold it, especially for those closer or low takes. It’s the same method I’ve explained above, the only difference is instead of putting the camera on my bones on the side. My camera is in the middle of my foot, directly behind my toes and I do have to keep my foot straight throughout the whole time. It’s a good pose but I feel better with the first

Example:

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If you ever see things straight like this, this means I have used the second technique as it would be easier to everything in one shot.

Going Vertical:

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This one is actually pretty easy to do, you just have to work on keeping steady because it is an awkward pose to do.

The best way to describe this angle is like grasping something, like you would hold a bowl of cereal or warm soup with both of your hands. However, the difference with using your feet is that, especially with mine, I’m not able to basically wrap my feet around my camera fully. I’m only able to hold in a small enough space in between both feet. I usually try to go high enough so I can reach the buttons, but I’ve learned that if I get my right foot too high then I’m not able to see the screen very well, kind of like in this picture above!

Example:

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The Downward Spiral:

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This one requires both practice and patience in the beginning, mostly because in this pose you moving the camera to face down on the floor, not straight ahead, so if you are not paying attention to what you are doing on all sides, you will drop and might possibility break your camera!

The way I hold my camera for this pose is like the forward, because I am depending on my right foot a little more stability while my left is around the buttons. For this, the camera is mostly between the “mountain” of bones and the side of my heel. One side is resting on the bones where the rest is in the space in the middle of that area. My left foot on top of it, but I’ve flipped my foot to the side and the upper part of the camera is in between the arch of the foot. Sometimes I can click the keys with both my big and “index” toes, it just depends on how far over I’ve got the camera in the dip.

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There is another bad part about this pose. Since you are placing your camera directly on top of what you want to take a picture of, you are also cutting off a bit of your light that would be helpful to brighten up the product or whatever. Everybody says, “don’t use your flash” because sometimes it is too bright and can reflect a glare if it’s plastic or glass, but my advice for that is if all you can use a simple digital camera and can’t afford Photoshop, use the flash! Sometimes it can be your best friend, you never know!

Example:

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As you can see, to be able to get everything in one shot, you have to lift the camera as high as you can. For those of us in wheelchairs, this can get pretty tricky because sometimes you can’t hold the camera up that high and still be able to see what you are shooting in the first place!

The reason why I’m calling this the “downward spiral” is because of the many times I’ve dropped it from this position and the batteries would end up on one side than the actual camera, so it had spun around as it hit the ground! And I’ll be honest, I just wing it while I hold it up in the air. I check it after I’ve taken a couple every time to make sure I’m at least in the right direction! This was a lucky shot! You may not be able to read all of the labels of the bottles but you do see everything and that’s the whole idea!

How do you take your pictures? What is your go-to position to get the perfect shot?

snowflake

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6 thoughts on “Photography 101 | How To Hold Your Camera

  1. Another really interesting post on this subject Meghan, and it’s really interesting to learn more about how you take your lovely shots too. That first shot of the cats is gorgeous too! Thank you for sharing these. – Tasha

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Getting A New Camera! – Got Meghan's Blog

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