Photo Tips: How to Shoot From The Hip

Shooting from hip (or chest) can be the most fun (when it works) and the most frustrating (when it doesn't) way of changing your photographic perspective. Here are my tips and tricks to help you master this awesome way of capturing your subject without bringing your camera up to your face. It gives you a chance to capture a nice little candid moments that can help you tell a story through your photography.

First and foremost: Don't get discouraged! My photos featured here are a small handful of DOZENS of images I have taken over many many photo tour sessions with clients over the last year or so. Sometimes you get lucky and it's perfect and sometimes you don't even get your subject in the frame! Here are some tips to help create that perfect hip shot.

  1. Get as close as possible to your subject and use a wide angle. Hold your camera around hip height, pointed at your subject. Press the shutter multiple times or put it on 'burst'. You want as many shots as possible to choose from. Occasionally you think you're being sneaky and you're not. You totally get caught and that's OK. If you didn't get it at all, decide wether you want to make another pass. This is perfect for people sitting on benches. The hip height means you are right at their level.
  2. If you have the option to flip out your LCD screen on the back of your camera, DO IT! This will help tremendously with focus and of course, you are not shooting completely blind. Some 'purists' may think it's cheating, I think if it helps with focus and composition, use it.
  3. Choose the fastest shutter speed and smallest aperture you can manage with your light conditions. Achieving sharp focus can be tricky, so avoid using this technique at night time, you likely won't be able to achieve correct focus and it will just end in frustration. No one likes that.
  4. Change your focus to from AF-S to AF-C (Nikon) or One Shot to Al Servo (Canon) click here if you need help understanding what this means or check your manual. You can also change your focus area from single spot focus and multiple spot focus. Check out this image to help you understand better. Or if you're like me, I get so excited when I see a great subject I forget all this and wing it and hope for the best.

Please don't hate me when I tell you practise makes perfect. It really does.  If you're new to this technique try not to choke up and get nervous at the last second and bail on your shot. Keep your cool and you'll have a better chance at capturing some great stuff!

Come to Buenos Aires and let me show you how it's done! BOOK A TOUR, grab your gear and let's hit the streets!