3 Times to Always Use a Tripod | Logan Photographers

3 Times to Always Use a Tripod

(That you may not have thought about before)

I love teaching photography to new photographers, whether it be through the community classes I teach, the local photography club or one-on-one, I love when I get the chance to see when someones eye's light up when the realize they can now start to turn their visions into reality! During all these teaching moments, one thing I always try to teach others is how important a tripod is, and the response I always get it 'Oh, I use a tripod when I shoot the stars or landscapes, but I never use it besides that'. I want to bring up three times you might not think about using a tripod but times that I find a tripod invaluable to my photography and why. Let's get started!

Studio Portrait Photography

Every time I'm in a studio, I have my tripod, always. Why? Two reasons. First, a tripod is going to get you sharper images. Always. No matter how careful and steady you are, those sticks under your camera will be steadier. Normally when you're in a studio, you're there so you can control every aspect of you image and get the best quality images. Locking your camera down will help optimize the quality your camera can produce. The second and more important reason to pull our your tripod in the studio is that you'll get a more natural image of your subject. When your face is smashed behind your lens and you're talking and directing your subject, they can't see you! You're not a face, or a person, you're a big scary lens! As soon as you drop your camera on a tripod you can pull your face out and give them a person to connect with. You can talk, direct and CONNECT with your subject. You get to be a real person and people connect with real people better than lenses. 

On Location Family Photography

The second time I never fail to get my tripod out is on location family portraits. Once again, there are two main reasons. First, you get to be a person! Just like mentioned above, except now it's even more critical! How hard is it to get a little kid to look at a camera?! Seriously! But if you put the camera on your tripod you don't have to say "Hey Bobby! Look at the camera!". You'll frame your shot, set you setting and stand behind your camera and pull faces, make animal noises, and be goofy! Guess what? That kid is gonna watch you and he's probably gonna crack up laughing if you're silly enough. BAM! You've got him looking at the camera! Done! Also, by getting your camera on a tripod and not moving, it's much easier to do head-swaps in Photoshop if you need to. Just in case you didn't get everyone smiling naturally in multiple images. Head swaps are so much easier if your on a tripod.

Product & Food Photography

Sharpness. Sharpness is key when you're showing off someones gorgeous culinary creations, their hard work on hand crafted soaps, delicately weaved phone case, or whatever else you're shooting. Getting that camera on a tripod is going to maximize your sharpness and it'll make you think about your framing and composition more. Putting that extra time into framing and moving your tripod to the perfect location is going to pay off! Give it a go next time your shooting something small and up close, you'll be amazed at the difference in your images! 

I hope next time you're heading out to shoot, you'll think about dusting off that old tripod and giving it a second chance. Of all the things that has drastically improved the quality of my images, my tripod might be number one. It doesn't matter what gear you're shooting on, a solid set of legs is going to take you're quality up a notch or two. 

Top Tip

Don't buy a ~$50 big box store special! Get something solid, heavy and durable. It's all about being steady! Personally I bought my tripod used on ksl.com and got a $500 tripod for $100 and it's been going strong for years!  

When do you use your tripod?! Let us know in the comments below or on our Facebook and Google Plus

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  1. I literally never use a tripod. But this is really interesting!

  2. Geat post. I need to A get a better tripod and B use it ;)

  3. These are good pointers! I need to be better about using mine!

  4. I use mine for self-portraits with my daughter, and not much else, but I'm grateful to have it when I need it.