Camera technique is critical for great quality photographs. By camera technique I mean the physical steps you take to actually take the photograph. Again, these are simple steps, but leaving out even one of them can easily compromise the quality of your image.
First I recommend that you slow down. Being in a hurry causes you to skip steps that can lead to blurry images. I know it's exciting when you are trying to take pictures of a special event like a new baby or a graduation, but just slow down, take a deep breath and carefully follow the proper steps and you will get a great shot of that special moment.
The first step in camera technique is the way you hold your camera. Anytime you can, be sure to use a tripod. The tripod will give you a solid platform to mount your camera and minimize movement and vibration. Carrying a tripod can be a real pain but it's the sacrifice we make for good images.
Sometimes a tripod is just not practical and some public places do not allow the use of tripods. This is when handling the camera is important when you actually take a picture.
First thing is to hold the camera with both hands and with your arms close to your body. Try to make yourself into a human tripod. Holding the camera way out in front of you or with your elbow sticking up in the air makes the camera move around, and that can make your photos blurry.
The next step is when you actually push the shutter button on the camera. A lot of times people punch the button on the camera to take the picture. This causes the camera to move and make your picture blurry, or worse yet, it pushes the front of the camera down and cuts the subjects head off. Put your finger on the shutter button and gently press down.
These things seem really basic, but if you use these techniques with every shot you take, you should see improved results in your photography.
(Brent Kepner is the owner and photographer at Foto 1 Pro Photo in Elkins. He is a master photographer as well a certified professional photographer.)