Tethered Photography Basics

Why Tethered Photography?

Images captured using a tethered photography workflow get saved directly onto your computer’s hard drive in the folder of your choice. Tethering software then displays the images on the larger computer or tablet screen as they are captured so you can see them clearly.

Tethering helps you get the perfect photo in fewer shots. Viewing images on a larger screen is a great way for you and your clients to spot issues with focus, lighting, posing or composition. You’ll spend less time editing and your clients can let you know the moment you’ve captured the shot they are looking for.

The Benefits of Shooting Tethered:

  • View images on a large monitor as you shoot
  • Instantly see images at full resolution
  • Check critical focus, composition, styling, etc.
  • Adjust lighting and camera settings more quickly and easily
  • Control camera settings and remote trigger from connected device
  • Share images with art director/client on site or remotely
  • Collaborate more effectively with assistants, stylists and subjects
  • Tag, rate, compare and share images while you shoot
  • Share images on multiple devices
  • Back up files to hard-drive while shooting
  • Move images from laptop to desktop in an instant
  • Reduce the chance of image loss

What You Need to Get Started

1. A camera that supports instant image transfer

Growing demand for tethering has led manufacturers to introduce and improve tethering functionality in many newer cameras. Even so, you should reference your camera manual to confirm that it’s capable of tethering and if so, identify which types of images it’s designed to transfer – JPEG, RAW or both. Look for the phrases Direct Image Transfer and Instant Image Transfer as well as any references to tethering.



2. A compatible cable to connect your camera to your computer

TetherPro USB cables are constructed to the highest USB specifications and incorporate all of the latest technology ensuring consistent and reliable conductivity for fast and reliable transfers.

There are many different types of USB and FireWire cables and port connections and it may be hard to know which cable will work best with your equipment. Let us help ensure you purchase the right cable the first time.

Find the Right Cable

3. Keep your camera and computer ports free from damage with proper Cable Management

Cable Management is a vital part of a safe and secure tethered photography workflow. Making sure your camera and computer ports stay free from damage save photographers from having to send in their camera for repairs that could have been prevented with proper cable management. 

There are several types of cable management options that Tether Tools offers, each uniquely made with photographer’s in mind. A few popular cable management solutions include: TetherGuard, TetherBlock, and the Tether Arca Cable Spacer

4. The easiest way to get started tethering is with the Starter Tethering Kit

Designed to be the basic package for photographers interested in shooting tethered. The Starter Tethering Kit from Tether Tools will help you seamlessly transition into a tethered workflow and provides the basics you need to get started.

Check Out the Starter Kit

5. Proper computer software to receive the images being transferred

From free software that may already be included with your camera to super-charged programs that incorporate all your post-production needs into one package, there are a number of software options worth exploring.

Explore Software


Learn More From These Tethering Guides

Tether Tools is proud to offer free educational guides to help photographers hone their craft. From the very detailed Ultimate Tethering Guide to the more inspirational How I Got the Shot, we have a guide for you.

Download the Guides Now


The Complete Online Tethering Blog

Tether Talk is the go-to online resource for the tethered photography industry. Brought to you by Tether Tools, our blog offers knowledgeable and objective insight on the latest gear and software, while also connecting you with top industry professionals for advice on everything from photography workflow to marketing and sales tips.

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