10 Photography Mistakes to Avoid
There’s a saying that goes something like this: the best way to learn in life is through experience. I think that’s only partially true. We can learn from the experience of others and thus dodge a world of pain. Sure, learning from others then equips us to make our own unique character-building mistakes, but there’s no point making avoidable mistakes. Whether you’re a hobbyist or a professional, photography involves both art and craft. And like with any craft, there are some basic photography mistakes you want to avoid.
Here are ten of best.
10 Photography Mistakes You Want to Avoid
1. Improper preparation
If you’re just taking pictures for a laugh, then no thought is required. Point, shoot. Go wild. However, if you’re planning on capturing a memory, a little more thought is necessary, and it goes without saying, if you’re doing semi-pro or professional work, a great deal of thought is required. Thinking through the light, the setting, and your subjects (props, dress code, etc.) are just a few things that matter. Over preparation is better than under preparation giving you the peace of mind to be creative and spontaneous.
2. Itchy trigger finger
While it might be fun to fire away and appease an itchy trigger finger, you’re going to end up with a pile of post editing work, too many images of the same setting and unnecessary wear and tear on your camera. On occasions, you might need to blaze away to get that one great image, but that’s surely the exception not the norm.
3. Dirty Lens
While this might affect natural-light photographers less than those who use artificial light, a dirty lens can spoil good images, and with a little time and care is simply one of those unnecessary, easily avoidable, photography mistakes.
4. Incorrect formatting
Remember to format your camera’s memory card in the camera itself. If you format the card on your computer, your camera might reject it. There are few things worse than technical problems preventing you from capturing that great shot.
5. Inadequate backup
Again, this depends on your purpose. If you’re just having a blast, snapping away for the thrill of it, backups aren’t necessary. However, don’t be the photographer who loses a client’s work because you didn’t have time to make a backup. Just don’t.
It’s said that most of our mistakes in life are made due to fear or impatience. This is true for photography mistakes, too. Fear can inflict one with ‘perfectionist paralysis,’ while impatience causes one to cut corners and produce less than stellar work.
7. Uncharged Battery
This might fall under a previous point (Improper Preparation), but it brings up the point about good habits. Making sure your camera’s battery is recharged, whether it’s immediately after a session or the night before a session, is one of those vital routines you want to add to your work drill.
8. Shooting in the wrong mode
This usually happens when we’re in a rush, and so it would fall under a previous point (Impatience), but if you’re brave enough to allow others—like a spouse or child or in-studio helper—handle your camera, settings have a nasty habit of changing. Here’s another good routine to get into: always double-check your settings and avoid making more photography mistakes.
9. Over-cooked post processing
While there’s no doubt that anyone can work wonders with Photoshop, a good photographer does not depend on Photoshop to work wonders. Yes, it’s about artistic and professional pride, but it’s also about presenting a client with great, realistic images rather than swanky special-effect pictures that the local circus clown is fond of. (Unless, of course, the client wants glitzy; but then there’s the pride thing.)
10. Breaking your camera by…
For a few laughs (and to avoid any tears), have a look at these suggestions to avoid breaking your camera and making more photography mistakes. Of course, rockets, lions, celebrities and sulphur aside, newborn and children photographers know the potential hazards associated with a simple in-studio session if one fails to keep an eye open on the clients themselves!
Have you got any more photography mistakes to add to the list?
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