Whether it's not having the right gear, not knowing how to use the gear you have, or missing out on better compositions, there's plenty that can go wrong when you take a photo.
What sets experienced photographers apart from new photographers is understanding how to minimize these kinds of mistakes and make the most of each shot.
In the video above, Benjamin Jaworskyj offers up some insights into five common beginner photography mistakes.
Not only does he outline some really critical errors to avoid, but he also explains how to avoid them as well.
So, have a look at his video, and for a step-by-step overview of some of the points he raises, keep reading!
Mistake #1: You've Got Too Much Gear
When you're just starting out in photography, it's far more important to collect knowledge than to collect gear.
That is, rather than filling up your camera bag with tons of lenses or buying a second or third camera body, just learn how to use the gear you've got.
What's more, learning the fundamentals like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, as well as how to use more advanced shooting modes like aperture priority, shutter priority, and program mode, will get you a lot further as a beginner photographer than a bagful of gear will.
That being said, there is some basic gear you need to be able to learn all the things listed above.
A good interchangeable lens camera and a solid lens are good places to start.
There's all sorts of entry-level models available that come as a kit - both the camera body and a lens - that will be ideal for you to learn the ropes of photography.
Editor's Tip: It's also a good idea to buy a solid tripod as well. Find a tripod to help you take your photography to the next level.
The mistake some photographers make when buying a tripod is buying the cheapest thing they can find.
Not only does this mean you get a tripod that's less stable with less features, but the likelihood that it will break or wear down is higher because it's not made to the same high-quality as top-shelf tripods.
Since a tripod is something that can grow with you and that you can use for years and years to come, it's prudent to get a really good tripod right off the bat as opposed to buying five or six bad tripods. You'll end up saving money in the long run!
For beginners, you want features like excellent stability and versatility, a good ball head, and quick-lock legs for easy setup.
The Vanguard Alta Pro 263AT tripod shown above and below has all these features and more.
The 3-section aluminum alloy legs offer adjustments from 25-degrees to 80-degrees so you can get widely varied perspectives when you take your photos.
With quick flip leg locks, ensuring that the tripod is set and stable is a veritable breeze.
And for outdoor photographers, the rubber feet with retractable spikes gives you peace of mind that when you setup your tripod, it won't go anywhere.
The included ball head has smooth, fluid 360-degree rotation for panning shots and video. The head comes with a quick-release plate for easy on and off and an integrated bubble level to keep your horizons straight.
What's more, tripods like this one offer excellent load capacity, so even if you start out with relatively lightweight beginner photography gear, as you upgrade to beefier stuff, your tripod will still be able to support it.
So, when you buy your first photography gear, get a solid beginner camera with a kit lens and pair it with a tripod that can grow with you. Other than some lens filters for landscape photographers, that's about all you need to get started!
Mistake #2: You Blindly Adjust Camera Settings
Getting a new camera is fun, and I certainly understand the desire to turn it on and start wading through all the different settings and menu screens.
But as Benjamin warns, if you start messing around with camera settings before you know what they do, you could end up doing your photos more harm than good.
A good piece of advice is to read your camera's owners manual before you do anything.
Granted, that's not a real exciting way to spend an afternoon, but at least getting a cursory tour of what your camera can do will help you avoid changing things that shouldn't be changed.
If reading a huge owner's manual isn't your style, simply search for tutorials or reviews of your camera on YouTube.
The chances are very good that someone, somewhere, has taken the time to learn how to use your specific camera and made a video about it!
Editor's Tip: The same advice goes for other camera gear, like your tripod. Before you start shooting, be sure you learn all the bells and whistles your tripod offers.
Mistake #3: You Use Your Camera's Pop-Up Flash
The pop-up flash on your camera is convenient, I'll give you that.
However, the light it emits is poor, to say the least.
For starters, it's seldom bright enough to light the entire scene, so you end up with elements that are very, very bright and others that aren't.
On top of that, the elements that are illuminated by the flash end up with harsh shadows behind them, which isn't a good look, either.
Fortunately, there's plenty of ways to avoid using that awful flash.
You can put your camera on a tripod (which you should anyway) to slow down the shutter speed, which also brightens the photo.
If you really, really want to shoot with a flash, get a more powerful one to mount on your camera's hot-shoe or opt for an off-camera flash to bathe the scene in more light.
The point here is that if you take the time to outfit yourself with the right gear and take the time to learn how to use it, you can avoid many of the pitfalls that beginner photographers encounter.
Remember, photography is a journey, and you'll need to invest a good deal of time in practicing your craft.
So, be patient, take tons of photos, and commit yourself to learning how to use the gear you've got, and better results won't be far behind.