- 7 Mistakes You're Making With Your Photos (and How to Stop)
- 12 Simple But Impactful Tips for New Photographers
I don't want to age myself here, but it's been a good, long while since I was a beginner photographer.
And though plenty of time has passed, I still remember the days of struggling with camera settings, screwing up my post-processing (in the darkroom, no less...), and wondering if all the chips were ever going to fall in place or if I was destined to keep making stupid photography mistakes over and over again.
Well, I'm here to tell you that as bleak as it seems sometimes, if you stick with it and learn from common photography mistakes, you'll eventually get to a place where you start producing some pretty great photos.
With that in mind, here's a quick list of things to avoid as a photographer, and mistakes from which you can learn a thing or two.
A Common Mistake for Beginners: Forgetting to Check the Exposure Settings
One of the biggest steps to take as a beginner photographer is to move out of full auto mode and into manual mode (or, at the very least aperture priority, shutter priority, or program mode).
By taking more control over the camera's settings, you make your job a little harder, but that added control means that you can get better photos, like the one above.
Of course, if you've been a full auto shooter thus far, you're used to not having to change your exposure settings to accommodate differing lighting conditions.
But once you're shooting in manual mode, you'll need to remind yourself to make adjustments as the lighting changes. Otherwise, you'll end up with tons of photos that are overexposed or underexposed.
Editor's Tip: Get better-exposed images by using your camera's histogram to inform you about the highlights, shadows, and midtones in your photos.
Easy Does It: Slow Down to Avoid Mistakes
I'm not always the most patient person, and sometimes that's my downfall as a photographer.
But believe it or not, simply slowing things down and taking a few extra seconds to check your composition or check the camera settings or give your model a little instruction about how to pose can mean the difference between getting a photo that's a keeper and getting one that needs to be deleted.
Beginner photographers sometimes take the "spray and pray" approach, thinking that having a huge quantity of images will improve their chances of getting one or two good photos.
But the reality is that if you take your time, you'll find that you have more high-quality images (like the one above) in fewer shots than if you treat your camera like a machine gun!
Slow down, take a breath, and concentrate on each frame you take.
Create Better Portraits by Learning How to Pose
One thing that separates experienced photographers from novices is that the pros understand how to pose people for portraits.
Right now, you might simply tell people where to stand and smile for the camera. But that's likely not getting you many pro-looking results.
Instead, don't make the mistake of thinking that it's up to the subject to look good. Instead, you need to develop your portrait posing skills to help each person you photograph look their best.
Posing is much more than just a person's posture or their stance, too.
Instead, posing is about their smile, where they're looking (i.e., at you or out of frame, as shown above), what they're doing with their hands, how their shoulders look, and so forth.
With so many different elements to consider, it's no wonder that beginner photographers aren't sure how to pose people for portraits!
Learning how to pose people isn't as difficult as you might think, though.
In the video above by Marc Klaus, you can learn a few simple but effective posing tricks that you can use with subjects that have no modeling experience whatsoever.
Review the tips he provides, put them into practice, and see how far a little knowledge can take you!
Becoming a better photographer is really about dedicating yourself to the process.
That means taking steps (like reading tutorials!) to learn new skills and acquire new knowledge that will help you minimize mistakes and start taking better photos.
In the video above by Bethany Kay, learn a few more tips and tricks for minimizing photography mistakes and creating eye-catching images.