Image Credit: jacoblund via iStock
When you're just starting out in photography, there's plenty of times when you make more mistakes than you have successful photos.
And that's okay!
Making mistakes is a great way to learn and grow as a photographer.
But there are some mistakes and some errors of thinking that get you into trouble - and you might not even know it.
With that in mind, here's a few common beginner photography mistakes that you need to avoid.
Photography Mistake #1 - Undervaluing Post-Processing
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A common mistake I see beginner photographers make is making the assumption that the beautifully created images they see on Flickr or Instagram are the result of using filters.
And I don't mean lens filters, either...I mean the kind of filter where you press one button and voila, an awesome photo shows up.
Though platforms like Instagram have worked hard to provide in-app functionalities for adding filter effects and giving photographers basic controls to crop, lighten, and darken photos, there is still no substitute for learning how to properly edit an image in post-processing.
This doesn't mean that you need to go out and buy Adobe Photoshop CC, but it would be helpful if you learned the ins and outs of adjusting your photos in post to bring out their best qualities.
Doing so takes time and effort, but the final results are often more than worth it!
Photography Mistake #2: Not Investing Enough Time in Photography
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You can have the best camera and lens in the world, but if you don't actually go out and take photos with it, you're not going to improve as a photographer.
In fact, I find that some beginner photographers think that they can read a few tutorials and watch a few YouTube videos and know everything they need to know to create awesome photos.
And while that would be awesome, photography is far too complex an undertaking to spend a few minutes here and there reading what other people tell you that you should be doing.
Instead, put what you learn in tutorials like this into practice and go out and shoot.
Not only that, take photos every single day. And not just a couple, either.
Challenge yourself to find subjects to photograph. Photograph the same subjects at different times of the day to see how the light changes the scene. Take portraits, and then take landscapes.
The point is that you need to immerse yourself in photography and in the practice of photography if you hope to minimize your mistakes and maximize your success.
Photography Mistake #3: The Kitchen Sink Approach to Gear
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Growing up, it seemed like my dad was always prepared for a cataclysm of events.
Whenever we went on a trip, there was more food, more drinks, more clothing, and more flashlights than a family would need for a lifetime.
I see that same kitchen sink approach in many beginner photographers, too.
You know the type...
They have way too much gear and take every bit of it with them on every photo shoot.
Photo by Brandon Burk
But the problem with that (well, one of many problems...) is that it's just impossible to carry all that gear and not have it negatively impact the way you work.
That's why when I want to shoot "lean and mean," I put on my Holdfast MoneyMaker Solo and carry just one camera and lens.
Working with just one camera and lens is a great challenge for a photographer because it forces you to work with what you've got.
There's no multiple lens changes, no going from a 12mm ultra-wide-angle lens to a 400mm telephoto lens.
Instead, when you shoot with a single setup, you're forced to get creative and stretch the boundaries of what your camera and lens can do.
Photo by Brandon Burk
Approaching photography in this manner is simple and easy with the MoneyMaker Solo, too.
This thing is every bit as comfortable as my original MoneyMaker, but the trimmed down version makes me feel unencumbered as I shoot.
I appreciate the fact that the Solo has the same materials and build quality of Holdfast's other products as well. This is truly a gorgeous piece of gear!
Photo by Brandon Burk
And it's expandable, too.
Holdfast's cell phone pouch pairs with it perfectly, that way I can keep my phone at my fingertips for quick shots with it.
And if I really want to increase the flexibility of the Solo, I can add a lens pouch to it without feeling like I'm bogged down with gear.
In other words, this system is ideal for photographers that want a comfortable and functional way to carry their gear!
Photography Mistake #4: Shooting the Same Subjects Over and Over
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One of the best things about photography is that there are so many possible subjects to photograph.
From landscapes to portraits, cityscapes to astrophotography, and everything in between, there is a wealth of possibilities when it comes to developing your creative eye.
Yet many of us (myself included) tend to get "stuck" with one or two types of photography and seldom venture beyond their borders.
That's a mistake, though, because testing the waters of different types of photography will only open you to more experiences and help you develop skills that allow you to take better photos.
So, get your camera, get out there, and start shooting!