Mistakes are bound to happen when you're new to photography.
Heck, mistakes will happen even when you're an experienced photographer!
And though photography mistakes are inevitable, you can certainly try to avoid making mistakes, or at the very least, learn from the ones you make.
Though there are plenty of beginner photography mistakes of which to be aware, for simplicity's sake, I've narrowed this list down to three common errors you'll want to avoid.
Using the Factory Camera Strap
I fully admit that when I was starting out in photography that I didn't give the slightest thought to my camera strap.
That is, until I started spending more time out and about taking photos and my neck and shoulders began to hurt so bad.
The factory camera strap that comes with your camera is, in a word, bad.
Not only is it a completely uncomfortable way to carry your camera, but it also isn't all that user-friendly, either.
By that, I mean that your camera hangs at your side, banging around as you walk.
It's not in a good position for you to grab it for a quick shot.
That's not to mention how carrying your camera low at your side isn't a safe or secure way to carry your camera...
That's why you need to upgrade your factory camera strap with something like the Holdfast MoneyMaker.
That's simple: The MoneyMaker solves all the problems of a typical camera strap.
First, it's insanely comfortable because you wear it like a harness. The weight of your gear is distributed across both shoulders and your back for a great fit.
Second, the MoneyMaker puts your cameras right at your fingertips.
That means whether you carry one, two or three cameras, they are all right there for you to easily grab and raise to your eye to get the shots you want.
Lastly, the MoneyMaker employs an ingenious system to keep your gear safe and secure.
For starters, your cameras are held closer to your body, so you don't have to worry about them flopping around as you walk.
Additionally, with attachments that screw into your camera's tripod mount, split rings, safety catches, and the like, your gear is safe and sound, attached firmly to the MoneyMaker.
You can even carry bags and pouches with the MoneyMaker, as seen in the image above.
If it sounds too good to be true, it's not! Check out the MoneyMaker and see all the benefits you can derive by avoiding using your factory camera strap.
Not Adjusting the ISO
Photographers have been taught for a long time that high ISOs are bad.
The reason being that the higher the ISO, the more digital noise that appears in the images you take.
Digital noise, though it can be used artistically to mimic the grainy look that you could get with film back in the day, is generally not viewed as being something you want.
However, as cameras have advanced in the last few years, they are more capable of working at a higher ISO without getting as much digital noise.
Therein lies the mistake - many new photographers are afraid to use a higher ISO for fear it will ruin their images.
The inverse is actually true...
If you're unwilling to make ISO adjustments, you'll find that getting a good exposure is more difficult.
Since ISO controls the sensitivity of your camera's sensor to light, it's the key to taking photos in dimly lit situations, be that outdoors at dusk or indoors with little in the way of artificial lighting.
That means that if you leave the ISO at its minimum - say 100 or 200 - you're missing out on opportunities to take photos in low-light conditions. Worse still, you risk taking photos that are underexposed due to a lack of light.
So, avoid this mistake by embracing higher ISOs and experimenting with how high you can push the ISO on your camera and still get good results. For some cameras, that might be ISO 800. On others, it might be ISO 3200.
Learn how to use ISO to your advantage in the video above by Mike Browne.
Using the Wrong Focus Mode for the Situation
One of the most critical factors in getting a high-quality image is ensuring that the image is actually in focus.
And one of the easiest ways to do that is to match the focus mode to the situation.
When I was a beginner, I didn't understand focus modes, so I just left my camera in the default setting, which was one shot autofocus.
One shot AF works fine in situations in which the subject is stationary - the mountain and the buildings in the image above, for example.
But when the subject is on the move, one shot AF doesn't work as well, resulting in photos that are fuzzy and blurry.
Instead, you should use Al Servo or AF-C focusing, which is more commonly known as continuous focus mode.
As the name states, continuous focus is constantly adjusting its focus as you depress the shutter button halfway.
That means that the camera will monitor what's happening between shots, that way quick movements (like the runner in the image above) will be in focus.
Another focus mode to think about is manual focus.
Though manually focusing sounds scary, it really isn't.
In fact, it's quite useful, especially in low-light situations when the autofocus system simply doesn't have enough contrast in the scene to pick out its focus point.
Manual focus is also ideal for close-up shots, like macro, in which you might want to fine-tune where the camera focuses to get the best shot.
Learn about these focusing modes in the video above by Jared Polin.
With that, you have three solutions to common beginner photography mistakes.
Whether you find yourself making mistakes related to camera gear, camera settings, composition, or some other factor, just remember, there is always a fix.
It's just a matter of recognizing what you don't like about your photography experience and making inroads into resolving those problems.
Sometimes that means upgrading your gear. Other times that means changing a camera setting. Regardless, keep learning and growing, and you'll find that your mistakes will be minimized and your photos will improve in quality.