Beginners and amateurs usually have the most bad photography habits that must be broken, but serious enthusiasts and professionals are not immune to their own sets of bad habits.
1. A bad habit of professionals, which beginners and amateurs should learn early, is taking their clients for granted. Business experts and research has proven again and again that customer service can provide small business owners with a much greater competitive advantage than price and selection…if they have an excellent and proactive customer service program.
2. Beginners and amateurs, who are considering advancing from a compact to a DSLR camera, should avoid developing a bad habit of serious amateurs, which often costs them money. They think their photography reputation depends on them having the best DSLR camera body they can afford. The smarter decision, however, is to buy the best lens your budget will allow because the best photos begin with the lens, not the camera body. Break the habit of “camera glamour” today; it doesn’t make you a better photographer and it’s an expensive habit.
3. A bad habit that could ruin a family outing or a commercial photo shoot is failing to check your equipment before you leave your home or studio. You’re less likely to forget a camera or lens, but more likely to overlook smaller equipment, such as memory cards, batteries or a particular filter. They may be small, but they can just as easily interrupt your photography plans. A good habit is to create a list of equipment based on what you will be shooting. Then, lay each piece of equipment in front of you, and double check against your list. If possible, do it 48 hours before your shoot, so you can check all the equipment again, 24 and 6 hours in advance. There may be last-minute changes to the parameters of the shoot: location, weather, light conditions, etc.
4. Forgetting to check battery power is a specific equipment bad habit of many photographers. Without adequate juice, photography is essentially impossible. A better habit may be to replace the batteries with new ones before every long shoot.
5. Too many photographers assume that the settings on their cameras are locked in place and don’t check them as often as they should. Place a camera in a bag, sling it over your shoulder, or slide it into a pocket or purse; all of these actions could cause any of the settings to be moved. Remember, to check your camera settings whenever there is a large gap of time between shots, and regularly throughout a shoot, whether it’s a casual occasion or an important assignment.
6. Don’t be a lazy RAW shooter. Just because the word is “RAW” doesn’t mean you should photograph that way. Pay attention to the exposure of every image, so you’ll spend less time at the computer correctly poorly exposed highlights and shadows. For beginners and amateurs, consciously selecting exposure (or checking what exposure settings the camera has selected) is an excellent way to learn how to control exposure and use it as a creative tool.
7. A similar bad digital photography habit is shooting always in Auto mode. Beginners and amateurs acquire the attitude that “digital” and “Auto” means they don’t have to participate in the process of taking pictures. Their mistake is that “Auto” is not “perfect.” It may be the best technology available that allows the camera to select exposure and focus automatically, but it doesn’t work that well under all conditions. Learning how to use a digital camera manually is necessary if beginners or amateurs expect to advance their skills and results.
8. The previous two bad habits relate to another: relying too much on editing software to save your $*@^%! It is an important and essential tool to the complete digital photography experience, but who wants to spend hours chained to a computer correcting silly errors that could have been avoided by learning simple camera techniques in just minutes?
9. Camera shake is a bad habit that results in blurry images. Such photos immediately identify beginners and amateurs who never learned how to hold a camera correctly, which is a very fundamental lesson.
10. Underestimating the speed of moving objects/subjects and selecting the wrong shutter speed to stop their action also causes blurry pictures. This is a bad habit that can be broken rather easily with a bit of study and practice.
11. Beginners and amateurs habitually stand too far from the primary object/subject of their photos. They almost seem afraid to move closer, as if they are invading someone’s space. Again, this bad habit is quickly broken if every time you are ready to take a picture, you take one or more steps closer until your object/subject fills most of the frame.
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