9 mistakes photographers make
1. Scared of Manual- Its very easy to set your camera to the presets (landscape, portrait, sports, etc) & forget about manual, but the truth is that your photography will not get to a really amazing level until you are comfortable with manual. So I urge you- start practicing with the manual setting! Learn it & your photography will improve triplefold!
2. Photo sharing sites for critiques- There is nothing wrong with sharing photos- in fact, I strongly encourage it. I highly recommend getting your images out into the internet by any means necessary. My issue with photo sharing sites is everyone who becomes your friend usually doesn’t want critique you & only leaves “great photo, loved this one!” type comments. Photo sites that bind together to help you with users who leave constructive comments will help you improve your photography. People saying “great photo” won’t help you.
3. Being closed minded- This directly follows #2. You should have the mind frame that anyone can teach you something & that your photography always needs improvement. Never feel you are too good to learn from someone- regardless of their skill level. Don’t let your ego get in the way of improving.
4. Practice- I consider photography like sports- you NEED to practice to get better. For some reason, people think that photographers are “born” with some super natural artistic side & that they don’t need to practice. That’s untrue. While some may be more artistically inclined to take better photos, you refine your craft by practicing.
5. Photo programs- I think these are an absolute necessity to make your images pop. You don’t necessarily have to master every design aspect of Photoshop, but know enough to improve your photography. Lightroom is a must for people who shoot a lot, imo.
6. Too much editing- There is a flip side to #5. Too much editing. When a picture looks like it has been photoshopped, that’s a bad job at photoshopping. Remember- photoshop won’t save a bad photo, so don’t even try. Learn to take the photo correctly from the start & use Photoshop/Lightroom to improve your photo.
7. The Left Hemisphere shooters- What astounds me when you talk photography with people is the left hemisphered shooters (the majority). They want to talk shutter speed, ISO, WB, aperture- never once mentioning composition. Do painters only talk about colors & the canvas? Photography is an art. The most perfectly captured shot with the most realistic colors will mean nothing if it doesn’t have amazing composition. So don’t focus on the mechanics so much- you’re fellow photographer probably won’t care. Focus more on composition. Composition is what makes people drop their coffees. And a coffee splattered all over the floor after someone views your image is what you want.
8. Limiting yourself to 1 lens- I can’t stress this enough. There are many options out there for lenses & they all bring a wonderful eye into your photography, so experiment. & each lens will yield different results based on what sort of lens you like, so I recommend renting a lens you are interested in from a camera shop & see if its “your style” of photography. I fell in love with a wide-angle lens about 5 years ago & did that exact same thing. But not everyone will like a wide-angle, so be sure you know you are getting before you spent a lot of money.
9. Not promoting themselves- I wrote a post a little while ago about “How to promote yourself as a photographer”. You can read that here. Having an expensive camera & telling people you shoot photography will get you a lot of friends who want you to shoot for free, which is great if that’s what you are after. But to get paid- you have to put forth the effort. You get what you put into it.