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The Top Ten Mistakes New Photographers Make and How to Avoid Them

beginners tips top ten Sep 07, 2023

So you've got your hands on a new camera, you're excited to capture the world around you, and you can't wait to see your name in bright lights—or at least in an Instagram caption. But before you go shutter-happy, let's talk about the common pitfalls that many new photographers face.


1. Overcomplicating the Settings


Just because your camera has a million features doesn't mean you need to use them all at once. Start with the basics like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Master those first and then experiment with other settings. Remember, the best tool you have is your eye.


2. Neglecting Composition


Great shots are more about how you frame your subject than what camera you use. Rule of thirds, leading lines, symmetry—these are your best friends. Ignore them, and even the most intriguing subjects can look uninteresting.


3. Ignoring Light


Photography is essentially capturing light. Whether it's natural or artificial, understanding how light affects your photographs is crucial. Too many beginners shoot in harsh light and wonder why their photos look washed out.


4. Using Flash Inappropriately


Flash can either be your savior or your worst enemy. Use it to fill in shadows, not to create them. A common mistake is using flash too closely, causing overexposure.


5. Inconsistent Editing


Finding your style is a journey, but wildly different editing techniques for each photo can make your portfolio look disjointed. Try to maintain some consistency, especially if you're sharing your work on a platform like Instagram.


6. Not Backing Up Photos


Imagine capturing your perfect shot and then losing it due to a corrupt SD card or a hard drive failure. Always have multiple backups. Trust us, it's easier than trying to recreate that 'once in a lifetime' shot.


7. Overlooking the Importance of Post-Processing


Even the best shots often need a touch-up. Software like Lightroom and Photoshop can elevate your photos from good to great. Just don’t go overboard; the aim is enhancement, not alteration.


8. Not Reviewing and Critiquing Own Work


Learning is an ongoing process. Make it a habit to review your shots, identify your mistakes, and learn from them. If you can, get feedback from more experienced photographers. Our Master Your Photography community is great for this!


9. Fearing Experimentation


Photography is an art, and art thrives on experimentation. Don’t be afraid to break some rules once you know them. Limiting yourself to one style or type of photography can hinder your growth.


10. Not Investing in Education


Photography isn’t just about having the latest gear. Learning the craft from experienced professionals can make a significant difference in your journey.


(Forgive our not so subtle hint here: Check out our courses or consider joining our MYP community for regular expert advice and constructive critiques. Sign up for our FREE weekly tips and techniques email)


In the world of photography, avoiding these mistakes will save you time, frustration, and most importantly, missed shots.



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