photography mistakes

5 Photography Mistakes to Avoid

Whether you are completely new to the world of photography, or if you are just working on taking your skills to the next level, there is so much to learn about this art form and certain photography mistakes you HAVE to avoid. While there are countless guides, articles, videos and classes about all of the things that you should be doing. However, it is just as important to be aware of the things you shouldn’t be doing as well.

Having a clear view of the most common photography mistakes out there will only help you as you build you skill as a photographer. The more you know about these common pitfalls, the easier it will be for you to avoid them as you continue on your path forward to becoming the best photographer possible.

  • Blurry Images From Slow Shutter Speed

If you have been shooting with a slow shutter speed and noticed your images are turning out a little blurry—there is a reason, and it is one that many photographers make. There are many books and guides that will tell you that shooting in aperture priority with handheld shots is a great place to start.

This is true.

However, if you set your aperture too small, you are going to need a slow shutter speed to balance it out (let’s not forget about our exposure triangle). However, these slow shutter speeds are difficult and they can pick up blur in your images if you move your hand even the slightest bit.

Instead of doing this, choose an aperture that is large enough for a slightly faster shutter speed that won’t pick up as much shake. Camera shake happens even to seasoned photographers, but as you work on it, consider using a tripod and shooting less hand held photos or pushing up the shutter speed, it will help you get those crystal clear images you have been looking for.

Trinity Atomic Site

The dawn of the atomic era.

  • Staying Far, Far Away

This may seem like a strange addition to the list, but it is a little quirk that a lot of new photographers have and it is hard one to notice. However, the good news is, it is an easy quirk to break: this is staying too far away from your subject.

If you aren’t getting close enough to the subject, it is going to impact the quality of your images. Instead of zooming in, which may end up impacting the quality of your photo—just physically get closer to your subject. Don’t feel strange getting close—get in there and position yourself where you need to be to create a beautiful photo.

While you do this, make sure that you keep your technical photo aspects in mind and pay close attention to your composition—these are the things you should really be worried about, not staying an appropriately far distance away.

Kuang Si Falls Waterfall Photography

These falls in Laos had the best of all words: Perfect composition, light and color. Shooting with a wide angle lens came in clutch.

  • Shooting Everything From the Same Height

It is really common (and really easy) to shoot things as you see them. After all, isn’t that what the art of photography is all about? However, you need to do your best to stop shooting everything from the same height all of the time (and by height we mean your own eye level).

You can gain some artistic interest and a unique final photo when you start playing around with your camera height level. Stop shooting everything at your eye level—trust me.

Go up high and shoot down on things. Lay on the ground and shoot up. Get a big close up. Play around with your view and your position—you might be surprised by what you come up with.

Remember, not everyone always sees the world in the same way you do. Make sure you adapt this life philosophy to your photography philosophy and encourage yourself to get creative with your perspective.

photography prism


  • Failing to Know Your Camera

If you are going to invest money into a good camera—you need to invest your time into getting to know that camera as well. You should know all of the buttons and settings in your camera like the back of your hand, so you can adjust on-the-go.

This is what differentiates a beginner with a more advanced photographer.

You typically don’t have time to capture the perfect shot when it comes your way if you are googling how to adjust your Iso. You should know how to do this in an instant. And while reading manuals and watching YouTube videos is a great place to start, there is no better way to get to know your camera than to get out there and practice.

The more you practice and play around with your camera, the more natural these buttons and settings will become. As you practice in this way, don’t worry so much about the final result of your photo, instead worry about getting in the hours of practice.

arches national park photography

Photo Courtsey of:

  • Not Getting the “Light Thing”

If you talk to any professional photographer, chances are you are going to hear them talk about lighting, lighting, lighting nonstop. And lighting is so important.

If you don’t understand the whole “lighting thing” then you have a lot to learn. Lighting makes all of the difference in a photo, so you need to know how to use it to your advantage.

You also know when the right time to shoot things is so that you can work with natural light. If you play around with shooting the same image (say a tree) at different times of day, you will notice that tree looks more beautiful at sunrise and sunset with soft, glowing natural light than it does in the middle of the day with harsh, bright light and shadows.

Don’t underestimate the power of light—it can be your best friend.

If you have found yourself falling victim to these mistakes in the past. There is no need to worry—they are quite common and on this list for a reason. The best thing you can do is to keep them in your sight moving forward and make sure that you don’t commit these mistakes again as you continue to explore your photography skills. 

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