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10 Mistakes that will Make You a Better Photographer

August 21, 2014 6:46 pm

10 mistakes that will make you a better photographer - picture of man taking a photo with a nice camera

Image Credit: naixn

We all make mistakes, and photography is no different! Whether you’re just starting out on the path to learn photography, or you’re a seasoned shooter looking for new ways to improve your work, mistakes are necessary for improvement. Here are ten common mistakes that you might be making as a photographer, and how they can help to make you into a better photographer.

Mistake #1 – You’re taking way too many photos.

When you have a new camera or shiny lens on your hands, or you’ve discovered a great new location to shoot, sometimes you might start pressing the shutter a little too often for your good. When you get home, there are hundreds of photos to edit through, duplicate shots to eliminate, and some photos that are honestly just not your best work. But it’s okay! Taking too many photos is usually a sign that you’re enthusiastic about what you’re doing, so all you have to do is focus that enthusiasm to reap the benefits. Whenever you catch yourself taking too many photos, just slow down and focus on the scene at hand so you can plan the shot you want before you press the shutter.

Mistake #2 – You’re not taking enough photos.

If you went on a shoot and returned with only a few photos to show for it, you might be suffering from the opposite of Mistake #1- boredom. Boredom usually means you’ve already mastered what you were working on, so take it as a sign to tackle a new aspect of photography. Find the inspiration you need, and create some new creative ideas or technical challenges to work on!

Mistake #3 – You’re worried that you’ll never be able to learn it all.

Good, because you won’t be! One of the best things about photography is that like art in general; there’s always something new to learn. So take it in stride and keep on learning!

Mistake #4 – You’re working with equipment that’s “not good enough.”

Blaming your equipment means you’ve fallen victim to a very common photographer’s ailment: gear envy. Just try to remember that the results of photography are up to the photographer, not the camera. Work on the artistic aspect of photography and use technical knowledge to make the most of the equipment you have.

Mistake #5 – You’re focusing on just one aspect of photography.

Photography is made up of primarily two elements: creativity and technical skills. Focusing on improving your technical skills is not a bad thing, and neither is focusing on the artistic side of photography. As long as you make sure that you don’t get caught up in one single part of learning photography for too long, focusing on one thing at a time can greatly improve your photography! Just remember to keep learning both sides of photography to balance your skills.

Mistake #6 – You’re taking photos that all look the same.

Have all of your recent photos been composed, exposed, or edited in the same way? This is a big part of developing your own style. It’s okay to take a lot of similar photos to master a certain technique or achieve a certain result. But, if you feel like you might be stuck in a rut, find some new techniques to challenge yourself with so you can continue improving your skills and expand your style.

Mistake #7 – You’re unorganized.

One of the most common mistakes that photographers make is being unorganized, and the sooner you realize the need for organization, the better! Develop a system for handling everything, from gear checklists to photo tagging and filing strategies.

Mistake #8 – You want to share every photo with everyone.

It’s great to want to share all of your photos because that shows that you’re enthusiastic about your photography! But instead of sending every photo to everyone, try to single out a few of your best, and maybe send them to a few a local magazines or websites that you think might appreciate the content!

Mistake #9 – You keep comparing yourself to other photographers.

There will always be another photographer who has a better photo than you, but doesn’t let it get you down! Study the work of photographers you love, and use what you learn to improve your photography!

Mistake #10 – You’re trying to do it all.

Newborn photos today, pets tomorrow, landscapes this weekend, and family portraits in between… sounds a little overwhelming, doesn’t it? Instead of trying to tackle everything at once, try to study one subject at a time and see what a difference it makes!
Now that you’ve learned a little more about photography mistakes and how they can help improve your skills as a photographer get out there are start making some mistakes of your own and see what you can learn!