Becoming a better photographer doesn’t happen overnight! It’s something that takes time and lots of practice! Today I’m here to share with you 10 things not to do. Kelli and I created this list based on mistakes we first made when we first started photographing. These are 10 common mistakes that you don’t want to make. Enjoy!
1. Use Auto Flash ALL The Time Oh no no no no. This is a common mistake that is so easy to fix! Just turn off your automatic flash. See how in the above examples the auto flash makes the photo look flat and washed out, don’t let this happen to your photos! Natural light is lovely, so take advantage of it!
2. Ignore Your Color Story and Composition How many times have you seen a photo with a super distracting background? The above example is a little extreme, but always be sure to choose backgrounds that compliment the people or objects in your photos! Choose a color that makes your color story stronger, not more busy.
3. Plan To Crop Everything Later Kelli told me over and over that she never has to crop a photo in photoshop because she always composes photos exactly how she wants them through the viewfinder. I love this challenge! When you compose a photo how you want it, you will get the best point of focus and a stronger image than if you crop everything later.
4. Pose In Direct Sunlight This is something you should never do, if you can avoid it! Unless, of course you want a photo that looks something like this…
Wow! So unflattering. Now, There are ways to make sunlight work for you but this is most definitely not it! Direct sunlight has ruined many pretty photos, so don’t let it ruin yours! Read more in our articles about tips for outdoor photography and working with backlight and sun flare.
5. Ignore The Details… They’re Not Important It’s easy to forget to snap photos of little details in our day to day lives. Below is a collage of some of my favorite small moments over the past few years. Don’t ignore the details! Be intentional about capturing them on camera. They might just turn out to be some of your favorite memories.
6. Copy Someone Else….Exactly A lot of young photographers make the mistake of being “too inspired” by another photographer. Sometimes people don’t even mean to “copy” but it doesn’t make it ok. Copying someone you admire is awkward for you and for them… it’s just no good. It’s ok to be inspired by other people, but don’t use their exact ideas and compositions! Create something fresh and beautiful that you can be proud to call your own.
7. Post Every Photo You Took Today Have you ever seen someone upload every single photo from their holiday on Facebook? It kinda feels like they didn’t take the time to go through and pick the best ones. Don’t do this. Posting too many repeat photos takes attention away from your best photos. Take the time to choose your favorite photos before you hit the upload button!
8. Take Photos Exclusively At Night I used to be one of those people who took ALL my DIY photos at night because I just didn’t have time to do it during the day. See the above example for what a huge difference some natural light can make. Both photos were taken without the flash on auto settings. There will, of course, always be instances where night photos are necessary- like a party or event. These days, if I have a choice I will ALWAYS take my blog photos during the daylight. Even if it means I have to wake up an hour earlier or rearrange my schedule it’s very worth it!
9. Stick With What You Know Don’t forget to branch out. As a photographer I always go through phases where I learn a new skill and then use it a whole lot. Sometimes I get in a rut where I don’t try new things for a long time. I think it’s important to never stop learning. I do better work when I’m actively learning new things and challenging myself. What about you?
10. Post Your Photos To Facebook & Never Look Back One of the saddest things about living in the digital age is that many people no longer print out their memories! For the first few years of my dating relationship with Jeremy I made this very mistake. I realized that I was posting photos online, but not doing anything else with them. Since we’ve been married I’ve been making an effort to print photos out, order albums and frame photos in our home. I love this habit. It’s healthy and makes me more thankful for each and every memory when I see the photos. If you’re not in the habit of printing photos, order some today! I promise you’ll be happy you did.
Thanks for reading! I’ve had so much fun teaching photography lately! Thank you for all your kind comments. It’s fun to hear that some of you are super excited about photographing your life too!