We’ve all been there before when starting a career in photography, making more mistakes than we thought were even possible. Some beginners however, purchase their camera and automatically assume that it will be easy work from there on in. They soon find out though, that the industry isn’t quite as forgiving. What’s more, many of these mistakes repeat themselves such that they become common within the industry. We take a look at the common mistakes beginner photographers make.
Overemphasising the Importance of Gear
Beginners often place their blame on the gear they are using. First thing off the bat, new photographers should dismiss this line of thought, as there’s simply little merit associated with it. A photographer’s time is better spent focusing on how they can convey their message through the equipment available to them. Something which is achievable with even the most basic of equipment.
Relying on Automatic Mode
Sure, relying on automatic mode can make your life simpler as a photographer, however you’re doing yourself and potentially your clients a disservice by not experimenting with different settings. Not only can you achieve different artistic effects and styles, but you’ll develop your capabilities and versatility in the process.
The best line of approach is to avoid using automatic in the first place. Jump straight in the deep end and experiment yourself with settings. After all, you can read your own mind and vision – something a camera can’t quite replicate. Of course, you may want to program some of your settings for certain conditions, for the sake of efficiency – but do make sure to review settings such as lighting, focus, etc. before you begin work. In particular, consider these with respect to the context you’re shooting in – for example, don’t ignore natural light sources.
Not Shooting in Different Formats
This isn’t about turning the discussion into a JPEG vs RAW conversation. Not only has that debate been done to death, but it’s fair to say that some applications may favour the use of a particular format. Being able to edit your photos extensively is another element to fulfil your creative vision, something that RAW format facilitates. If you therefore shoot exclusively in JPEG, you’re limiting your ability to achieve different outcomes. On that point, editing shouldn’t be diminished, for its ability to save imperfect photos can amaze even the most seasoned professionals. Keep it restrained though, once you begin to over-process you blur the line between reality and fantasy.
Photos Without Clear Focal Points
At times, beginner photographers try to incorporate an abundance of visual cues into the one photo. Rather than having a particular clear focal point, the photo focuses on a broader environment or context. Not only does this potentially confuse viewers, but it dilutes the impact of the photo and any accompanying message. Take the time to think about the structure of the shot and nail the composition. One can take it too far in the opposite direction however, so it’s important to find that right balance.
Last but certainly not least, make sure to regularly back up your work!!