5 Common Mistakes to Avoid as a Beginner Photographer

Photography is a wonderful hobby or career that is accessible to almost anyone who is interested. The great thing about photography is that anyone can pick up a camera and start taking pictures, but if you choose to learn more advanced methods there can be a steep learning curve. Then again, there are a few common pitfalls that you may wish to avoid if you’re just getting started.

Gear Everywhere!

With all of the photo equipment available, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the possibilities. Tripods, extra lenses, filters, darkroom gear, timers, lights, reflectors – the list is endless. If you don’t have a solid understanding of what you’re able to do with your camera, you’ll never be able to truly master the use of all of the accessories. Start off small with a basic DSLR camera and only one lens. When you feel like you’ve pushed that as far as you can, then start looking for some fancier gear.

photography gear

“Photography Gear” captured by Mark Sebastian

No Backup Plan

In the beginning, it’s common to miss a lot of great shots. In fact, not only will you miss a lot of great photographs, you’re also going to mess up on photos you were able to take. That’s why you should generally take every picture (that you care about) at least twice or at least closely look at the image on the LCD screen to make sure it turned out. This will help teach you about the subtleties of your camera’s inner workings, as well as provide a bit of safety in knowing you won’t miss the important things. Besides, in the day of digital the cost of shooting thousands of images is no more than shooting only ten.

Built-In Flash

You don’t need it. An automatic flash will, at best, teach you to ignore complex or difficult lighting situations and will, at worst, ruin your images. You should turn your flash off and get used to working with natural light and your camera’s settings so you can further develop your photography skills. You can take pictures without a flash in almost any environment. All you have to do is be a little creative in how you use the light that’s available.

Centered Subjects

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to put your subjects in the exact center of the frame. This can create unnecessary space in your pictures and make them less interesting. Picture the frame or viewfinder of your camera as a cropping tool so you’ll always compose exactly what you want in your picture. Good framing is something that doesn’t take long to learn and will improve your work for a lifetime.

photography composition

“Dog & Beach” captured by Ratioshoot (Click image to see more from Ratioshoot.)

Point and Shoot

Simple point-and-shoot cameras with giant LCD screens on the back are certainly tempting, but if you’re hoping to learn about the art of photography and to challenge yourself to improve, you’re probably not going to get anything out of one. Many beginners pick these cameras due to their convenience and affordability, which is absolutely fine if you’re only intending to use it for non-professional or artistic purposes. If you want to understand photographs and the ways in which you can create them, you need to start with the right tool for the job.

Overall, these five mistakes are easy to avoid and won’t cause you much harm if you happen to stumble into one now and again. When learning photography, it’s important to establish good habits and skills early on so you can continue to build upon a solid base of knowledge going forward. By regularly taking pictures and avoiding these common pitfalls, you’ll be taking great quality pictures in no time that you’ll be happy to share with others.

About the Author:
Autumn Lockwood is a writer for Your Picture Frames and loves taking pictures. Your Picture Frames makes it easy for you to find just the perfect frame for your photo or artwork.

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One response to “5 Common Mistakes to Avoid as a Beginner Photographer”

  1. Peter Menard says:

    I find it interesting that you would include ‘Point & Shoot’ among the mistakes listed. I would recommend a beginner start with perhaps a more sophisticated P&S that allows the basic controls & master some basic technique of the compositional sort first. It might be better than shelling out four figures that sits in a closet. As for ‘non-professional or artistic purposes’ isn’t that what over 90% of people use their cameras for?

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