There’s a fine line between mistakes and bad habits. And we as photographers are guilty of having some bad habits we may not be aware of. Photographer Peter McKinnon has put together this list of six bad habits common to photographers:
1. Refusing to Shoot in Less Than Ideal Conditions
Near perfect conditions like a beautiful sunset, sunrise, or a beautiful landscape make your work pretty convenient. It’s relatively easy to get good looking images under such circumstances. This is why some of you may be hesitant to shoot if the conditions are less than ideal.
“Good photographers know their stuff and can shoot in any condition.”
If you aspire to become a good photographer, you must work out an understanding of how to produce results at any time of the day, irrespective of the conditions.
2. Not Shooting Enough Photos
Don’t shy away from taking lots of photos. You may feel that taking a couple of photos of your subject may cut it, but it’s good practice to shoot lots of variations of the same image.
“Maybe they (the client) like their face in the thirteenth photo versus the fourth photo.”
Having your camera in continuous shooting mode comes in handy when you need variations. However, you don’t want to come back from a shoot with thousands of images, do you? So, it’s also necessary to find the sweet spot with just the right amount and variations.
3. Deleting In-Camera
Almost everyone is guilty of this having this bad habit at some point in time. Deleting an image in-camera just because it doesn’t look good on that tiny LCD screen is, in fact, a poor decision.
“That LCD screen is just not a good representation of what that photo could or would or does look like once you get it on a big screen.”
Instead, get back home and make the decision to keep or get rid of that image only after looking at it on a bigger monitor.
4. Referencing the LCD Screen Too Much
McKinnon gives a really interesting example to explain why referencing the LCD screen too much is a bad idea. Looking at the LCD screen after every shot is like a live band playing through a song and stopping to ask if it sounded good after every verse.
Once you have your camera set up for the shoot, dedicate yourself to just photographing. There’s no need to chimp continuously, but it is essential that you stay in the zone so as not to miss anything important that might happen. If it’s a still subject or models that you’re photographing, try out varied angles and poses. Just keep the flow going instead of breaking it by referencing to the LCD screen too much.
5. Not Offloading Your Memory Card Immediately After a Shoot
Think of this as a part of your workflow. As soon as you get back to your studio or home after a shoot, make a habit of offloading the images onto your hard drive or your computer. Chances are that you might forget about it, and later you’ll have multiple sessions on the same card. Worst case scenario, you might even forget about it and format the card.
6. Assuming You Have All Your Gear in Your Backpack
You arrive on-location for your shoot and you don’t have your battery or memory card or even lens with you. Simply assuming that the gear should’ve been in your camera bag is an accident waiting to happen.
While it’s easy for us to forget the smaller gear like batteries, filters, and memory cards, you might even forget to carry your camera body or lens with you if you’re not careful. Imagine how embarrassing it would be in front of your clients!
“It takes 10 seconds. Zip the bag open, check if you have all the gear that you’ll need for the day, and you’re done.”
Are you guilty of any of these bad habits?
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