The 5 most common photography mistakes to avoid

Let’s chat about the 5 most common photography mistakes and how you can avoid them.

Do you feel overwhelmed with photography but want beautiful, professional photos?! Whether you have a professional DSLR or an iPhone, there are some common mistakes that many people make when it comes to taking a photo.

I get it, there are so many different buttons and settings. The three important photography elements to remember are the ISO, shutter speed, and aperture which I’ll break down for you.

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Here are 5 common photography mistakes to avoid:

1. Using Zoom

Zoom is not your friend. This is one of the most common mistakes I see where the photographer is not standing close enough to the subject. Therefore, they’ll zoom in so that the subject is closer in view. To fix this, get closer and centre the subject.

Another problem is always having to crop the photos when you’re editing because there is too much background. Be mindful of what is in the background of your subject. Ask yourself is it adding or taking away from your photo.

2. Using flash

The flash that pops up on your camera is also not a good thing to use. It will create flat, dull photos. There is a time and place for flash, but I am personally not a fan of it. Especially if you’re a beginner photographer.

3. Lighting + Exposure

Finding the right time of day to shoot is essential. It also differs with the time of year, whether it’s spring or summer.

You want to use natural light as much as possible and should shoot with the light (light should be behind lens) not against the light. If you’re shooting outside, avoid direct sunlight. If you’re shooting indoors, turn off the lights.

You want to become familiar and comfortable with your camera’s settings. This is where the ISO comes into play. The higher the ISO, the more light your camera will pull in and therefore create a brighter exposure. A lower ISO setting darkens the exposure. The one thing to be careful is the higher the ISO is, the more “noise” there is which can make your photos appear grainy.

4. Focus

Nothing is worse than when you take a great photo but when you upload it later you see that the subject is out of focus or blurry. You want to centre your subject and shoot with the rule of thirds. This helps keep everything straight and the subject in middle. If you have shaky hands, using a tripod really helps.

In terms of the subject, you’ll see a lot of the blurry background photos that people tend to love. That plays into the aperture otherwise known as f/stop. A lower f/stop creates a blurrier background while a higher f/stop creates an all around in focus photo. It helps to use your camera on the manual setting as opposed to auto focus so you have control of this.

5. Not having a plan

You don’t want to show up to a photo shoot and not have any idea of what type of images you want to produce. Scout out the location, what props do you need, what are the shot types. You also don’t want to miss a photo due to not being ready.

If you’re at the shoot and you’re unprepared and missing key shots, that’s not good. This is where the shutter speed can also come into play. The shutter speed is how long the camera’s shutter stays open when you’re taking the photo. If you’re taking a photo of something that is moving quickly that you want to capture, you’ll want a faster shutter speed because it’ll freeze the subject. If the shutter speed is slower, it’ll blur the photo which is great for something like landscape photography.

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There we have it! Are you guilty of making any of these mistakes? Remember, you don’t have to be the master at every type of photography out there. The key to photography is practice!

Get out there and shoot as much as you can.

And remember the three important pillars (ISO, aperture, and shutter speed) and you’ll be good to go.

Happy shooting!

-Jenna xoxo

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