Photographers vigilantly and earnestly learn how to see, compose, shoot and edit yet we continue to make rookie mistakes.
We know better but we don’t always do better.
Sometimes we still mix colors and whites, lock ourselves out of the car, cut our own hair, share too much on Facebook or take a picture looking straight up someone’s nose. It happens to the best and worst of us. Rest assured, we all fall prey to these common mistakes despite knowing that we shouldn’t.
The following blunders are as easy to make as they are to fix. At least we’re in good company.
Mistake: We take pictures without a clear subject.
Fix: We identify the subject and compose the frame around it.
Mistake: We take pictures with background distractions like lamps and trees growing out of people’s heads.
Fix: We move ourselves or the subject.
Alternate Fix: We clone it out in Photoshop or Lightroom.
Mistake: We take pictures of people doing the unflattering things that people do.
Fix: Be patient and wait for them to swallow or wipe their face.
Mistake: We don’t nail the best perspective right off the bat.
Fix: Keep shooting and moving until we find the sweet spot.
Mistake: We take pictures with crooked horizons.
Fix: Turn on the grid in your camera and/or embrace the straighten tool in Photoshop.
Mistake: We hear that speedlights are better than our awful pop-up flash, so we buy one. Then we point it right at our subject, like a pop-up flash, and get awful deer-in-the-headlights images.
Fix: Point that thing away! Bouncing flash off of walls, doors, even windows can make interesting, directional light.
Mistake: We convert to black and white to avoid a tricky color edit.
Fix: Embrace on or off camera lighting. Or reserve the right to keep converting!
Mistake: We get caught up in the moment and forget to see the light.
Fix: See the moment AND the light.
Mistake: We shove the camera in people’s faces before they’re good and ready.
Fix: Tell a poop joke.
We know we should floss daily, read nightly and exercise around the clock. Fortunately, we aren’t perfect. It’d be an awfully boring world if we were. Professional and amateur photographers alike are not immune to these common mistakes. No accolade or title can shield us from being imperfect. As long as we don’t allow these mistakes to define us, we’re good. Keep on taking the pictures no one should take so that you also take the phenomenal pictures that no one but you COULD take.