This year was my very first time in photography and for one thing, I can be totally sure – I made so many mistakes!
So many, that I decided to make a list and share with you the three most common mistakes that you can avoid as a beginner photographer. Things that if I just paid more attention, I would be learning faster and I would be faster which means potentially earning more business opportunities.
#1 Beginner’s Mistake: My gear isn’t good enough at all
You are not going to hear from me cliché quotes like “believe in yourself and not in your camera specs” or “you can make it, no matter your camera gear is” and stuff like that.
I am going to tell you that worrying about your camera capabilities is totally fine. Especially when you are starting photography, you are learning and acquiring knowledge and its absolutely reasonable to think about what you can achieve more with a better camera or a greater lens.
When I bought my first DSLR camera, the Nikon D3500 I was over the moon with it. As time went by, I invested so much time to learn and see how a camera functions and I was finally able to understand my current gear capabilities or limitations :-).
Meantime, I seemed to get asked the same questions again and again by other photographers. They asked me what body I was using and what lenses I had. When I told them, I had a low budget Nikon D3500 I often got a polite but supercilious smile or a quick lecture about how I should change to a full frame camera, because APS-C sensors were cheap and for amateurs and stuff like that.
I’m sure that there are dozens of people out there giving you equally negative opinions about your equipment and suggesting greater and more expensive equipment upgrades, BUT are you sure that you are in need of all these? Have you already taken advantage of your existing gear capabilities?
In-person, I am still getting worried if my camera equipment is good enough to carry through with a project. Most recently, I decided to upgrade my camera because I was having exactly the same feelings about my gear capabilities EXCEPT that I had already clear goals and thorough expectations regarding my needs. I was looking for a perfect intermediate hybrid camera with good low light capabilities and a great autofocus system. Now, I am using a full-frame camera, the Sony A7 III with the Tamron 18-55 2.8.
BUT, did I make a mistake here or not?
I think I didn’t! But it’s something that can be easily misunderstood and lead to the most common mistake ever – buying stuff that you are not really in need of and not taking the real value from them.
Honestly, it never ends, does it? No matter what you own, or what you use, or what you’ve invested your money in, you can never win. BUT you can always be more skeptical and practical in terms of what you really need.
#2 Beginner’s Mistake: Too much editing can make photos look over-processed
Editing is an essential part of photography. Some photos need a little more care in editing than others and of course, making an artistic photo by modifying adjustments to extremes is anyone’s choice. However, there are times when too much editing can make it look over-processed.
Bad editing can quickly turn a gorgeous photograph into garbage. And with editing programs offering countless tools at our fingertips, it’s easy to go a little nuts.
Especially, when you are making your first steps into photo editing, it’s very easy to get lost with all of these amazing elements like color grading, calibration, presets and other special effects.
Believe me, Ι often fall prey to over-processed images and I usually understand it at the end, when the adjustments I’ve made are starting to distract from the image itself.
Think about it! If people are looking at your photo, and the first thing they notice is the post-processing, well, that’s kind of a failure.
I believe that every photo has a story to tell to viewers, and most of the times, stories unfold in a different way for each people.
As photographers, it’s in our hands to create that path that leads to a unique story end. And this can be easier achieved if you don’t create additional distractions with over-editing.
Something that helps me stay focused with my editing process, is that I take some time, in the beginning, to recognize the situation, understand the possible problems (low light, overexposed, etc), and then I think about what things I want to highlight or conceal. Try it, you never know! It may help!
And if it doesn’t work, I have an alternative! You can alwas send your edit to a trustworthy friend and ask for an opinion! It works too!
#3 Beginner’s Mistake: Not understanding the basics
As human beings learn to crawl before even walk, photography isn’t very different. One of the most common mistakes beginner photographers make is not understanding the basics.
Photography basics are like the ABC alphabet. Consider them as a solid foundation to build upon. If you don’t understand how camera’s functions like shutter speed, aperture, and ISO work, then I recommend immediately find some time to learn and practice again.
Reading the manual is your best bet in familiarizing yourself with your camera. You can also tinker around with all the buttons and settings to see what each can do.
But I’m sure that there are so many resources out there that can easily help you master the basics. Just don’t be lazy to search for these!
When it comes to learning new things, people can often get discouraged with their progress, but it’s important to realize that learning skills can take time – and that’s ok! The most important thing is that you stick with it, and keep progressing towards your goals.
Remember! Great photos are made with a combination of soft skills like creativity, imagination, the ability to communicate with clients but also hard skills like the technical ones that come from being able to use your gear creatively, know how to find or create light and post processing. (effects with icons in these two hands)
Don’t let it get you down or stress you out because it’s all part of the process you need to go through to learn photography.
Your attitude towards the photography errors you inevitably make is the most important factor. It will either propel you to become a better, more creative photographer. Or it will drag you down. Remaining positive and analyzing your mistakes they will help you grow and improve you as a beginner photographer.
That’s all I had to say for now! If you like this, please don’t forget to subscribe to my channel. It really helps me a lot!
Till the next time, get busy creating and start learning!