Have you decided to take up photography as a new hobby recently? If you have and are still in that infancy stage, everything can seem very exciting but also maybe a little daunting. There is so much to learn, understand and remember. The important thing to remember is not to worry. Like any new hobby, the more you practice the better you become. To help you on your way, here are 5 photography mistakes to avoid when you are starting out.
Not learning the theory
Photography is one of those hobbies that you can improve in, the more you practice. But it still does pay to try and learn some of the theory elements as well. You don’t need to understand every intricate detail of the science behind cameras or photography. Buy a little bit of knowledge can help you understand what the capabilities of cameras are. This, in turn, can help you make the right choice when taking photos. So don’t skip the theory. Make sure you watch videos and read some articles to have a basic understanding.
Read your camera manual
One of the best sources of information for any new photographer is your camera manual. It has tons of useful information. It’s not just one all the different dials and buttons on your camera, but some basic general photography tips and advice. You will be able to have a good basic grasp of photography if you read your camera manual cover to cover a few times. Keep your camera at hand to practice while you are reading the manual. You may just discover you have learned some things you didn’t know.
Stop worrying about your gear
One of the most common phrases that I have heard over the years from photographers is: “If I just had a better camera, I’d be able to take better photos”. If by better photos they mean that the quality would be better, in other words, pixel resolution, then yeah, sure. But even the best camera is not going to help with your composition. Or make you spot an interesting new angle for a shot. Your camera and the accessories you have are tools only. It’s what is behind the camera that really matters. So worry less about your photography equipment and instead focus on improving your skills.
Try to copy other people
It’s natural that you should be inspired by other people’s work. In whatever discipline you look at, getting inspiration from others is a great way to enhance your own work. But there is a big difference between being inspired by someone’s work and trying to copy them. So stop comparing your work to others and don’t get caught up in the social media hype. Instead, find photographers whose work you admire and try to use them as inspiration on your own take on things.
Shoot what you love
If you like taking photos of flowers or insects only, then do just that. If you like to capture the grittier side of life, then focus your attention on that. Stop trying to please other people by capturing photos that you think they might like. If you focus on what you love, you will be far more likely to improve your work, because that is what you love and interests you.
These are just some of the common photography mistakes to avoid when you are starting out. Like starting anything new, you may make mistakes at the beginning and that’s OK. Try to learn from them to ensure you don’t make the same mistakes again. But if you can avoid making these mistakes from the start, then you will be on your way to becoming a better photographer.
YouTube – Why not take this opportunity to check out our brand new YouTube channel for tips, advice and some inspiration.
Instagram – Check out our photos on Instagram
Facebook – Join our Facebook group and share your photos and chat with other beginner photographers.
Even though we may not be able to travel right now, we are already planning our trips for 2020. Check out our workshops or photography holidays to see where you may want to visit with us in the future.
Kav Dadfar is a writer and travel photographer who has written over 400 articles on photography. He is also a judge on the Wanderlust Travel Photography of the Year competition and a speaker at camera clubs and events. He has years of experience shooting assignments with his images having been used by some of the biggest brands in the world.
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