with Courtney Slazinik
5 Reasons You Should Stop Overshooting
5 Reasons You Should Stop Overshooting

You might be reading the title of this post and think I’m totally out of my mind, but trust me when I tell you that shooting less will change you and your photography.

I originally learned how to shoot on film and film can be hard on the pocket book. The rolls are expensive and developing them is even worse. I learned to be patient and wait for the shot because there was nothing worse than spending all my money to develop an entire roll of basically the same image.

I really need to stop overshooting and I her reasons are giving me a big push in that direction. Plus, I love her tips on how to be more intentional. Read - "5 Reasons to Stop Overshooting"

When I bought my first DSLR, I started slipping and began to overshoot because… I could. It didn’t cost me anything extra except for my time. Then I suddenly didn’t have enough hours in the day for everything between two kids, my husband and a business. I had to reevaluate my approach after I got sick of culling through hundreds of images to get a handful of keepers.

Here are five reasons to stop overshooting today:

  • No.

    If you’re constantly behind the camera, you won’t be able to fully enjoy the experience. For example, we recently went to Disney World and I took 54 shots and kept 40. From start to finish, it took about 10 minutes to cull and edit, but the most important thing was that I wasn’t behind my camera all day. I was enjoying the Disney World experience with my family.

    When you start focusing on the foundation, the rest comes naturally. Focus on the fun first.


    Read more – 5 Secrets to Making Photography Fun

  • No.
    It Will Shift Your Outlook

    Whenever my husband and I can tell that the other is getting frazzled over something silly we like to say, “It’s all about expectation management.” Of course we want our children to be tidy, the laundry to be put away and home cooked meals daily, but we know that it won’t always happen and that’s okay.

    Expectations of yourself and those you’re shooting should be about the experience if you’re just shooting for fun. If I’m working with my children I always remind myself to get one shot for me, one shot for them and one candid. If I get more, I’m ecstatic. If I don’t, then so be it.

    When I stopped putting pressure on them to help give me the shot I envisioned, I started getting those shots more frequently. It’s funny how that happens.


  • No.
    Improve Your Skill

    If you limit how many shots you can take, you’re far more likely to make sure those shots are perfect before you take them. When I stopped taking “test shots”, I started noticing that I was a lot more intentional about making sure my settings were accurate to begin with.

    One simple way you can push yourself is by setting limits with your personal projects. For example, try taking only one image per day for your 365 project instead of a handful and picking the best.

    If you still find yourself overshooting, try using a really tiny memory card (think MB not GB) while still shooting in RAW.


  • No.
    Increase Creativity

    There is something almost mindless about continuing to press the shutter when it’s practically the same image. I understand the desire to “get the shot” and running around to get different angles, but the shot will come if you wait for it.

    Try planning an image before taking the shot. Take in your surroundings, notice the light, envision the framing, composition, etc. Then adjust your settings and wait.


  • No.
    Less time editing

    This goes along with the previous two steps. If you shoot with intention and limit your shots, your images are more likely to be where you want them before you edit. This cuts down culling and editing time significantly.


If you find yourself stuck behind your camera and spending hours culling, try to intentionally shoot less. If all else fails, get a film camera and ask yourself if each frame is worth the cost it takes to develop it.

Once you start harnessing the power of shooting less for your personal work, you can start carrying it over to your business. Shooting with intention will change you and your imagery for the better.

  • Dusan Sebo
    November 12, 2016 at 6:36 AM

    Very, very nice. Thanks for inspiration!

    • November 23, 2016 at 9:55 AM

      I’m so glad you found it helpful!

  • Annie
    November 22, 2016 at 3:53 PM

    Thank you for these awesome tips, Maria!! I definitely over-shoot and will keep these in mind.

    • November 23, 2016 at 10:08 AM

      I think most people do these days. You are not alone!

  • Ruth Rooke
    November 22, 2016 at 4:11 PM

    Great tips, thank you!

    • November 23, 2016 at 10:11 AM

      You are so welcome! I hope you give it a try!

  • Suzy Charto
    November 22, 2016 at 4:45 PM

    I am now cleaning up a lifetime of too many shots. This is great advice

    • November 23, 2016 at 10:09 AM

      I’ve been there! Give it a shot!

  • Susanne
    November 22, 2016 at 4:49 PM

    So lovely tips – AND PHOTOS!!!

    Would you mind telling how exactly you were able to shoot the secong image from the top of the girl with the teddybear (EXIF, meterring mode, focus etc.)? I is really fantastic!

    Also, how did you shoot the second last imageof the hockey players and the light?

    Awesome photos! Thanks for sharing;-)

    Kind regards;-)

    • November 23, 2016 at 10:07 AM

      Thanks Susanne!

      I’m uploading a huge wedding into LR right now, so I’m not 100% sure what my settings were for the image of the girl. This was shot on a 35mm and I typically shoot between f/2.8 and 3.2.

      I spot metered off the stuffed animal. Sun was coming from behind, the tram door at my 10 o’clock and through a small window to the left. I always use single point focus.

      I shot through a chain link fence during golden hour.

  • Debbie
    November 22, 2016 at 6:13 PM

    Great insight thank you, I came to the same conclusion last week after editing 60 pictures for client to pick 5, find it hard to cull, should be easier to take fewer in first place xx

    • November 23, 2016 at 9:56 AM

      I’ve always found that clients end up choosing more when they are less overwhelmed with options. Shooting less will definitely help!

  • Esther
    December 3, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    Im a newbie photographer, and didn’t think that overshooting could be an issue. This post has really opened my eyes. Thank you!

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