We all make mistakes when we start learning anything. Mistakes are good because when we learn how to correct them then we can see progress in our work. What’s funny is we don’t even know they are mistakes until we learn what we are supposed to be doing. What is it that Oprah says “When you know better, you do better”? I have made my fair share of photography mistakes. What’s funny is 9 times out of 10 I didn’t even know it was a mistake! I learned about my mistakes and how to fix them in the many Clickin’ Moms workshops I have taken over the past couple of years.
1. Limb chopping. I was and still am the worst about this. I am constantly telling myself to take a step back so I don’t chop off the top of someone’s head or their hand. Honestly, I didn’t even know this was a no-no for MONTHS!
2. Not correcting white balance. Again, who knew that yellowish tint to your photos was fixable? I remember staring at photos trying to figure out where I had gone wrong. Thank goodness for Lightroom and the ability to fix white balance so easily! It’s best to nail it in camera and using Kelvin’s can help.
Read more: Comparing different methods of white balance
3. Over vignetting. Oh man, oh man! When I learned about vignetting I went BANANAS!! I thought it was the coolest.thing.ever! Come on, a way to draw your viewer’s eye into your subject, yes please! However, if you are too heavy handed with the vignetting you actually draw your viewer’s eye to the vignetting instead of your subject. A good rule to remember is if you think the vignetting looks good then pull it back just a little. Better safe than sorry.
4. Crooked horizon. This is another one that I never noticed until it was pointed out to me and now it drives me crazy. I am a constant camera tilter so I don’t think I could get a straight horizon if I tried :O) What a difference it makes! It can prevent your image from making your subject look like it is falling right off the picture.
5. Putting subject in dead center of the image. Remember the rule of thirds? It’s there for a reason :O) It helps to add a little more interest to your image. I have so many pictures of when Ian and were first married and going on trips. There is one picture of me (dead center) in front of something and then the exact same picture of him. Wish I had known about the rule of thirds back then.
Read more: Different composition rules and ideas
6. Shooting what you “think” you are supposed to shoot. Follow your heart. If you want to only shoot landscapes, then do it! If you just want to shoot macro, then do it! Just because you see a lot of portraiture photography doesn’t mean that you have to shoot that. If you don’t like shooting babies, then don’t. If you only want to shoot Seniors and couples, then do it!
7. Not committing to manual mode. Okay, this one may hit a nerve with some of you. When I first learned to shoot in manual mode, my friend and patient teacher, Megan Cieloha, told me I was not allowed to switch it back to auto. I laughed and told her she was crazy. However, I’m a rule follower so I listened to her. If you force yourself to learn, I bet you will pick it up a lot faster. I did cheat though at first on big occasions like a birthday or something I didn’t want to miss because of my fumbling fingers. After all the practice though, I couldn’t imagine going back to auto now.
Can you think of any common mistakes you made when you were starting out??