“What are you, NEW?!?”
We all were once, weren’t we? And we all made mistakes, some of them repeatedly for years, many of them common to any brave soul who picks up a camera. Today, we’re going to dig into some of the mistakes made by new photographers. These came to us from old photographers who remember well the days when they, too, were new photographers.
In no particular order, here is a tidy list of the Top New Photographer Mistakes:
Business – This is perhaps the most important aspect of being a professional photographer. You can be a great photographer, but if you do not know how to run a business, you will be a broke photographer. A common theme from the old veterans was to learn the business, then learn the photography.
Take business/marketing courses before photography courses… – Art Scott
Master accounts, costing, finance, business management, Marketing – in fact all the back office stuff. Learn that first then pick the camera up and get a professional mentor. – Grant David
Assuming there is a fast track to success. There is no secret pill, or all-in-one action. It’s called perspiration. – Sid Ceaser
Basing your pricing on what other people are doing, instead of figuring out what you need to be profitable. – Jen Creed
Over promising under delivering, pricing too low and overbooking. – Aisha McNease
Gear – After you master the zen art of business management, it’s time to pick up the right gear. Not the newest gear, not the fanciest, but the right stuff. Research what you’ll need to accomplish your goals, and invest in quality (not quantity). And then learn how to get the very best photos out of yourself and your gear.
Buying bigger and better thinking you need it all before you learned the basics. – Dee Chambers
Buying cheap SD cards from Ebay!! – Lyn Chapman
Using one CF card for a whole shoot. SO much lost. Had free access to the entire Opryland Hotel with a gorgeous bride and lost all of the RAW files. I was able to pay to recover the JPGS, but they could have been so much better. – John Wells
Avoiding off camera flash or failing to understand how to use it. I embraced it myself, new people don’t even try. – Brian Kellogg
Technique – Now that you’ve got your gear sorted out, let’s learn how to use it! Or, at the very least, get on the path. Read the manual, learn the science, study, read, YouTube, shoot a bunch and apply what you learn.
I didn’t want to read the manual so I set everything on auto – with auto focal point. After years of practice, reading the manual and learning to shoot in manual and raw, I noticed a huge difference in the quality of my photos. Read the manual and take the time to learn it no matter how boring reading it is. – Melissa Badertscher
Don’t increase the ISO to super high in the very low light situation to make safe shutter speed instead of using a flash which is allowed at that spot. The results were always really fuzzy shots that I could not use at all. – Cocoa Zhou
Not being able to take critique. You will improve exponentially faster if you can let go of your emotional investment in the image. – Sarah Linnea Tatom
Too much headspace, bullseye subjects, subjects looking out of the short side of frame, inconsistent exposures (made post a nightmare), deleting images in camera, shooting too tight, shooting everything wide open (didn’t understand the whole distance to subject to background depth of field thing, to me it was just always 1.8 or 2.8 and shoot), not using back button focus (another huge one)….eh, that’s a good start to the crap I did in the beginning. – Brian Ellis
Over-editing. just because you can doesn’t mean you should. – David Braud
Spending too much time checking the photos on the back of the camera while missing the action and amazing photo ops at the same time. – J Ray Sanduski
Also referred to as “Chimping.”