photography mistakes

4 Common Photography Mistakes Amateur Photographers Make

When you are an amateur photographer, you have a passion for taking photos and it is so important that you continue to learn and perfect your craft. No matter how long you have been learning and taking photos, there are some common photography mistakes that amateur photographers can make that you want to try to avoid. If you try to avoid these common mistakes, or learn from them as you go, you will be able to take awesome photos!

Take a look at these common mistakes that amateur photographers make that we saw on Tom's Guide

1. Failing to remove obstructions.

Always be sure when you are taking photographs to be aware of the things around the subject you are photographing. If you are taking a photo of a building, be aware of what is in front of the building, or even in the background. If you want an amazing shot of the building but also capture cars driving in front of it, that takes away from the shot. Try to position yourself in a way that has the least amount of distractions around it, and wait a minute to be sure you capture the best photo possible. 

2. Letting auto mode determine the ISO and f-stop.

Using the auto settings on your camera is not always the best thing. Do your research and figure out if you need a higher ISO or faster shutter speed to get the best possible photo. Remember that when trying to capture shots in dim light, it's better to use a shorter exposure time because it minimizes the blurring caused by a shaking camera. 

3. Using the built-in flash.

Many times if you take portraits in low light with your camera in auto mode, the flash will turn on by default but that doesn’t always result in the best photos. You could find that it looks very dark and is not as clear as you want. This is another time when switching up your cameras settings will help rather than always using the built in flash.   

4. Fearing the abstract.

Do not be afraid to do something a little abstract. You do not always have to take a photo from straight ahead with everything lined up perfectly to make it awesome. Find something unique and try shooting it from a unique angle. Or, take for example you are photographing fruit at a farmers market, as Tom's Guide mentions. Instead of photographing the entire barrel of apples, pick one fruit to be the center of the photo so it is a bit more abstract. 

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9 Photography Posing Mistakes You Do Not Want To Make

There are SO MANY different ways you can pose for a photo. You can be standing, sitting, lying, walking or even hugging. You can even be creative and come up with some really awesome poses that are uncommon. Whatever you do, there are still photography posing mistakes you want to make sure you do not make when you are photographing a client - or a group together. 

As a photographer, it is your job to help and coach your client along with various poses that will look great and flatter that specific person in particular. Here are 9 photography posing mistakes that you do not want to make that are very important to keep in mind. 

1. An Uncomfortable Subject

First and foremost, if someone is uncomfortable while you are photographing them, you will be able to tell and the photos will not be as wonderful as they could be. Talk to your client right before you start snapping shots, and make them comfortable. Also, during the photo process, keep it light and fun, so they can laugh, talk and relax. You may find it keeps them a little more relaxed while you are taking their photo. 

Photo credit:  Kristen Duke Photography

2. Shooting Shoulders Straight On 

Try not to shoot someone standing with their shoulders squared to the camera. Shoulders are the widest part of the body and as a photographer, you want to flatter those "widest" parts of the body to make the subject of the photo looks as best as possible! So make sure your subject angles him or herself to the camera for a more slimmer look. 

3. Having Straight Joints

Always try to have the person you are shooting keep their joints bent. If you stand totally straight at the knees and have your arms totally straight by your side, or your neck looking straight ahead, the person could end up looking very stiff in the photos. Bending the knees, elbows, and tilting the head a bit can make such a huge difference! 

4. Shooting A Subject From Below

It is best to shoot a person from straight on or even slightly above them rather than shooting them from below their eye level. If you are down lower than the person you are photographing, it is best to only do that during really artistic shots. If you work from above, particularly when you are shooting close up shots, it will get rid of double chins, it slims down the face, and if you happen to be shooting outdoors, it will bring the sunlight nicely into the person's face. 

5. Arms Glued To The Body

It is never flattering to have your arms down so they look like they are glued to your body in your photos. Keeping them up on the hips or even holding an object helps with keeping the upper arm look thinner and also gives the subject a nice pose which also keeps the photo interesting and unique. 


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6. Awkward Hands

Many people are not exactly sure what they should do with their hands when they are being photographed. Simply slipping a finger into a pocket of their pants helps immensely. If you are photographing a couple, have one put their hand on the other person's leg, or even holding hands makes it less awkward. 

7. Visible Clothing Marks

If your subject is going to be changing clothes during the shoot, which many people do, make sure they do not have skin marks from the clothing they were wearing before as they can be eye sores in a photo! For example, if your subject starts off wearing boots and a sweater and then decides to switch to a dress, you want to make sure she does not have any marks on her legs from her boots or socks that would stand out in the next set of photos. Make sure you give your subject time in between if there are marks, or make sure to pose the person so you do not see them. 

8. A Group All The Same Height

If you are shooting a group of people and all of their heads are lining up at exactly the same place, the photo may end up looking very boring. Try having some people sit, while others stand to help break it up and add some dimension to the photos! 

Photo credit:   Kristen Duke Photography

9. An Ugly Background

While you are trying so hard to get the person in the the best pose you can, make sure you also consider what is behind them. The photo background is so very important! Always keep watch for those eye sores like street signs, a random car that may be parked, or even other people walking by that could disrupt the photo. You want to capture a beautiful background to make sure the subject is showcased in the best possible location!  

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Do you have any other photography posing mistakes you try and stay clear of making? Tell us below!