18 Common Photography Mistakes To Avoid if You Want To Grow

Common Photography Mistakes

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5 Min Read

If you are a photographer, you know it’s more than a hobby. Many ordinary folks believe that having an expensive camera automatically guarantees the ability to capture aesthetic photographs. But the reality is often disappointing. Photography is an art that demands experience and patience to showcase the hidden beauty within a subject. People often step into the photography industry, thinking they will make it big. The fact that so many photographers are out there makes it tough competition for a newbie to survive in the industry. Thus, making it big is a huge struggle in this industry. There are common mistakes beginner photographers make, which, if avoided, can make things easier.

Common Photography Mistakes You Need To Avoid

Every photographer messes up, even if he/she is experienced. As a beginner, the chances of making simple mistakes are high, and these mistakes can be easily avoided. Even if you are already a professional photographer, you might be making those mistakes right now that you are unaware of. You won’t believe the smallest things can discourage you from becoming the best photographer. So, here is a list of 18 common photography mistakes you can avoid.

1. Not using a tripod when necessary

When you are a beginner, walking around with a camera in your hand feels amazing. You can click the first inspirational thing, which can go on for hours until you run out of batteries. But sometimes your hands are not enough. This is one of the photography mistakes beginners make.


Photography mistake


Having a tripod is essential to have stability in your shots. Shaky hands can result in blurry and distorted photos, making an adjustable tripod indispensable for avoiding such issues. Additionally, due to the need for perfection, one has to pursue that perfect shot and might have to wait for hours. Therefore, investing in a sturdy tripod ensures you capture the moment flawlessly.

2. Using manual focus

As a beginner, you have to understand the importance of focus. When you are starting out, getting the hang of manual focus can be a bit tricky. Focusing on the wrong subject can give you results that are not desirable. This is one of the most common food photography mistakes. For example, in food photography, the main subject should be food, and it should be showcased in the photos.


Manual Focus


But beginners fail to focus properly on the subject, thus distracting the overall image. Such problems become more evident or prominent when shooting at a shallow depth of field.

3. Accidentally cutting things from the frame

Now, here’s where the problem begins. Beginner photographers often struggle with fitting everything into the frame. By everything, we mean the subject and its surroundings you want to capture. Beginners tend to crop out some parts of the subject from the frame to fit everything, which is a big mistake. For example, when taking a long shot of a person, you may intentionally crop off their limbs or the top of their head to make sure the background fits perfectly within the frame. Sometimes, the main subject goes out of focus while the background remains the same.


Frame capturing mistakes


This can make your photo less appealing. You need to have creativity in your approach to make sure these mistakes don’t occur. If you notice that the subject is not fitting perfectly into the frame, try to change the angle or move closer or further from the main subject. More you practice, the more improvement you will see.

4. Not paying attention to the background

Here’s another error often made in photography. Ignoring the background while overly focusing on the subject. This becomes problematic when the background becomes too distracting, or it clashes with the subject’s essence, causing an inappropriate composition.


Photography mistakes


Make the background clean and sleek so it’s less distracting and the whole focus is on the subject. But you must work on your subject placement to show a scenic view behind your subject. Remember to use a background that will go hand in hand with the subject.

5. Not Everything is About Camera

We all have heard from beginners saying they brought expensive cameras but were not able to get the desired results. Many beginner-level photographers mistakenly believe that investing in expensive equipment will assure superior picture quality and improved photography skills. While an expensive camera can be a wise long-term investment, it’s important to note that even a budget-friendly camera can suffice if you have adequate knowledge and honed skills. The key is to understand the principles of photography. The skills don’t come from high-end equipment. These skills come from practice and being consistent in honing these skills.



6. Photographing everything from a common viewpoint

Many photographers follow their ideal photographers and copy every technique and angle. But that’s exactly where the problem begins. Photography is about standing out. There’s nothing wrong with capturing an image of a subject that looks similar to other photographs, but if the only shot you will ever take is cliche, then you’ll never end up with anything original. So try approaching the subject from various angles before moving on to the next one.


Exploring Different Angles


Everything about photography is creating something new through the lenses. So, if you are taking a picture that is similar to something that is trending all over the Internet, then it is not worth the effort. If you have to then click the same subject from different angles and sequences, the main should be uniqueness.

7. Capturing symmetrical landscapes

It is common to capture landscapes in a ratio of 1:1. Now, this might look aesthetically pleasing. However, in the photography industry, this approach can cause some speculations. When the ratio of sky to land is equal, the main subject tends to lose its impact and significance.


Symmetrical landscapes


It confuses the eyes of the viewer, whether he looks at the sky or the land. So, if you are showing an amazing sky, but there’s the same proportion of land in the photo, that message might not get across.

8. Being strict with posing

Do you think being a photographer is hard? Well, being a subject is equally challenging. As a portrait photographer, when you request a friend or an acquaintance to model for you, certain expectations naturally come into play. Chances are the person might be camera shy or doesn’t know how to pose. In such cases, if you ask the person to pose in a way that might make him uncomfortable, that discomfort passes on to the photos.

As a photographer, you should aim to make the model as comfortable as possible. Don’t just leave the model in an uncomfortable pose. Make a conversation, make eye contact and make sure that the model is comfortable in front of the lens.

9. Using the same settings all the time

Another major blunder that a photographer can make is using the same settings for clicking all types of photos. This happens when a photographer gets good results from a certain photography setting. Then the photographer starts using similar settings to click every time. This is a very bad thing to do in the photography industry as different shots require different camera settings or at least some kind of variation depending on the demand of the photoshoot.


Camera settings


So, if you are using the same settings for indoor photoshoots as well as outdoor photoshoots, then there’s something majorly wrong. The key is to explore more. Remember to always reset your settings to default at the end of each photoshoot. If you have increased the ISO, then bring it back to base value after every photo shoot.

10. Breaking the photography rules

It is considered that in the photography world, breaking the rules gives you amazing results. But there’s more to it than meets the eye. To break the photography rules, you have to know them in the first place. A lot of times, beginner photographers, without knowing all the rules of photography, break them intentionally or unintentionally.


Breaking the photography rules


This results in pictures that are not pleasing enough or not generally good. So, to avoid unintentional photography mistakes, you must learn all the rules of photography. There are many such as the rule of thirds, a frame within a frame, and balancing the frame.

11. Staying in a box

So, you have been clicking photos for a while. Initially, it was fun and all, but now that X-factor seems to be fading away. You may think that there’s something wrong with your photographers or that people do not understand them. But keep in mind that the ongoing trend can impact a style.

If you have had the same style since you first picked up a camera, then maybe the problem is you. Trends change, and so should your style. To keep that x-factor alive in your photography, keep experimenting. Don’t be stuck in a box where everything seems perfect to you.

Since photography is about bringing something new, you should do more and more experiments to keep up with the changing trends.

12. Not using bulb mode

Bulb mode is shooting at the slowest shutter speed possible. It’s basically about capturing pictures at long exposure. Often newbies get caught up in clicking aesthetically pleasing photos, and professionals in perfecting the photography skills that they forget about bulb mode or long exposure shots.


Bulb mode


Capturing long exposure shots helps you in capturing the true magic of photography. You will realize how you can paint with light. It is an amazing way to explore the other side of photography and click some magnificent yet unbelievable photographs.

13. Not seeing other people’s work

The best way to improve your own skills is by observing what other photographers are doing. As we said before, staying in a box won’t achieve anything. You have to get out, take inspiration, look at other people’s work, seeing what people are doing to stay in the game. It’s actually a common photography mistake that you should definitely avoid making because you have to have knowledge about what’s going on in the photography industry. You don’t necessarily have to copy their work but a general observation can help you in identifying the wrongs you are doing or what else you can do to improve your work.

14. Using the wrong lens

Before doing photography, you must know your equipment. A lot of people use the wrong lens for the wrong purposes. For example, a telephoto lens is used for taking pictures of subjects far from the photographer. Now, you can’t use a wide-angle lens for that.


Using wrong lenses


It is not only unprofessional but also affects the final result, as you won’t be able to capture a clear image. So, you must know when to use a prime lens, a macro lens, or a telephoto lens.

15. Everything in the Center

Centralizing everything can be tempting, but having everything in the center doesn’t always work. Subjects in the center cut the image, which people fail to understand what to focus on. Furthermore, centered images can look rather boring.


Centralizing Everything


Try using the rule of thirds; this allows you to put the subject third frame away. Eventually, this will make the image look balanced and dynamic.

16. Distractions in the frame

One can easily be charmed by a main subject in a scene, be it an aesthetic silhouette, a building, or a vibrant flower. However, regardless of how awesome the main subject may be, it is important to consider the other elements in the frame equally. Click your photos so that emphasis should be given to everything inside the frame. If the elements look distractive and take the focus from the main subject, then you can also remove them from the frame.

17. Shooting with auto mode

What auto mode in the camera does is that it controls everything for you, including the focusing and exposure settings. Photographers who are in the starting stages can find this beneficial. But it is really important to learn aspects of adjusting the camera’s settings.


Auto mode in camera


Understanding the aperture priority mode is really helpful as it allows someone to set the ISO and shutter speed of the camera. These settings also vary from situation to situation, for example, in car photography, you will need different camera settings as compared to ecommerce photography

18. Being nervous

You must remember that “don’t panic” even when the image is not up to the mark. This is one of the most common photography mistakes that can be easily avoided. If you take troubleshooting steps, then you can find the actual problem. Therefore, whenever you are in a confused situation and can’t get a proper result, take a deep breath and check your camera settings. You will make it through and work things out.

Bonus mistake-

This one is about a mistake that is pretty common among photographers who keep their photos offline. That era is gone when a photographer had to keep a big folder containing his work. Also, it is so 2016 to keep your portfolio in a pen drive. You have to have a design portfolio website to gain attention to your work and create ease for yourself. A portfolio website should be a go-to page for potential clients and businesses where they can check out a photographer’s work. While working on other things like furnishing skills and making money from them, photographers tend to miss out on creating an online presence. If your aim is to just do photography for passion, then don’t bother making a portfolio website, but if it is serious business and you want to establish yourself as a brand, then you have to have a presence over the internet.

Creating a portfolio website not only gives exposure to your work but also gives you a CTA feature that allows your website visitors to contact you for inquiries.



Many Common Photography mistakes a photographer makes daily hold him back from achieving success or making it big. But there are things you can do, or precautions you can take in order to avoid such mistakes. The Common Photography mistakes mentioned above are not something very significant. They are the little things that add up, create a barrier for a photographer, and stop them from growing. The scary part is that both beginner and professional photographers can become victims of such mistakes. So, it’s never too late or too early to avoid such Common Photography mistakes and save yourself from the trouble that may appear out of nowhere.

At last, if you are a budding photographer and don’t know which path to choose then you must know that there are different types of photography genres that you can make your career in. So, you must be open to exploring more and experiencing the true beauty that photography has to offer.


  • What makes a photo look bad?

    The camera’s quality and resolution also have a big impact on how the subject appears in photos. Cameras with low-quality or low-resolution settings can result in grainy, blurry images that fail to showcase the subject’s true appearance.

  • What is the number one rule in photography?

    The rule of thirds is a technique where you divide your camera screen into a grid, training yourself to recognize the key points of intersection. By strategically placing essential elements along these lines, you can create visually appealing compositions.

  • What is the hardest thing about being a photographer?

    One of the most challenging aspects of being a photographer is managing your own business. Balancing the multitude of tasks that require attention can be incredibly stressful. Additionally, navigating the complexities of learning and executing various business-related activities can be equally daunting.

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Young, enthusiastic, and curious are the three words that describe Spyne’s content team perfectly. We take pride in our work - doing extensive research, engaging with industry experts, burning the midnight oil, etc. Every word we write is aimed at solving our readers’ problems.

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