Are You Guilty of These Common Photography Mistakes?

Making mistakes is part of learning, even if the criticism stings sometimes. And after seeing some of these common photography mistakes, I had to put my hand up and say, "guilty as charged." I guarantee you will too. 

When this video from Jessica Kobeissi first appeared in my inbox, I thought it was going to be one of those boring, generic lists of beginner photography mistakes such as tilted horizons or blurry eyes. Sure, they're valuable, but they've been done to death and I was certain that I'd be getting more of the same with this. 

Thankfully, that's not the case at all, and in this seven-minute video, Kobeissi lists some mistakes that I am absolutely sure every photographer is making at some time, regardless of level and experience. Why am I so certain? Because I am making a couple of them, and when I put them to five of my most respected photography peers, they all put their hands up for at least one. 

The good thing about this video is that not only does Kobeissi explain some relatively unexplored photography mistakes, she also goes into detail about why we make them and how we can rectify them. For the record, I am most guilty of number two. Are there any others that aren't thrown around so commonly that you think apply to many of us?

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26 Comments

It took me about half-way through her discussion of the topic to realize she didn't mean CPL, ND, GND, etc.. filters. :-)

Haha it’s the world we live in.....

Duane Klipping's picture

Exactly. Stop calling preset post processing Filters. They are not filters people. I will take your work more seriously if you do that lol. Drives me nuts.

Karl-Filip Karlsson's picture

Aim Guilty but not anymore! xD

Colin Shawhan's picture

Nothing in this video was new to me. It was not concise. Her presentation is unprofessional and I couldn't get past the way she says, "Dih-in't". Okay, that's nit-picky but it did bother me. And get to the point. Got a bad take? Re-shoot it.

I recorded music. I've done 300 takes before. Not good? Do it again. Still not good? Do it again.

And Mario Kart? Burger King?!

Want my advice? Carry your camera with you and shoot, shoot, shoot. It won't hurt you to shoot 300 pictures today. Maybe you get five good ones. So what?

Tell a story. Make a child's toy look frightening. It's not to everyone's taste, but who cares? And you're right, get out and try those ideas.

Yeah I agree. I’m terribly guilty of churning through YT video after YT video on post-processing when really, Inshould be out with camera in hand. I put it down to Japan’s 95% summer humidity...

Jen Photographs's picture

That vignette, though.

Incidentally, did you leave that telegraph pole between the open mouth there on purpose? I was contemplating whether to remove it but thought you may have left it there to emphasise the crushing powers of that gaping maw!!

Mark James's picture

What's a filter?

Han Seoul-Oh's picture

"don't watch youtube videos thinking that'll make you great."

got it. i'll begin by not watching yours.

Jeff McCollough's picture

I ignore all her videos.

Michael Jin's picture

#!: Funny coming from a person who sells presets (AKA: Filters).
#2: True
#3: Shooting the same thing over and over again is actually not a bad way to refine some of the aspects of your photography since you're limiting the variables involved. It depends on how you're approaching it.

re. #3, I know many photographers who refuse to even countenance stepping out of what they know and what they’ve perfected. Even if it’s the most incredibly narrow niche, they stick rigidly to shooting the same things in the same way day after day. Why? You could write a book on it but I think a big part of it is fear: fear that they won’t be comfortable, fear they won’t be praised, fear that their initial efforts might be terrible.....

Regardless of what you do, you need to explore things you don’t know in order to grow and improve.

Michael Jin's picture

Or perhaps they find enjoyment in perfecting their craft and being the best they can be in their niche. I see it like the person that makes nothing but one type of ramen everyday from their shop, but dedicates their entire life to perfecting that bowl of ramen.

Alternatively, I know lots of photographers that try to do it all and never get beyond mediocre in anything because they're so distracted by new things, new techniques, new subjects, new genres, new gear, etc.

Like I said, it depends on the mentality with which you're approaching it. If it's a desire to attain the highest level in the niche you've found, then great. If it's as you say and simply relying on known formulas out of fear, then it's bad. I'm just pointing out that there's nothing intrinsically bad about the practice of shooting the same things over and over. What might be bad is the reason behind it.

Yes all very valid points. Funny that you use ramen as an example - having lived in Japan for 15 years it still remains a complete mystery to me why ramen is so popular here, and why people would even think about lining up outside a shop to get ramen, let alone do it. Some things you just gotta shrug your shoulders at and move on.....

Have you seen the movie, Udon? :-)

The thought of it sends shivers down my spine. Udon and ramen - the mysteries of the Japanese palate

Michael Jin's picture

I love both. Blue cheese confuses me far more.

I don’t dislike either at all. But to me, even to this day, they’re both something you’d grab for a quick bite to eat if you’re pressed for time or just can’t be bothered cooking.
Probably why they’re both so ubiquitously available in convenience stores and corner shops.

But to actually go out, find a restaurant, line up, and choose either as your cuisine of choice in an outing when you can get pretty much the same thing up 7-11.....hmmm

Elan Govan's picture

I know someone who decided to be a Professional Wedding Photographer straight after University just because she did photography in secondary school. Borrowed one of my film cameras, and when I saw the images, they were taken with a Nikon D50 (metadata} and I was shocked at how bad the evening party/dance shots were with speedlites.

Not sure I’d be too crash hot at a wedding with speedlites either considering I don’t do weddings and don’t own a speedlite haha!

Elan Govan's picture

Me either, but I do own a few Speedlite, mostly for macro.

Michael Jin's picture

Some people are very brave... And foolish. Then again, perhaps my lack of ability to drink my own kool-aid is what keeps me from getting ahead in life because it really does seem like a lot of success comes down to convincing yourself and others that you're the best thing since sliced bread, whether it's true or not.

Don’t they call that “marketing”?

Michael Jin's picture

You can market yourself based on a realistic evaluation of your abilities. I'm talking about the people who genuinely believe in their own heart that they are Ansel Adams re-incarnated. At that point you're marketing your own delusions of grandeur.

Lovely video, lovely lady, but it does not belong in this site, period!