How to Fix Five of the Most Common Mistakes Amateur Photographers Make

As photographers, it seems that we were all prone to the same mistakes that we wish we would have been aware of sooner. This video not only identifies five issues that new photographers should be cautious of, but also offers a way to fix each one.

Of course, these early errors are part of the journey of growing as a photographer. These are all things we’ve done or are perhaps still doing. In this video, Craig Beckta shares the five most common mistakes that he has seen from beginners in his photography career. While his first one — not shooting in manual mode — is one that I’m sure you have heard before, don’t let that stop you from watching the rest of the video. The remaining four aren’t suggestions that you hear every day, and a few of them had me considering if I agree with him or not.

One of Beckta’s recommendations for new photographers is to avoid using presets for editing. This is one that resonated with me. Presets aren’t bad of course; I use them from time to time. The problem is that they can be a hindrance to you growing as a photographer if you haven’t taken the time to learn any actual editing techniques. Beckta argues that a reliance on them prevents you from finding your own unique style, which I believe to be true as well.

Take a look at this video and let me know in the comments below if you agree or disagree with Beckta’s suggestions.

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7 Comments

amanda daniels's picture

Don't shoot in auto- but this is how you learn to shoot in manual in my opinion. Yes, don't shoot in auto forever, but if you shoot in auto, take a look at the settings and what the image looks like this will help you learn manual.

Don't shoot in harsh light- well how will you learn because sometimes if you are shooting an event you have no control over the location or the time of day. So while harsh light isnt ideal, you need to learn how to shoot the best you can in all lighting situations.

If you use presets you can/should tweak the images anyways. Using a preset isn't a finished product, or at least it shouldn't be. I starting using presets and then played around with other options in lightroom to learn how to edit. As long as you don't just slap a preset on and be done then I don't seem the harm is using a preset to get you started.

Daniel Medley's picture

All good advice except number three; Don't shoot in harsh sunlight.

The better advice would be to, Learn to shoot in harsh sunlight.

A lot of times you're simply not going to have a choice.

In fact I would recommend that you learn to shoot in ANY light.

Cristian Perotti's picture

Agree. However, based on these tips on the video, this video is intended for beginners. So, it is better to learn to shoot in good light and then move to learn to shoot in harsh light.

David Pavlich's picture

Good points, both. But, beginners, intermediates, and even pros make mistakes. I shot at a car show today; high Sun AND 60 kph winds (had to chase my hat :-) ). The mistakes I made when I started were part of my learning curve, so it really doesn't hurt to shoot in less than ideal conditions right from the start.

Making the mistakes early on only help down the road. The only down side is if a new shooter let's it get to him/her. Gotta' shrug it off and keep shooting, so is the wonder of digital.

Lou Bragg's picture

Shooting gorgeous models like those, even I would get “distracted” and make mistakes...