Seven Mistakes Photographers Make

No, this video isn't about choosing the wrong aperture or going overboard with your frequency separation. These seven mistakes are a bit more philosophical in nature and can have a big impact on the course of your photography development and career.

There's a tendency in photography, particularly in our day-to-day dealings, to focus a bit much on the technical side of things, but of course, while being proficient with a camera and Photoshop is important, that's not all there is. That's why I particularly appreciated this video from Chelsea and Tony Northrup. Perhaps my favorite point was not paying attention to history. It might be the veritable flood of images that we're inundated with on a daily basis that makeย it nigh impossible to keep up with what's being produced in the present, let alone study the evolution of the art that brought us to said moment, or it might simply be a desire to focus on our own work. And yet, understanding that very evolution gives us the informed perspective to create art at the forefront of history and to understand on a very deep level just what it is that makes a good photograph and in turn to apply that to our own work. That's just one of seven good points in this video; I recommend watching the entire thing.

[via DIY Photography]

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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I don't suppose you could summarize the list!? It's just that they get on my nerves (who doesn't :-)) and their first mistake was something I always do: go alone. I don't want to waste half an hour, listening to them name six more things I do. ;-)

Agreed. I gave up after at the being a loner part. They reminded me of the SNL NPR show skit with with Mr. Schweddy and his balls. ๐Ÿ˜

On the matter of not being a loner, it's certainly not a requirement to be part of group to be a great photographer. Many great photographers were loners.

Lonely today also often means something different than what it used to. Today you're often considered a loner if you don't do social media and you don't have a phone constantly in your face.

I've never seen Saturday Night Live, although I HAVE heard of it so I don't understand the reference.
Actually, I haven't watched television in around 40 years.
I don't have a cell phone much less a smart phone.
I almost never call anyone on my wired-to-the-wall phone.
Unless photography sites qualify as social media, I've never done that.
I'm a loner by any definition.
But don't worry...I've never killed anyone or buried bodies in my basement or backyard! ;-)

What about your neighbors yard? ;)

Which neighbor? ;-)

Good Lord, 40 years?! Don't you like watching movies? They have this thing called steaming TV where you can rent and buy any movie you want and watch them on huge TVs that they sell today. There's also this really cool thing called DVDs and Blu-Ray discs that look like tiny records where you can also watch your movies, the later with incredible video and audio quality. ๐Ÿ˜

Hardcore Patrick, hardcore. But you're missing out on a lot. I agree though on the phone part. I have a $50 smartphone that is only used for making calls.

Perhaps I should have been more specific...I didn't think anyone would care enough to hear the details. Given free rein, I tend to ramble so I strive for brevity, though it's yet to result in wit. :-)
When I say television, I mean broadcast TV shows. I LOVE movies. I have a lot of DVDs, a few Blu-Rays and go to the theatre when their offerings warrant it. I've never done, and have no interest in, the streaming thing.
Given my preference, though, books win every time! :-)

Then we are similar, because I also haven't watched regular TV in years, though nowhere near 40. I stopped because most American TV shows today are now full of cynicism, sarcasm, negativity, political correctness, trash culture, and are also full of foreign actors and actresses.

I hadn't been to see a movie in many years and then I went to go see Passengers, and I get a better viewing experience at home for far less money. The movie in the theater was rather dim and soft in comparison. I have to say I'm not much of a fan of today's movies either. Movies today are mostly terrible compared to previous decades.

I have nearly all of my favorite movies in Blu-Ray and they have been transferred to MKV files that are stored in a large hard drive that's plugged into my Blu-Ray player. Never have to bother opening cases and inserting discs and messing with menus and forced FBI warnings and studio company intros. Nor do I have to worry about guests handling my discs, some of which are expensive and out of print.

I have to say for the price Netflix is worth it. I mostly watch documentaries and the image quality is fantastic.

I also very selectively buy episodes or series of some current shows, such as paranormal type shows. Always been a fan of such stuff seeing as every house I grew up in was haunted at one time or another,

I give books and movies about an equal rating. They both tend to different moods. I especially enjoy editing photos while watching or rewatching a movie. Very relaxing.

That's my rambling in return. ๐Ÿ˜

1) Being a loner
2) Refusing to change
3) Making excuses
4) Ignoring history
5) Not sharing
6) Self-limiting
7) Ignoring feedback

When they say "being a loner", they don't mean it in a "go out and shoot alone" sort of way. They mean not joining photography groups and discussing photography with others. I shoot alone exclusively (not counting my wife who is not a photographer) but I wouldn't consider myself a loner since I am a part of a couple Facebook groups where I share my photographs and interact with others.

And while I've posted the bullet points here, I do suggest watching the video as they get into detail on what they mean about each point.

Thank you for clarifying the "loner" example. Shooting alone is fine, but having a network of supportive people is incredibly helpful :)

As I wrote in my comment, pretty much everyone gets on my nerves. Please don't take it personally.
Being a loner and not sharing still describe me, though. :-(

Interesting list that makes good sense. I've always considered myself something of a loner photographer, and I really enjoy it when I'm doing it on my own, but the reality is I'm a member of two photography clubs with real people not just online voices, take part in critiques and photography competitions and join in photography meetups that interest me. And I have learned a lot that way. Everything else on the list spills out from that with perhaps the exception of 'Ignoring history'. I do come across a lot of photographers who seem much more interested in gear than the art of photography and I've consciously taken courses in the history and art of photography and I spend a lot of time in art museums to try to move beyond that way of thinking. That's helped too.

I like this video. It is a good list. I cannot get out like I would desire. I shoot mostly around my home, but I do enjoy the online groups I participate in. They are great places to learn. Most people that participate are encouraging and helpful.

Maybe you should check the link to Chelsea and Tony Northrup in your article, Alex ;-)

Thank you!!

No sweat. I always enjoy your articles. And humor ;-)

1) Being a loner
2) Refusing to change
3) Making excuses
4) Ignoring history
5) Not sharing
6) Self-limiting
7) Ignoring feedback

If point one means "engaged with other photographers for education and growth," and that's done wholeheartedly, then it takes care of all the rest.

But a lot of photography groups, particularly online, don't do well fulfilling 2-7 because too many members don't want to hear them: "It's my art, man! There are no rules in art! You can't judge me!"

That tends to happen less often in face-to-face group settings.

They bring up a lot of good points. One "example" that Chelsea brings up is the photographer with the crooked horizon and blasts the person that suggests photographing with straighter horizons; The person that offered the suggestion is going to write that photographer off.