10 Common Photo Mistakes and How To Avoid Them

Learning how to take photos can be very overwhelming at times, there is so much information to learn.   Try to avoid these mistakes for better photography even while you are learning.   These are some common mistakes that everyone makes from time to time.

1.  Not paying attention to clutter background.   You see so many pictures of people where it looks like things are growing out of their head, or they have so much stuff in the background or foreground that it distracts you from the subject.

image of a little boy with phone This would have been a cute photo, but I didn’t look at the background and there are feet and legs of people on the couch behind him, not a very nice background, I also once took a really cute photo of my daughter as a toddler and didn’t notice a bra hanging on a knob behind her, so take a quick second and see what else is in the shot.   You may have to move things or just change your line of vision.

2. Not checking your camera settings before taking pictures, if you are only comfortable using the auto mode of your camera be sure it is on that setting, but no matter which mode you are using be sure it is set up for what you want to photo now.   I had a bunch of blurry photos and then I realized I still had my camera on manual focus, I have also taken landscape photos with the camera in closeup mode so of course those didn’t turn out well.

3. Not having correct focus point.   This is sometimes a difficult thing to get use to making sure you have the camera’s focus point on your subject’s face and not on the wall beside them.  The focus point is where the camera makes an area the clearest and if you are taking a photo of a person you want their eyes to have the most clarity.  Some camera’s have facial recognition technology so check your camera settings, and if yours doesn’t learn about your focus points and practice using them.  Most camera’s have multiple focus points which is great for taking landscapes, group photos etc.  If you are taking a close up of one person it is easier to have just one focus point on.   Read your camera manual and see how it uses focus points.

4.  Having photos with straight horizon lines,this is one of the areas I have the most trouble with, I don’t hold my camera straight so my horizon lines are usually going uphill.   This is an easy fix in photoshop but it is better to take the photo the right way in the first place.  So take your time and be sure your horizon line is straight in your viewfinder.

5.   Taking night or motion photos and not using a tripod.  If you are like me, I don’t like caring my camera and lugging around a tripod, but it is really important to use if you want clear shots.   Even if your camera has stabilization on it, you cannot keep your camera still enough long enough to take night photos, so use the tripod.   Be sure your tripod is sturdy enough to support your camera.

6.   Missing shots by not having your camera at all times.   This is one area that most people have trouble with, how many times have you gone somewhere and said “I wish I had my camera”  get into the habit of taking your camera with you.

7.  Not being able to use your camera because you forget to charge the  batteries, or you left the memory card in your computer.  Before you take your camera somewhere check it and make sure everything is there and working.   Try to keep an extra set of charged batteries in your camera bag.

8. Leaving the lens cap on while trying to take a photo, my kids are always letting me know when I do this.

9. No variety in your photos because you are not changing position.  If you are always standing and taking your photos at eye level, try some different positions for some new looks, sit on your knees, stand on something and look down on your subject.   Be creative and try something new.

10.  Deleting photos on camera before you look at them on computer.   Camera screens are way to small to use for editing, don’t delete photos until you move them to your computer.  If you find yourself running out of room, upload your photos to the computer sooner or buy a larger memory card.



10 Common Photo Mistakes and How To Avoid Them — 7 Comments

  1. Nice list Bridget! I make all of these mistakes – well, except the lens cap thing, but only because my camera won’t power up with it on. I’m teaching my husband to use our new fancy-schmansy camera, though, and the hardest thing for him to grasp is the amount of available light. At night, even with every light on in the house, it’s still too dark to get a good shot. He perceives it as plenty bright enough, but what he sees and what the camera sees are two very different things!

    Thanks for the great reminders. I’m going to have to work on these!

  2. Bridget on said:

    thanks Cindy, I make all these mistakes myself. Light is one of the hardest things to grasp about photography and that is why the more you learn how to use your camera you can make it capture the light the way you see it.

  3. I’m always either forgetting the camera or not having batteries for it. I was all set to take my camera the other day, so I re-charged the batteries and they still didn’t work. Do you know if rechargeable batteries die eventually? Or do battery chargers stop working after a while?

  4. Bridget on said:

    Rechargeable batteries do die eventually, I am not sure how long they last.

  5. Hi Bridget,
    I like your list of 10 mistakes we often make. I recently purchased an extra battery for my camera and that is really handy. One thing I have problems with is capturing the moment before it is gone. Even if I have my camera turned on, it’s so easy to miss something cute my grandchildren are doing. My camera has a delay when I take the picture.

    Thanks a lot!

  6. Bridget on said:

    Capturing kids is probably the hardest area of photography, the camera takes time to focus etc.

  7. I wanted to tell you I enjoyed this site so much! It was great just to look through your pictures, and I hope you will continue to do well as a photographer. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

    Thanks for sharing!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *