5 common mistakes to avoid for beginner photographers

5 common mistakes to avoid for beginner photographers


Getting started in photography be incredibly exciting, with gear to buy, camera settings to learn, and composition rules you suddenly to pay attention to. It’s easy for beginners to get discouraged or simple mistakes early on.

  1. Not understanding how your camera works

Before you take great photos, you how your camera operates. What do all those dials and buttons do? How do aperture, shutter speed, and ISO affect exposure? Beginners often just set their camera to Auto mode and ignore how the settings work. While this works fine in some situations, you’ll struggle to capture crisp, well-exposed images in more challenging lighting if you don’t have at least a basic grasp of the exposure triangle and how your camera’s manual controls influence this. Spend time going through your camera’s manual and experimenting with shutter speeds and apertures to see how they impact your photos. Over time, manual exposure adjustments should become second nature.

  1. Forgetting basic camera care

It’s easy for new harrisburg photographer to be so excited about using their fancy new DSLR or mirrorless camera that they forget basic maintenance. However, failing to take simple precautions like storing lenses properly when not in use, cleaning dust from your sensor, not dropping your camera, and avoiding extreme weather seriously damage your gear or lead to expensive repairs. Things like fingerprints on your lens even negatively impact image quality if not cleaned off regularly.  Invest in items like a good camera bag, lens wipes, a blower brush, and even weather sealing to prolong the life of your investment.

  1. Enough variety in what you shoot

When you first get your camera, it’s tempting to take pictures of anything and everything. One day it might be a close-up of a flower. The next is an action shot of your kids playing a candid of your friend drinking coffee. This is great at first! Testing different subjects and compositions is a fun way to learn. However, over a long period as a beginner, constantly changing what and where you shoot makes it tough to progress.  Choosing a specific niche like portraiture, real estate, or food photography and focusing on mastering the unique skills that genre requires is essential to take your images to the next level over time. You’ll better understand specialized gear needs, composition tips, proper camera settings, and post-processing workflows.

  1. Ignoring composition fundamentals

With so many settings and technical details to worry about in photography, it’s common for beginners to forget about the basic rules of composition. Elements like the rule of thirds, leading lines, symmetry, and framing are what take readable snapshots and turn them into compelling images. Light and camera settings are meaningless if the objects in your scene aren’t arranged appealingly. When looking through your viewfinder, always evaluate if elements in the frame direct the viewer’s attention, if horizons are straight and objects properly framed, and if there are distracting background objects that should be eliminated from the composition.

  1. Over editing photos

Thanks to amazing post-processing tools like Light room and Photoshop, we have an incredible capacity to edit images after clicking the shutter button. Inexperienced photographers often go overboard, degrading their photos rather than enhancing them. Overdoing adjustments like contrast, saturation, clarity, vignettes, and HDR effects ruins plenty of beginner shots.


Brandon Elias

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