5 Mistakes Beginner Photographers Make
What not to do when you buy an expensive camera.
1. Deciding that you’re smart enough to learn your camera without proper research.
When I purchased my Canon camera from a pawn shop, it didn’t come with a manual. Me being me made the decision to forgo doing proper research on my camera. Because of this, I messed up pictures A LOT. I was using all the wrong settings and adjustments causing me to delete hundred of photos. When I did Google research, it involved searches like “How to make my pictures look professional.”
Instead of just doing my homework, I thought I could wing it and still produce professional quality. I was very wrong. Do you research, kids. Learn your camera and I promise that taking photos will become so much easier.
2. Offering to do photoshoots even though you’ve only owned your camera for a month.
I know it’s exciting to get out there and take pictures the moment you open the camera box but don’t do it. You do not have the experience to provide 10 to 20 professional quality pictures for paying customers. I started out taking sports photos and immediately thought I was a total pro but when I took a whack at portraits, I sucked. There’s so much that goes into it that you won’t realize such as: Lighting, poses, locations, fussy kids, time of day and simply not know what the hell you’re doing. All these things will show in your pictures and the last thing you want is a shitty portfolio to advertise your talent. Take your time and find your niche. Get outside and simply take photos of trees or statues just to learn angles, lighting, and having an eye for what looks good.
3. Not purchasing the proper storage for your camera.
I am still guilty of this to this day. I haven’t purchased a camera holder and I lost the lens cap. I’ve been carrying my camera, lenses, chargers, and memory cards in a woven crossbody bag that my spouse refers to as my camera bag. It’s very important to take care of your camera and yeah camera bags are a little pricey but it’s worth it. Just do it. You don’t want to carry your expensive camera poorly and end up with lense or Camera scratches. You’ll be pissed and people will think you’re unprofessional when you show up for gigs. You’ve spent a lot of money and the last thing you want is for everything to clunk around together in a unprotected bag. Trust me.
4. Thinking you can repair and clean your camera using only YouTube and Wiki How for help.
DO. NOT. DO. THIS! I promise you will regret it because I did it and I damn near cried. After carrying my camera in my poorly protected purse bag, I discovered dust on the focusing screen (I did not know it was called that when I did this. That’s how uneducated I was about my camera). Well, me being me, I took the lens off the camera and proceeded to use my shirt and napkins to clean the screen. I made it worse and worse with each attempt. The one problem I had was that I couldn’t properly reach the screen with my finger. Well, I decided to take a large fish hook... yeah, you read that right. I took a large fish hook, wrapped a napkin around it, and tried to clean the focus screen. Needless to say it was an instant fuck up. I scratched the screen and freaked out. It took a lot of Googling to find out the name of the part I scratched and then when I did, I had to search for the right replacement. After a few weeks of stalling, I stumbled upon the replacement screen for $10 on EBay. (PRAISE EBAY)
When I received the part, I carefully inserted it in place and vowed to never do that again. Moral of the story, if you’re not a professional do not try to clean or even attempt to fix your camera if you don’t know what you’re doing. You’ll regret it and curl into a small ball of idiocy.
5. Not taking your camera every where you go.
Every been somewhere scenic and wish you had your camera? Yeah, me too. Bringing your camera pretty much everywhere will help when you want to spontaneously capture either a sunrise, sunset, or eye catch scenery. The cover picture of this article is the result of simply bringing my camera along with me while my wife fished. I would have kicked myself if I didn’t have it to capture the gorgeous take off of the bird. I know hauling a camera around isn’t ideal, but it’s well worth it when you’re a beginner. Finding your eye for beauty is all part of the process and when you can document it, it’s even better.