Photography Cheat Sheet: Top 10 Photography Mistakes to Avoid

You’ve been equipping yourself with the essential photography do’s. Now, it’s time to learn about the don’ts with today’s photography cheat sheet. 

All the previous photography cheat sheets we’ve shared so far have been arming you with essential tips and tricks to get you a step ahead in your photography game. This time, however, we think it’s worth letting you in on the most common mistakes photographers either overlook or fail to account for. So, for today’s photography cheat sheet, let’s take a look at the top 10 mistakes experienced photographers urge us to avoid.

Photo printing company Fracture once asked their fans for input on what they think the biggest mistakes are that we should avoid when taking photos. They received a whopping nearly 800 responses, which they consolidated into a list of 68 items. Out of these, they pulled the top 10 and made the infographic below out of it. It’s a great reminder that, as much as there are many photography do’s to keep in mind, there’s a bunch of don’ts that we should be careful of.

These are:

  1. Not paying attention to the background. Don’t be so focused on the subject that you forgot to check if there’s anything in the background that can ruin the shot or distract the viewer from the subject.
  2. Not thinking about lighting. Photography, especially great photography, is all about great lighting. How your subject or scene is lit can make or break a photo.
  3. Avoiding candid shots. Not everything has to be posed and perfect. Candid moments can make your photos emotive and authentic.
  4. Shooting right into the sun. Unless you’re going for silhouettes, never take photos facing a light source.
  5. Never zooming in. If your gear gives you powerful zoom at your disposal, use it to capture a subject that’s far away. Cropping will only lead to photos of crappy quality.
  6. Leaving the lens cap on. This is a common mistake among film photographers. Always check before you press the shutter!
  7. Perfectly centering the subject. Sometimes, this can work, especially if you’re emphasizing symmetry. However, you’ll find that photos composed using the Rule of Thirds will be far more aesthetically pleasing.
  8. Not worrying about focus. Keep an eye on your camera’s focus point and make sure that it’s pointed towards your subject.
  9. Being frugal with your shots. Today’s digital cameras now allow you to shoot as many shots as possible, from all angles, poses, and variations. Use them well!
  10. Sticking to the same angles. Don’t limit yourself to the angles and poses you shoot with over and over. Experiment with different and unique perspectives to capture more interesting results.

Need more tips and tricks for your next photography practice? We have more photography cheat sheets for you to check out!