Examples of Bad Photography/Photography Mistakes

Photography Mistakes

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During their photography journeys and careers, many amateur photographers seem to make some blunders.

As a result, it's easiest to accurately determine someone's photography level by looking at the work they have produced most recently.

To help you in your photography journey, here are the most common mistakes you might encounter.

Common Photography Mistakes to Avoid

Here are some of the most common photography mistakes made in photography.

An Unbalanced Composition

Unbalanced Composition

As a beginner, you might have difficulty composing your photos well. Beginners will make common mistakes.

Amateurs often overlook the importance of shooting close-ups of their subjects, creating a lot of excess space in their photos.

Please take a moment to consider the contents of your frame and whether everything in it is relevant.

If it isn't, make an adjustment such as changing your position, moving closer, or zooming in.

Make sure you don't get too close, though! If you want to capture only the most important details of your subject, avoid getting too close and consequently cutting off heads, hands, or feet.

It's important to consider the Rule of Thirds as you compose your photos. A Rule of Thirds grid is formed by six imaginary lines within the frame, dividing it into nine sections.

You will achieve a balanced image when you place your subject in one of the top, bottom, right, or left boxes.

The first thing beginners do when they take a photograph is to center the subject.

However, if your subject is slightly off-center, as dictated by the Rule of Thirds, your photograph will appear more dynamic.

Portrait Photography With Wide-Angle Lenses

The 50mm lens on your Nifty Fifty makes for great portraits and everyday photography. On the other hand, if you place it too close to a subject, their face is sure to be distorted.

Below 60-70mm, subjects tend to appear distorted and warped at close range, giving the impression that their faces are unnaturally large.

Remember, the focal length is important if you're using the zoom lens, especially when zooming in and out.

Going wide for fun is one thing; it's quite another to distort an otherwise good image either by being too close or going too wide.

Don't fill up the subject's face when using a 50mm lens, particularly if you use a full-frame camera.

For close-up photography, select a lens with a longer focal length. An 85mm portrait lens would serve the job much better.

An article of interest: Top 10 Best Nikon D3100 Lenses

Aim for Eye Level When Shooting

Aim for Eye Level When Shooting

The best angle to shoot from is eye level since this is the angle from which you observe the world daily.

That is precisely why photos taken from these angles seem common and uninteresting.

Changing your perspective and shooting from a different angle than how people normally view things will naturally enhance the photo's appeal.

Explore different perspectives, including close-ups, wide-angle shots, aerial shots, and a bird's-eye view.

Tips and Tricks: 7 Tips to Take Stunning Nature Photos

Keeping the White Balance on Auto

Your images' color temperature can be determined by white balance. The problem arises when the images you take turn out too yellow or too blue, indicating that your white balance is incorrect.

Even though your camera offers a preset white balance, they are rarely accurate, and you should set the white balance manually most of the time.

There is nothing really difficult about fixing white balance in post-processing. In the early stages of your learning, this is especially useful!

You can adjust the white balance in Lightroom if the white balance settings selected when shooting don't seem right or appear different than on your camera. 

Forgetting the Shutter Speed

Forgetting the Shutter Speed

It's a major mistake for photographers not to pay attention to this crucial aspect of portrait photography. People move even when they're trying to be really still.

Portrait photography requires multiple shots taken simultaneously, allowing for slight head motions. It would be best if you froze your subject with a fast shutter speed.

A slow shutter speed is always why your portraits don't come out looking sharp. Generally, 1/250th of a second is sufficient. Problems may rise if you go below this shutter speed; you may end up with blurry photos.

Lighting is Inadequate

Taking and editing photos requires good lighting. As you get closer to your subject in portrait photography, the area you can capture narrows down.

Portrait photography can be negatively affected by excessive or insufficient lighting.

A photo's mood also plays a role. Would you prefer a romantic ambiance or bright lighting?

Angles play a part too. Choosing where the light should come from depends on your subject's tilt and position.

Too Much Distance Between the Camera and Subject

It's impossible to create focus on the subject if you keep them too close to the camera. Even if you try to be careful, it could ruin your portrait.

Wide-angle lenses are commonly used by photographers when taking portraits. There are times when this cliché isn't true.

I recommend trying both - including and excluding the lens - and then choosing what works best for you.

The act of taking a photo from too close, in any way, damages the face's structure. Your subject's nose, lips, and ears appear differently from how they do in reality.

It's a rule of thumb when focusing on portraits and people: you must put your focus point on their eyes.

Scale Issues

Check the Camera Settings

Context shots benefit most products – not just white backgrounds in studios.

Images showing the product in its context are called context shots. Carrying bags, putting on clothes, arranging furniture, etc.

It's not uncommon for people to buy furniture online and discover it's for a doll house when delivered!

Establish a product's size with a few context shots. This way, your customers won't have doubts. As a result, you will save yourself time and trouble in the future.

Timing is Everything

Timing is crucial to the success of your image. Often, candid images are confused with portrait photography mistakes.

As any professional photographer will tell you about digital photography, your subject will look better if you photograph their expression correctly.

If you don't catch them, it might be your last chance to get a picture of them.

When that perfect expression comes along, and you're instantly ready to press the shutter button, there's nothing like it. As soon as your subject looks good, you should be ready.

It's common for photographers not to wait for their subjects to act naturally and impose their ideas on them.

Make sure you don't become that photographer. Portrait photography mistakes like this make you impatient, and you then repeat these mistakes over and over again.

Check the Camera Settings

If your pictures aren't turning out the way you like, it's most likely caused by having the wrong camera settings on the camera itself.

If you set your camera to auto bracketing, you will end up with dark pictures.

Tips to Avoid Bad Photography

Avoid Bad Photography
  • To avoid camera shake in digital photography, compose and hold your camera still.
  • Use a tripod to eliminate blurry images caused by moving, aka motion blur. A faster shutter speed can prevent blurry, bad photos.
  • Make sure there isn't too much going on in the background. A distracting background can take away from the focus point of the picture.
  • Remember, each photographer will have a different perspective.
  • Don't be afraid to shoot raw mode.
  • Take a few shots, and identify your mistakes to make a huge difference in how you take pictures.
  • Don't be afraid to ask other photographers for advice or feedback. If you are looking for more camera tips and tricks, check out our articles here!


Even though you may have made the above mistakes, it's okay to do so! You can now work on fixing the mistakes so that you can learn to take amazing photos.

Digital photography is fun and can be done professionally or as a hobby.

By practicing, you will enhance your skills, and you will be able to take better photos! It's normal to make mistakes.

You have to keep at it. Play around with different shots, lighting, positions, and cameras.

Once you learn to avoid blurry photos, gain the correct exposure, and learn the photography mistakes to avoid, you will become a better photographer.

Most photographers have a favorite camera that they find easy to use. Always ensure you are happy with your camera. If you are looking for Best Digital Cameras Under $100, make sure to check our reviews here!

Ryan Mills
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