8 stupid photography and filmmaking mistakes we’re almost all guilty of making

Apr 22, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

8 stupid photography and filmmaking mistakes we’re almost all guilty of making

Apr 22, 2020

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZtufQJHWfD0

While most of us aren’t out shooting, now is a perfect time to sit and reflect on the photographic and filmmaking mistakes we’ve made, and how we can stop making them going forward. In this video, Joris Hermans talks about 8 of the dumbest photography and filmmaking mistakes he’s made (and sometimes still makes). They’re mistakes that almost all of us have made at some point.

These aren’t the only mistakes that we make, but most of these are definitely ones I’ve done at some point or another before figuring out solutions to them. Some of them will only apply to filmmakers (like microphone issues), but others will apply equally to both filmmakers and photographers.

  1. Cards all full and not having fresh spares
  2. Not plugging the microphone in
  3. Joris doesn’t even know what to call this one (it might just be him)
  4. Not checking camera settings
  5. Low batteries and not carrying fully charged spares
  6. Forgetting memory cards
  7. You left your self-timer on the camera
  8. you forgot to take the lens cap off

On the topic of number 2, one of my biggest microphone mistakes is with wireless lavs and not double regularly checking the power in the batteries. Even when I’m reasonably confident that I’m not picking up interference and my levels are good, it’s difficult to know without regularly checking if the batteries in either the transmitter or receiver have died.

I’m not sure what’s going on in number 3, but when it comes to number 8… Who cares? Stop yelling at people that their lens cap is on. They know as soon as they raise their camera to their eye. This whole issue was about film rangefinder cameras where you weren’t looking through the lens to see your scene. With those, even if your lens cap was on the end of the lens, your view wasn’t obscured. So, it was easy to snap through a whole roll of film without realising that you’d shot nothing.

These days, almost all digital cameras show the photographer the view through the lens. So, if there’s a lens cap on there, they’ll see the blackness and then take it off. So, stop yelling at them like an idiot.

Which of these mistakes are you guilty of making regularly? What other mistakes do you often make that you need to work on fixing?

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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4 responses to “8 stupid photography and filmmaking mistakes we’re almost all guilty of making”

  1. Scott Marx Avatar
    Scott Marx

    I never have to worry about #8. I lose my lens caps almost immediately after I get a new lens.

  2. Matt MacDonell Avatar
    Matt MacDonell

    9. leaving mirror lock-up enabled

  3. Nick Karen M Avatar
    Nick Karen M

    Not shutting off the timer. And pressing the shutter. Then waiting for three shots twenty seconds apart… and missing an important shot.

  4. Michael Beckerman Avatar
    Michael Beckerman

    10. Taking WAY more gear than you really need and then missing a great shooting opportunity because you were too focused on managing all that gear.