There are plenty of ways to make our photos better, and in photography – there’s always something new to learn. However, there are some traps we can fall into without even being aware of them. In this video, James Popsys warns you of four traps that you should avoid if you want to advance your skills and enjoy photography more.
1. Worrying about how your photos look
Okay, this may sound counter-intuitive, considering all the tutorials about color theory, composition and so on. But what James wants to say is – these elements can make a good photo better, but they can’t make a bad photo good.
What’s more important than the “look” of your image is the story. And how do you know if a photo tells a story? Well, if you have questions about what’s happening in the image, if it draws you in and makes you want to know more: this means that the photo is telling a story and that it will be more interesting to the viewers.
2. Shooting for likes
You can sometimes take photos you didn’t particularly enjoy taking, just because you knew they would be appealing to others. James gives a cute example with drawings of figure sticks. Let’s say you like drawing with a pencil, and you don’t like drawing with a pen. But when you publish one of your pen drawings, you get lots of positive feedback. This could make you question your decisions just because of the praise from others. It could get you thinking: “Well, maybe I should start drawing with a pen more,” despite the fact that you don’t like it. Apply this to photography, and you get the point: it’s easy to fall into trap of shooting because of others.
Instead, shoot what you enjoy shooting! This will ultimately make you enjoy photography more and create great images.
3. Choosing the wrong focal length
Well, technically, there’s no “right” or “wrong” focal length. It’s all a matter of preference, creative decisions and so on. But, James says that he prefers “using the longest focal length he can while still maintaining [the] story.” He reminds you to think about the story you want to tell and how much context you want to include in the image.
4. Not learning to edit properly
Buying presets can be a good choice if you use them to learn from them and tweak them yourself. But many photographers use them as a one-click solution for editing their images. James points out that there are three stages of taking photos: pre-production, production and post-production. Many photographers pay a lot of attention to the production, not leaving much effort for the pre- o,r post-production. However, editing is a great way to improve your photos and add to the story. So, invest some time in learning how to edit properly so you can make the best out of your images.
Bonus: Not taking enough photos
Most photographers take lots of images and they only choose a few keepers from the batch. So basically, if you want to have more keepers: you should take more photos. However, keep in mind that this doesn’t mean you should “spray and pray.” Some commercial shoots require you to take as many photos as you can so you can have more keepers. But still, whenever you can, it’s better to plan the shots before you press the shutter.
I think that it can be pretty easy to fall into these traps. Perhaps it’s especially easy to shoot for likes, considering how easy it has become to share everything we shoot. But I believe that we should avoid them if we are aware of them. Has it happened to you that you fall into some of these traps?
[4 PHOTOGRAPHY TRAPS you need to avoid! | James Popsys]