Committing errors is inevitable when you’re just starting out in photography. Thankfully, Sorelle Amore has some useful tips to make your photography process more streamlined as you learn the craft. In this video, she breaks down 12 critical mistakes beginners make and offers solutions on how to avoid them.
1. Simplicity is key
Amore’s first advice is to keep your photographs simple. Try to stick to three elements in your image to communicate the message of the image A.S.A.P. It also makes your Instagram look better because people know exactly what they’re looking at.
2. Head positioning
Placing your subject’s head in parallel with the horizon will not make your image look good. For better composition, you should either shoot higher or lower so the head isn’t directly in line with the horizon.
3. Highlights Blow Out
If your settings result in your image being blown out, there’s no chance you can save it through post-processing. To keep it safe, you can intentionally underexpose your photo and bring up the exposure and highlights while editing.
4. Fakeness Level 100
Don’t pose too much when you’re doing self-portraits. Keep everything look as natural as possible. Play out emotions instead of just posing.
5. Lack of Editing
Some beginner photographers don’t like to edit their photographs. Unfortunately, they’re not bringing out the potential of their work if they don’t do any post-processing. According to Amore, 50 to 60 percent of the photograph is in the editing because this is where you can bring out your own style, show what you like. So if you’re one of those photographers who doesn’t believe in editing, you better rethink your position on the subject.
6. Excess Editing
On the other hand, there are also photographers that edit their photos excessively. Don’t use any of the filters on Instagram because they’ll end up making your image look worse. Figure out your own style.
The sharpness of your focus point in your photograph distinguishes you from a beginner. Always focus on the eyes when you’re shooting humans because they’re the window to the soul.
8. Crappy Composition
Stick to the rule of thirds or shoot people in the center. While there are other ways to compose your image, Amore says that you have to learn the rules first before you break them.
9. Nope…Noooope…Just Nope
Although Amore concurs that nobody really does it anymore, she still reminds you not to bring up the shadows or create an HDR effect. If you do, your image is going to look outdated and it will give people the impression that you’re still a novice.
10. Lack of Subject
If you don’t have a subject, your photo will end up looking very dull. If there’s nothing that draws your eye in, it’s going to be boring. There has to be a focal point whether it’s a person, an animal, a tree, or a building. Give people something to look at instead of trying to work out what the image is about.
It happens to all of us when we begin photography. We’re afraid that we might not get the shot that we over-shoot straight away. Go to the location first and analyze everything around you. Walk around and figure out the best spots to take photos and see if the lighting is good. Set your frame perfectly and start shooting with intention.
And as for the 12th tip? There isn’t really any.
Regardless, these simple pieces of advice will be enough to get you through the first few phases of your photography. The sooner you learn how to do things the right way, the lesser chances there are for you to mess up. So keep these things in mind next time you go out and shoot.
Sorelle Amore regularly posts photography tips and tricks on her channel, including useful posing tips to help you shoot stunning self-portraits. So don’t forget to visit it if you find her tutorials interesting.