Almost anyone with a camera has pictures they love to show off. But how many of those pictures are actually any good? It can be really hard to get a good picture, and even the pros mess up sometimes. All it takes is one little slip-up, and you could be left with something that’s not quite as flawless as you’d hoped. The good news is that most of these mistakes are completely avoidable with just a little bit of preparation.
Essentially, one of the first steps in taking better pictures is to learn how to shoot in manual mode. For many cameras, this is pretty easy, you select the mode by name, and it’s ready to go. But for those who are still trying to get the hang of it, here are the top five photography mistakes to avoid when taking beautiful photos or learning photography, so your pictures look their absolute best.
1. Don’t Take Pictures In Direct Sunlight
Not only will your photos be overexposed and washed out, but they’ll also have harsh shadows that will make your subject look less attractive than they are. The best time to snap pictures is either early morning or late evening when the sun is low in the sky.
2. Don’t Stand Too Close Or Too Far Away From Your Subject
If you’re taking a portrait-style photo, be sure not to stand too close to your subject or zoom in on them with your lens. Stand far enough away that you can fit their entire body or face into the frame. Inversely, when photographing a landscape or group picture, be sure not to zoom out too much
3. Avoid Outdated Poses
The worst thing you can do is repeat poses that others have overused. The internet is full of stock images of people doing the same things, such as standing in front of big landmarks, pretending they’re not in the touristy areas, or posing on top of cars. It’s boring when your couple’s poses look exactly like everyone else’s.
Next time you’re out taking pictures, instead of standing in front of the Eiffel Tower with a cheesy smile on your face, try getting your subject to lie down across its base. Instead of standing on top of a castle wall, try lying down inside one of its turrets. There are creative poses that will get you the attention of the onlookers. Before going for photography, research unique female or male poses to stand out.
4. Don’t Get Too Close To Your Subject
It isn’t just about looking unflattering. Getting too close can throw off the entire composition of your shot. If you’re right up in their face, you don’t have much room to show anything else in the background, and you won’t see any detail on their clothes or hair. You also might miss certain nuances of expression that are easier to capture when there’s some distance between the camera and subject.
5. Always Turn Your Flash Off
If you don’t like using your flash, don’t use it at all. Most cameras have automatic flash settings that do an amazing job of taking pictures without them. And if you do end up using a flash, make sure you diffuse it, so it doesn’t give harsh shadows on your subject’s skin. This is especially important for people with darker skin tones. You want your photos to look as flattering as possible for everyone. Also, make sure you master dramatic lighting techniques when taking your photos.
Finally, by avoiding these five common photography mistakes, you can make sure your photos come out looking professional, polished, and mistake-free. Keep these tips in mind the next time you pick up your camera, and you will be taking professional-quality photos in no time.