Chances are, if you are a beginner in photography, you are going to mess up some shots before nailing the one you know is right. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to give you that feeling of “this is the one”, even with its imperfections. However, we always have some tricks up our sleeves to help you avoid some common mistakes you might be making and improve your shots.

The Confusing Composition

Looking back our early images you’ve taken, you’ll probably realize that you’re composition was a bit odd; you either centered your main element and took a shot from the front as per usual, or inserted many elements all at one without a proper layout. Splitting an photograph in half all time time leaves people looking at the image, unsure of which half to look at, which is the intended subject.

Tip: Use the Rule of Thirds as your compositional guide for photography.

The rule of thirds breaks the image up into nine equal squares. Where the lines intersect we call these Points of Interest. The rule works by placing your subject, and other elements, along the lines and at the points of interest.

As you enroll in our future photography courses you’ll hear and learn more about it.

Cutting Elements Right at the Frame Outline

It’s a very common mistake beginners do. Could be someone’s feet or top of head. It can happen in architecture and landscapes as too where the top is missing or taken at an awkward angle.

Tip: Define in advance what you want to focus on in your photograph and remember that your picture is not just that element, but also its surroundings.

Only Looking at Your Subject

This is usually okay if you’re taking a very zoomed in close up on your subject, or taking an isolated element on an isolated background. However, if you are in an uncontrollable surrounding like nature, you might want to pay attention to what’s actually behind the subject you are shooting.

Tip: Consider everything in the frame. Pay attention to what might be distracting the eye from the main subject or even ruining your frame.Only

Using Camera Horizontally

One thing we notice with amature photographers is that they only use their camera in landscape mode. They never seem to consider turning their cameras up on the side, to shoot vertically.

Tip: Experiment with the portrait mode (vertical) and see if you can get a better image.

Crooked Horizontal Line

Yayks, not even the post-editing phase could fix that mistake sometimes. You can have a perfect exposure, an excellent subject, great lighting, and nail the composition, but if the rotation is off, it can ruin your shot and it will end up the only thing you’ll notice when you look at the image.

Tip: Use the supportive gear to help you out, the tripod.

Blurry Images

… That are not done artistically on purpose… This is a common mistake that could happen when you’re in manual mode on your camera. If you take a picture without focusing correctly, our image will turn out blurry in all the wrong places and there's nothing you can do to fix it.

Tip: Take your time and be patient while adjusting your lenses and zoom, and make sure you take sharp shots if this is the end result you’re going for.

Wrong Shutter Speed

It's a tough subject to master, but one that's critical to you realizing your full potential as a photographer. Shutter speed is used to control motion. So ask yourself is the goal to stop motion or to blur motion? A faster shutter speed will stop motion, and the faster the subject is moving, the faster the shutter speed must be to accomplish this. Conversely, the slower the shutter speed, the more any moving object will be blurred.

Tip: As a beginner, you can take the easy road and put the camera in full auto mode and let it do all the work or you can take zakaziko’s course and understand the fundamentals of photography better for you to apply them better!

“I’ll Fix This Later” Attitude

Editing is amazing, but you can’t rely on it. Wasted time and effort is the last thing you want especially if your mistake is related to exposure or blurriness. It’s better if you fix and retake your settings before you take the image, avoid the issues left for post-processing since sometimes you think you can fix something, but it turns out you couldn’t and the image is useless.

Tip: Don’t be lazy. Expose right, set your scene properly, then use post-processing to fix little things if necessary.

Black and White Gone Bad

Everybody does black and white images, but few people understand how to use them and their purpose. They are meant to remove the color as a distraction to get to the point and focus the attention to some key aspect of the photo you are making.

Tip: Avoid seeing pictures as “colored and i’ll turn them black and white in editing”. Analyze your shot and see it in black and white before you shoot it.


By that we mean being just “okay” with the pictures you took, without being excited and being a photographer just for the sake of holding the camera and snapping. This is a very big mistake as it gives you a nonchalant attitude that will get you nowhere.

Tip: Take pictures you’d be proud to call your own and that are not commonly taken by other people. You want to stand out and be unique. Don’t settle.

What other mistakes did you do early on in your career? And if you’re new to the game, did we get this right?