Photography Tips For Amateurs

With advancing technology everyone thinks they are a photographer, however, there are key mistakes that fellow amateur photographs make on a daily basis without even knowing. We have compiled a list of tips to help you make your “duck-selfie” look like a professional portrait.


Avoid awkward crops

A common mistake among amateur photographers is awkward crops. You know those images where people are cropped right by the neck or their joints or across their waist? Yes? These images that make people’s limbs look decapitated – avoid awkward crops by any means necessary. Of course when it comes to shooting, the more you practice the more you improve, so never stop practicing and stop decapitating your models!

Avoid facing the lens into the sun

When you’re shooting a subject in the afternoon and you’re not aiming for a silhouette then make sure the sun is behind you as the photographer. If the sun is in front of you then your subject/ object will look dark or like a silhouette and changes of getting lens flare in your images increase. Lens flare typically looks cool when done intentionally, however, it is still technically considered a photography mistake. As an amateur, it’s best to avoid it.

Embrace the learning process

Do research as much as you can on photography technics and tips from multiple sites. It also helps to research other photographers’ work so you can find a source of inspiration and find your own niche. Experiment often but also know how to use your equipment so you don’t damage it. We all know photography is not a cheap hobby. For better images, make sure you know the correct postures to handle your camera when taking portraits verses taking landscapes.

Avoid expensive equipment

As mentioned before, photography is not a cheap hobby and if you’re an amateur don’t buy a top range professional DSLR as your first camera. Look for starter kits on takealot or at your nearest camera shopping outlet. You can always invest in the professional/ pricer equipment later but as an amateur, start small, learn the basics then slowly progress. Besides, it’s pretty pointless to buy a top-of-the-range professional camera and have no clue how to use it. Sure you can always learn but there is a reason cameras are categorised on expertise levels.

Avoid overusing the flash

Most beginner and intermediate DSLR cameras come with a built-in flash that can be difficult to control in terms of brightness/ intensity. Some amateur photographers will just snap away without regarding how the intensity of the flash can be too harsh on the subject or object, making them look flashed out and/ or ghosty. To avoid this, shoot on manual and adjust your ISO and shutter speed in a way that allows for you to use more of the natural light and less of the flash. Otherwise, you can use DIY differs such as a clear white sheet of paper to lessen the intensity from the flash.

We wish you all the best on your photography journey and if you have a photoshoot coming up, click here for some helpful photoshoot tips!

By Cleopatra Shava

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