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5 common photography mistakes to avoid

photography lessons for kids

Photography is an art, and like all art, it is open to interpretation. However, there are certain technical aspects of photography that can greatly enhance the quality of a photo and improve your skills as a photographer.

Here are five ways to avoid common photography mistakes and take more eye-catching photos.

photography mistake #1 - Blurry Images

photography mistakes - blurry photos

This is probably the most common photography mistake. Blurry images are usually caused by camera shake or by not having the subject in focus.

If you're using a DSLR camera, make sure you're using a fast shutter speed (1/250 or faster) to freeze the action and avoid camera shake.

And when you're taking a picture of a person or object, be sure to use autofocus and put the subject in the center of the frame. 

photography mistake #2 - over or underexposed photos

Another common problem with photographs is that they are either over or underexposed. This means that either the highlights are blown out (overexposed) or the shadows are too dark (underexposed). To avoid this, try to use the histogram on your camera to ensure that your image is evenly exposed.

Or, if you're shooting in manual mode, take a few test shots and adjust the shutter speed, aperture, and ISO until you get an evenly exposed image.

Photography mistake #3 - Poor Composition

Composition is important in all types of art, including photography. A good photograph has interesting elements that are arranged in an aesthetically pleasing way.

For example, the "rule of thirds" is a popular compositional technique where you imagine your frame divided into thirds both horizontally and vertically, and then place your subject at one of the intersection points. This creates more visual interest than simply centering your subject in the frame. 

photography mistake #4 - not telling a story

A good photograph should tell a story or convey a feeling. This can be done through focusing on a specific detail, using leading lines to draw the viewer's eye into the frame, or capture an emotion with facial expressions and body language.

The best photographs are those that leave the viewer wanting to know more about what they're seeing.

photography mistake #5 - bad lighting

Lighting is one of the most important aspects of photography, and it can completely make or break a photo. Poor lighting can result in flat, uninteresting images with no shadow or highlight detail.

When taking pictures indoors, try to position your subject near a window for natural light; if you're shooting outside, early morning or late afternoon light is usually best for avoided harsh shadows from direct sunlight.

And if you're using flash, be mindful of any unwanted reflections by angling your flash away from shiny surfaces . 

Using these five common photography mistakes as guidance, you now understand how to improve your photography skills and take excellent photos you can be proud of!

Photography lesson plans pack (Printables)

Jump right into teaching photography with our exclusive Photography Lesson Plans pack.


  • 10 Photography Lesson Plans
  • 1 Teacher's Guide 
  • 3 Photography Study Guides
  • 30-Day Photography Challenge
  • 1 Student Workbook
  • 24 Cut-Out Photo Flash Cards
  • 1 Photo Scavenger Hunt


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