5 Bad Photographer Habits

(and how to break them)

We don’t know where they come from, how they started or how to get rid of them. But we’ve all got them. Figured it out yet? Yes, we are on the hunt to discover (and eliminate) our bad photographer habits.

This could be a tough pill for us all to swallow, but all photographers pick up bad habits at some point in their time. You might never know what it is until someone points it out.

There are so many bad habits that we acquire. So, in this iPhotography exposé video and guide, we are going to call out some of these bad habits and replace them with good ones.

If you want to shake off these shackles of imperfection, stick around as we train your brain to lose 5 bad photographer habits.

How Are Bad Photographer Habits Formed?

Well, no one really knows; it could be a number of ways. But in terms of photography, most of them are picked up through copycatting other photographers and assuming that’s the way to do things (especially if you’re new). However, if that photographer is lazy then you’re just inheriting the issue.

There are 5 bad photographer habits that we just can’t stand at iPhotography. We see these bad habits on a regular basis and are desperate to put an end to it. This is why we’ve got our list together and we’re going to bust these habits wide open. Let’s start…

Standing Positions

You’ll never think of it until now but how you stand when you’re taking a photo can (over many years) have an effect on your body.

We’re forever seeing pictures of photographers leaning over their centre of gravity, twisting their hips for shots, arching their head and neck upwards – it makes us ache just looking at these people!

Here are 6 little (but helpful) tips on how to stop this backbreaking bad photographer habit:

6 Top Tips

Two hands are better than one

Try to keep two hands on the camera at all times. This will not only help to reduce motion blur if you are using a slower shutter speed but it also looks more professional and in control of the composition.

Don’t lean back on to your standing leg

If you have your legs slightly apart like you are taking a step forward, lean forwards and put your weight on to the front leg. This is a lot more comfortable as it puts no stress on the spine.

Don’t look down

Never lean your head down towards your toes. It may be great in Yoga lessons, but you are totally out of control when your weight is shifted over your centre of gravity.

Don’t squat down!

Try to avoid placing all of your weight on your back as it will pull your centre of gravity backwards making it easier to fall over. Instead, kneel down with one knee on the floor and lean your weight forwards distributing it more evenly.

Keep your centre of gravity between your feet

Leaning on one leg and shifting your weight to one side will unbalance you and your camera will not be steady in your hands. Move positions to make sure you have a sure footing and both feet flat on the floor.

Brace yourself

Investing in back support can be a good idea if you are moving around, doing heavy lifting of lights and weights when working out on location. Knee supports are also brilliant investments to wear under your trousers if you take a lot of low angles and spend most of your shoots on your knees, which is quite true of many children photographers.

smiling photographer looking at camera on bench

Spraying & Praying

Bad photographer habit part 2 – The ‘Spray and Pray’, Hail Mary’s or just Blind shooting. Whatever you call it, it all means one thing in photography – you’re out of control! That moment when you just slam your finger down on the shutter and take a whole raft of pictures hoping there’s one good one in there will never teach you to be a good photographer.

Despite being a common bad habit of the new photographer, it’s an easy one to grow out of early on. This habit comes from a combination of 2 things; fear of missing the moment and the reliance on digital cameras.

Not being comfortable and confident enough with your camera will cause you to rely on the camera doing the work in auto mode. 

fingers crossed model on yellow

The allowances of digital cameras to shoot 10-15 images per second results in you having a massive library of repetitive images. When in reality all wanted was just one.

This is why learning about your camera is crucial. You need to learn how to compose yourself for the moment the action happens. Eventually, you’ll only need to take 1-3 shots of a composition before knowing you’ve definitely captured the moment. This will cut down your editing time afterwards too if you’re not deciding between hundreds of pictures.

Obviously, we wouldn’t miss an opportunity to tell you that you can learn how to overcome these bad photographer habits in our own iPhotography online training course. We’ve got stacks of information, tips, downloads and videos to watch to help you learn about basic photography and photo editing. Hit this link to sign up today and get tonnes more help with your photography.

Big Memory Cards

This is a real problem that has caused so much heartbreak for photographers and even their clients – so if you’ve got photography client, listen up.

Big memory cards sound fantastic. Think about a smartphone salesperson saying they’ve got 2 phones on sale for the same price. One has 32gb of storage the other has 128gb – which one are you gonna go for?

memory cards iphotography bad habit

But the same logic shouldn’t apply to photography, and here’s why:

You’re shooting a wedding using 4x32gb memory cards. When you come to upload them at home, one of them is corrupt! Now you’ve lost 25% of your shots – disaster!

Now, imagine shooting that wedding again using 1x128gb card. When you come to edit that one gets corrupted – you’ve now lost 100% of your shots – that’s Armageddon (especially for a wedding).

You can probably guess what we’re getting at. Big cards don’t always mean better. The reliability of memory cards is certainly getting better. But all it takes is one little glitch or accident for you to lose all those precious memories. Be wise and divide you shoots over different cards.

Super Tip – Swap out your cards every couple of weeks and don’t be afraid to throw cards away if they are acting faulty. Memory cards are so cheap these days – they’re not a big expense to replace. Oh, and make sure you back up your shots too. Hard drives can fail just as much as memory cards!

hand holding memory card camera photography

Don’t Zoom, Move

Now here’s a bad habit even we are guilty of falling into. Granted it’s not always easy to get into the exact position. However, relying on a zoom lens to just get closer for you is a little bit lazy.

If you can’t get close, of course zoom in by all means. But don’t take up any old position and just push the zoom button to get a closer shot. Instead, move your feet and get into the position for the best version of your shot. You don’t want to come away with a half-baked version of your picture, do you?

Understandably, if you’re at the Empire State building for example, you may become starstruck and rely on your zoom lens to get a better view. However, just imagine how much of an improvement you could introduce to your snapshots by moving your feet. 

Ignoring Advice

Inspiration and opportunities come from listening. If someone is offering constructive advice about your planning, photography, settings or editing, take a moment to listen.

Don’t be defensive and think you know better (unless you’re a world-famous photographer – but even they will listen to sensible advice).

Review any advice you’re given, even if it’s from non-photographers – after all, you were a non-photographer once but still critiqued other people’s photos in your head.

If you are wanting to ever branch out and earn money from your photography non-photographers are your potential clients. If you look at it like that, you’ll want to listen to any advice your clients are giving you as that’s how to make money.

advice photographers

Summary

Well, we know it may have sounded like a little bit of tough love there. We promise you though it will help you in the long run. We speak from experience and know that these tips have helped us become better photographers over the years.

That’s why we included tonnes of tips like this and more in modules 15 and 16 of our iPhotography Course. You can find out more information about the course and join up today by clicking here.

Get in touch and let us know which bad photographer habits really annoy you. Find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and we’ll share out some of the best ones!

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