Quick Tips: How to Avoid 3 Common Mistakes that All Beginner Photographers Make (VIDEO)

Even the best photographers mess up on occasion, and the trick is to not get lazy and make the same mistake twice. The video below illustrates three common composition errors, and explains how to avoid them.

In this tutorial, photographer Sheldon Evans intentionally makes three beginner mistakes while photographing a pretty model. After demonstrating how these mistakes affect a photo, he explains how to shoot images with more attractive compositions.

First on Evans’ list is what he refers to as “background checks,” or a failure to carefully examine what’s behind your model to make sure that prominent shapes don’t intersect her face and body. Two simple solutions are to either shoot from a different angle, or to use a wide lens aperture to blur the background. A third option is to accentuate an object in the background and use it as a compositional element or to frame your subject.

Evans provides two examples of how too much or too little “breathing room” can ruin a portrait. The first instance occurs when you place a model too close to one side of the scene—especially when she’s facing the near edge of the frame.

To learn how to rectify these problems, and see Evans demonstrate mistake #3, take a look at the four-minute video. You can find more shooting tips on Evans’ YouTube channel, and be sure to look at an another tutorial we shared, demonstrating lazy mistakes that will spoil cityscape photos. If you think you still need a refresher course on photography basics, here's another good video offering quick fixes to beginner mistakes.

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