Common beginner photographer mistakes

When you’re learning how to do anything, you’re bound to make mistakes along the way. Some may be huge and others might just be technical. Trust me, we have all been there. Those of us who have spent years learning the ropes know there are some common mistakes beginner photographers often make that can be easily avoided with a bit of education.

Here are seven beginner photographer mistakes, from not shooting in raw, to overexposing and some advice on how to avoid them.

1.Not shooting in Manual Mode

As a beginner photographer just starting out, manual mode can be scary and overwhelming to learn all the buttons, settings, and dials on your camera, think about composition, and try and get the exposure right – all at the same time. Take one step at a time. If you need, start in auto and gradually work your way up to manual once you build confidence. Don't stress over it. I recommend practicing in your home and outside to learn the different buttons on your camera.

2.Not shooting in Raw

Raw files are much larger than Jpeg files. When you edit the images in photoshop and Lightroom you are more likely to recover more image detail from a raw file over a jpegs.

3. Insurance

No matter the business you are running, wether you are just starting out and collecting money from clients or you have been in the business for a few years. It is vital to have business insurance, for some wedding venues. The venues will ask you to provide proof. You wouldn't want to have that embarrassing discussion with your client when you cannot provide proof. Business insurance can be a tax write off. Photographers of America offer insurance policy coverage or you can go through an insurance broker. You can get policies as little as $20.00 a month.


Having a contract is a must-have when running a photography business. I highly suggest you have a lawyer review it to make sure that it is good enough to stand in court. Without a client contract, comes with alot of issues down the road.

5. Not taking a retainer fee

A retainer is a small fee that is paid at the time of booking for a client to reserve a date on your schedule. The retainer fee goes towards the total due so the client doesn't have to worry about paying extra. I highly recommend collecting retainer payments from clients in case they ever need to cancel you are not at a total loss from the session.


A common beginner mistake when not understanding your camera functions is overexposing. It is much easier to brighten a pictures from underexposing than fixing a blown out picture which is generally near to impossible.

7.Client Expirence

In our oversaturated photography market. Having a strong client experience is key to standing out from other photographers. Create an expirence for your clients that will bring that back again and again beacuse they are hooked.