When a new photographer starts out they often have great visions of grandeur about the kinds of images they will create. They’ve been inspired and are ready to share their passion and skill with the world. What they may not know is that much of that visual magic is knowing how to engage your subject, post production, and understanding light. Mango Street Lab has created a nice look at a few common problems to avoid. Check it out below and the breakdown under that.

Mistake # 1 – Blowing Out the Highlights

Knowing how to properly retain your highlights is one of the first hurdles a new photographer faces. Realizing that most cameras can’t immediately reproduce what your eyes see can be discouraging, but with experience, you can learn how to shoot with your post production workflow in mind, and when you do, you unlock your creative options while shooting.

Editorial note* – It warrants saying here that blown out highlights does not a bad picture make. Getting away from the thought that only an evenly exposed image is a good one is critical to expanding your creative boundaries and not being restricted by textbook definitions. Of course as with all, you should know the rules before you set out to break them, but do break them as you see fit. There’s a distinct difference in doing something deliberately than failing to recognize a problem.

Mistake #2 – Posing Instead of Directing

When you see a portrait that captures candid expressions and authentic moods, we are often tempted to recreate that look. However, this can be counterproductive because forcing a pose or expression won’t capture what you are originally looking to create. Of course, there will be times when you need to give specific instructions, but still, guiding a subject versus positioning someone is sometimes the way to get what you want in a portrait.

[REWIND:Unscripted | Photo Shoot BTS: Chapter One: Engagement Photography Posing & Lighting]

Mistake #3 – Seek Out Good Light

The key to good photography is understanding how to adjust to and manipulate light and knowing what you want in a shot will let you know how react to the available light in a given context. You will have to be resourceful because outside of a studio, you don’t have total control of the light, as you are at the mercy of the environmental factors. Once you know how the setting limits or enables you, you are free to explore shooting options.

[REWIND: Lighting 101: Case Study 4 | Quick Lighting for Family Portraits]


Source: Mango Street Lab