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5 BIG Photography Mistakes I Made In The Beginning (Don’t Make Them Too!)

BIG Photography Mistakes I Made In The Beginning (Don't Make them Too!)

5 BIG Photography Mistakes I Made In The Beginning (Don’t Make them Too!)

I’m not gonna lie to you.

I’m not perfect.

I make mistakes (shhh….don’t tell my kids that though )

Being newer to photography or editing, you’ve probably noticed that you’ve made some mistakes too.

It’s all good though. It’s how you grow and get better.


So instead of pretending like I’m perfect, like nothing has EVER went wrong for me, I want to share with you 5 of the mistakes I made in my beginning days of learning photography ( and help you so you can learn from my errors!)



  1. Trying To Be The Master Of All Types Of Photography

Yup, I thought I could do it all.

Newborns, families, headshots, weddings, real estate, you name it.

The thing was, while testing out the waters in different areas DID help me learn what I liked and didn’t ( so you should be playing around too!), once I knew what I DIDN’T really love, I still tried to be great at it. (facepalm)

I took any job or request that came my way- even if I dreaded it.

Don’t do this. After you try things out a bit, find that type of photography you’re most passionate about AND be the out of this world BEST you can be at that (let the other guys handles the rest)

You’ll find that you will get even better even quicker at what it is you truly love.


  1. Thinking I Had To Buy Everything To Be Good.

I started out with a really old model Canon rebel model camera that I borrowed from my Dad.

The thing about it was even though it was pretty old- it wasn’t a bad camera.

But at the time, I thought that I NEEDED a better one (even though I couldn’t afford it).

I also thought I NEEDED a mega expensive lens. When in reality, upgrading to the inexpensive 50mm 1.8 saw the quickest results.

I also thought I NEEDED all that extra gear- a reflector, a gray card, an expo disc, new camera bag (I can keep going, but you get the picture, right?) A lot of the stuff I bought and then it just sat in my closet for a long time. 

Looking back the piece of equipment that helped me the most was that borrowed camera + my desire to learn everything about it. And that didn’t cost a dime.

(would you rather listen? Hear Emily talk about how to get past the mistakes you might be making right here on The Stay Focused Podcast!)

  1. Not Being Confident In {the little} I Knew

Again, I didn’t know everything back in the day (and still don’t now) BUT I did know somethings when it came to photography.

When I was portfolio building I wasn’t as confident as I should have been in the things that I did know.

I let other people or clients run the show and change things that I KNEW weren’t going to look good. I should have been more confident and took more control (and YOU should too!)

Things like:

  • time of day
  • location
  • what to wear -no neon green with big logos all over the front and camouflage pants will not look good (why didn’t I just say that!)

Even though you might not consider yourself *advanced* or an *expert* , you do know a lot, so be confident in what you know.


  1. Having The Attitude Of “Oh, I can just fix it later in Photoshop”

OMG! I would say this so much back in the day, and I just cringe now to hear it.

It is so much easier if you just take your time and get the shot right IN CAMERA, slow things down, pay attention to detail and pretend like it’s not even going into Photoshop. Trust me on this one.Best editing program for portrait photographers


  1. Comparing Myself To Others

When I looked at other photographers work I thought for a long time, “I’ll never get to that level”, I’ll never be as good as them, I started too late…I just can’t get there?

Do you ever think that?

I want you to stop…like now. (and I know it’s hard)

But that was one of the biggest mistakes that I made. When I realized I was just hurting myself that is when I started really seeing progress and you will too!


5 BIG Photography Mistakes I Made In The Beginning (Don't Make them Too!) | The Friday 5


So I’m curious, have you made these mistakes? Or what is a mistake that YOU’ VE made along the way that you’d like to tell others about? Let us all know in a comment below!


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  • YasmeenApril 30, 2022 - 8:04 pm

    I did my first family photo shoot today. And I literally did everything you mentioned lol! 
    Thank you for sharing this! It helps out a lot!  ReplyCancel

  • PandiMay 21, 2021 - 11:13 am

    always interested to read photographer’s honest comments about their earlier experiences – I find it really difficult to believe that my work is good enough to show publicly.  I have belonged to a good local camera club for three years but have never shown a single image.  I am going to make it happen as soon as we start to meet up again in person at the club  – I know that some of the members show images that are not as good as mine – I am always surprised when I realise this.  I need to just have more belief in myself!ReplyCancel

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