1. Shooting in Auto:
Not learning how to shoot in manual mode can cost you a lot. It's really important to know how to focus on a subject and give the images the depth they need. When you don’t know how to use your camera properly, you end up capturing vague colors, or very unnatural images. So, before you even get to the editing part, make sure that the images you take are already amazing.
2. Shooting in JPG:
Shooting in JPG is okay. That's when you are a seasoned photographer and you're well aware of what you are doing in regards to white balance. At first, I learned to shoot in RAW, but for some reason, I had my camera set on RAW and JPG. And I really didn't know the difference. So, when I started editing my photos with presets, I wondered why my images did not look as they should. Using the right camera settings is very important if you want your images to come out the right way when you edit them.
The biggest problem comes in when you don't know anything about white balance. Have you noticed that when you look at some of your old work, it looks yellowish and just seems to be off? It's because your white balance is not correct. And believe me, I learned this the hard way. Only after I took a class on white balance, I was finally able to learn how to apply white balance correctly and I could truly see the pure white. This class helped me train my eyes. After this class, my work changed for the better.
Which brings me to the next big mistake...
4. Over-Editing My Images:
I had a certain vision in my mind and really wanted the images I was editing to represent this vision. But, my problem was that I didn't know how to edit my images time-efficiently. The truth is, I needed one whole hour to edit one single image! I used sky overlays when I didn't need them. I hand painted each image. These are things that are all fine when you know what you are doing. But, the way I was doing it, I was creating unnecessary work for myself and spending tons of time doing things I really didn’t need to do.
Another big mistake I made was spending tons of money on photoshop actions without knowing how to really work with them. Oftentimes, when our images don’t come out as great as we want them to, we tend to blame the presets and actions. This was my initial reaction when I applied different presets and my images just did not look right. I was asking myself: "Why are they not working the way they should be?" I came to the conclusion, it's not worth it and actions & presets are a rip-off. And this is what many new photographers believe as well.
The truth is, actions & presets are extremely helpful, but there is one important step you need to do before even buying them.
I realized that my images were not looking the way they were supposed to because I first needed to know what the actions and presets do and why and how to work with the programs they come in. I needed to learn and understand Photoshop & Lightroom before working with actions.
This changed the whole game for me. Once I conquered Photoshop and Lightroom, all the actions and presets I started using made my images stunning.
So, if you find yourself making any of these top five mistakes, just know that you're not alone in this. I've been there and I can tell you that as long as you're open to learning new things, you will become the photographer you aspire to be.
If you're wondering how I edited all the images, I used the new Willow Collection that is now available!
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