Lauren (QUESTION): What are some of the biggest photography mistakes you see photographers making, both business-wise and skill-wise?
Phillip Van Nostrand (ANSWER): I think a big waste of time that I see people doing is playing around with edits a lot, trying vignetting, or vintage edits, playing with contrast, etc.
I kinda wish someone had told me to forget the creative edits, and try for a perfect picture IN CAMERA every time. And only then can I start tweaking the style a little. But edits should be subtle, like almost impossible to tell if it was done with a lighting trick or not. Look at any magazine photo. Was it edited or not? Done with professional lighting or natural?
I also think one of the biggest mistakes I think new photographers make in their business is following a lot of “shoulds” instead of their own strengths. For example, you should update your Facebook page every day. You should have an intro video on your website. You should have a website. You should have a full frame camera. You should blog every day. You should network more.
I can think of successful photographers for each of those shoulds who have done the exact opposite thing. Never blogged, or doesn’t have a Facebook page, or never networks, etc.
Instead, I love the idea of spending time exercising that muscle that you already have developed- Are you a natural connector? Do that more. Are you great at Instagramming and have 5000+ followers? Maximize your impact on that platform and don’t worry about your weak blog. Build your business around your strengths, not your weaknesses. There are a lot of articles written about this online, like THIS one:
What do YOU think is the biggest mistake a photographer can make in their career? Photography mistakes should only happen once! Let’s help future photographers learn from our examples.