10 Photography Mistakes I wish I would have know when I first started

10 Photography Mistakes I wish I would have know when I first started



this is gonna be painful because I have to admit to you some things that I learned the hard way I've looked over my list a couple times and how I wish I could go back and tell myself oh watch out for this these are the top dirty secrets I wish I would have known when I first got started in photography if you were to come over here as a brand new or even as an intermediate photographer these are some of the things that I would share with you and I know a lot of you are gonna disagree with me and if you have more that you want to add to the list feel free to do so down below so the first one I want to start off with is that UV filters for the most part are completely useless I know people who use them to protect their camera the whole idea of a UV filter is to filter out UV light and the truth of the matter is they really don't add any benefit and when they get dirty they can actually degrade the image I spent a lot of money when I first got started on UV filters for every single lens that I had is it just throwing money away I know there are some cases where it can help with weather proofing you know if you're worried about dropping your lens that's something that happens a lot they can add a layer of protection but I remember when I first got started I bought UV filters for every lens that I had and I wanted to get the good ones I was spending you know 60 $70 on UV filters just a stupid waste of money there's so much money that I've lost think about well we're talking about filters and this is something I didn't learn until a couple years ago is that most nd filters are not even ND filters they are colorcast filters that introduce shifting color and they expect you to color correct it either in post or do a calibration beforehand there are some good filters out there but the vast majority of them are not good something I never would have imagined is the vast majority of the work that I do I use either one or two lenses usually it's one in between the focal length range of 24 to 70 or 24 to 105 on every camera system that I use 80 to 90% of the time it's the only lens that I use when I got started I went out and bought pretty much all the Canon EF you know the L lens is the really nice ones I spent 10 thousands of dollars on them and most of them have just sat being unused lens copies talking about the same model of lens the lens that I have of a certain lens compared to the lens that you have of a certain lens are different even though they're made by the same company and they should be the same they're not the same the performance of lenses varies widely depending on the copy that you have and even though companies come out and publish MTF charts the truth of the matter is there's plenty of variation because lenses are not a perfect material and because of this when you spend big money on a lens you should definitely be testing it making sure it's sharp in all the places it should be and if it's not you should return it something I didn't know when I first got started was that a good lens is far better than a good body if you have a crappy lens body's not gonna matter so much imagers are gonna be soft it could be bad focusing so if you're looking to invest try lenses first gear acquirement syndrome gas is absolutely a real thing you get excited about buying a new tool that will help you solve a problem ideally but there's this side of photography that we all experience that we want to buy gear mainly for the reason of buying new gear and it doesn't really get us shooting more in the more of this gear that we purchased the less of it we tend to use and you should be focusing more on your skill sets than the tools that you are using that's something I think people figure out pretty quick is that the skills are far more important than the gear cameras follow a life cycle and what I mean when I say this is that camera companies plan how new cameras are coming out and it usually falls under a predictable pattern either a number of years or number of months it can vary a little bit but if you know the product cycle of your camera you'll know when to sell it to maximize the value so when the camera company comes out with a new camera the moment they do that your camera loses value in the ebay market in terms of reselling to other people as soon as that new camera comes out it's going to drop and if you follow the product life cycle you will be able to save at least a couple hundred dollars by selling right before the announcement if you are watching you know closely those kinds of things you can definitely save yourself some money or selling it immediately when the announcement takes place sometimes it takes not as serious users a few days to figure out hey there's a new camera coming and you know once it's common knowledge then you can expect the value of your camera to drop significantly something I wish you would have known I'm gonna take that one a step further sometimes your camera company can die we saw that with the Samsung line where people were going out and their Samsung was making they were making a great camera in 2014 they had some pretty good lenses – I was very impressed with Samsung but for whatever reason it just didn't get traction and a lot of people abandoned it and so now they're not really even a thing you may have bought all those lenses and yeah it'll still work but at some point you're gonna probably want to move on to a new camera body and they're not making new ones painful lesson generic strobes are actually pretty good in fact when I got into the Canon strobe system I was spending I've spent thousand dollars just on the 600 EXR t2s I got two of them and a commander that was a thousand dollars right there you know when I was shooting weddings I had two or three different five ATS and it's changed a little bit now in that there are a number of knockoff flashes godox for example there's cheetahs tons of great strobes out there that really don't cost that much if you know how to use the light you can save yourself a lot of money by buying a generic strobe probably the number one thing that I wish I would have known when I first got started was that a good mentor can absolutely make a huge difference but the number and the quality of the mentors out there varies widely okay there are some really really good mentors and there are some really terrible ones there's a lot of imitators who have been shooting for you know a couple months and they're trying to teach that they're out there so when I first got started we didn't have YouTube I had to learn on my own it took me about two years to really get comfortable with my I was so frustrated and because when I got started I didn't have a mentor I had to go through a lot of trial and error and just learning and figuring things out on my own eventually I got it in for beginners now I would definitely say invest in some kind of a tutorial some kind of training when you are learning your camera and first getting started it's gonna save you a lot of time a lot of hassle for beginning and intermediate photographers when you start becoming a more advanced shooter you're going to get the opportunity to attend a workshop I have attended many workshops I have put on many workshops and what I learned was that sometimes photographers like to cram the number of attendees they have so you're gonna have a very different experience attending a workshop that has four to six attendees versus a workshop that has twenty or thirty and I've been to the twenty and thirty workshops I didn't feel like I got as much out of it in in some cases they kind of felt like they were holding back they weren't giving they weren't teaching everything that they you wanted to know it I'd ask questions they wouldn't really answer it not thrilled about that some of these workshops are pretty expensive you can expect to spend anywhere from four hundred to two grand for a workshop unless the photographer is super niche meaning that they do something unique and original and only they are doing it I would kind of shy away from the very expensive workshops where lots of people are attending and try to find more intimate hate using that word intimate workshops where there's just a few attendees and you can get more one-on-one time finally when you are transitioning into expert level when I say that I mean you are becoming a pro shooter full-time it's going to be a huge advantage to find an intimate hate that word' an intimate mentor or a close contact mentor maybe that's the better word somebody that you can call or talk to you every day maybe not in person maybe on the phone maybe by email and I have some students that I'm actually mentoring right now I hope Marissa doesn't mind me talking about her Marissa was essentially a stay-at-home mom she has four kids taking pictures of her kids and she transitioned into couples and she got some opportunities and the thing that she did great was she found a niche she's a basically a western horseback riding style photographer check her work out on Instagram she's absolutely killing it right now she's getting brand deals she's making good money she's creating opportunities for herself and there were times she was in a jam and she called me up and said hey I got this problem XYZ and I would say okay this is what you need to do in when she was able to solve those problems like that that that gives tremendous value to her clients so the mentor game on the high level is tricky because many of them are not going to want to help you it has to be kind of a win-win I don't believe you should go to a high-end mentor and say hey teach me everything you know you have to ask yourself the question is how are they benefiting why would they want to help you and sometimes that's going to come down to just paying them and in those cases it could be very well worth it where you're paying somebody on a monthly basis to get you through some of these tough hurdles when I first got started I had some amazing mentors becquer famous in the wedding industry he had materials and training videos that he would sell in terms of branding very helpful always answered my questions every time I reached out to him and he does I think he still does some training stuff and then Arden was a photographer I met on a wedding shoot and the trade-off with her was I became her second shooter so I was able to give her my pictures but she would sit down with me and give me feedback and tell me what I could do better what was what I was doing right critically important to my development I think it's one of the most important things if you are serious about going pro is finding a close-contact mentor as a bonus I would probably also say something I didn't know was that most of the money it seems is in the wedding industry that's the shortest distance between two points if you're trying to make money it is very competitive so you have to be able to compete lots of other people however if you can find a niche doing a specialty type of photography you can still absolutely make money but I just wish I would have known but suffice it to say the shortest distance between mastering your camera and making good money it's going to be the wedding industry it's very competitive it's very tough to get into it's very cutthroat and you're going to have to find some competitive advantages if you want to operate in that space those are the top things I wish I would have known the dirty secrets of the photography industry I'm sure you guys have many that I missed I would love to hear them in the comments below if you guys enjoyed this video give me a thumbs up hit that notification bell if you want to be notified when I have more videos like this coming out thank you guys for watching I will see you next time

19 thoughts on “10 Photography Mistakes I wish I would have know when I first started

  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    You should post my photo by each of these equipment mistakes.

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    If you knew, as soon as you were born, that you would be a photographer using 24-105mm range on a future Sony camera. There was no point doing anything else. By doing all those things you worked out what you could do best with. It is the journey and the bumps along it that make the thing an experience.

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    I had two destroyed UV filters that saved my front lens.

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    I think I am close to mentor level. I been doing this for almost ten years. Full time. I agree with all your advice. follow my IG pages. @thedistrictstudio and @rayvaldezphotography

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    Well…did the uv filter thing; but my worst mistake(and I’m still a beginner), was buying a camera totally unsuitable for how I wanted to use it in my environment.

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    I wish I could waste $10000 on gear. The used D800 I bought I'm keeping her until the shutter won't click no more. I went with polarizing instead of UV. You see a difference with polar filters!

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    I will still always put a high quality protection filter on an expensive lens. There’s virtually no loss of image quality even at extreme pixel peeping levels. And I just feel far more comfortable cleaning a filter than the front element. I can always get a new $150 filter but don’t want to mess up the front glass on a $2,000 lens. But the cheaper sub $500 lenses can stay naked 😅 And good advice about selling at the right time, a mistake I ALWAYS seem to make. Maybe that’s why I’ve got a house full of camera gear that’s become pretty much valueless 😭

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    I blew away a lot of money on B+W brand UVA filters and
    Singh-Ray variable ND filters for my L lenses. Painful to see them almost never used. 😢 At the time I justified the cost because they were going to be on L glass but then I realized I liked the photos I took without them on, better.

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    Which camara do you reccomend to start photography?

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    2 lenses. Only 2 lenses. That hit me hard. I watched a documentary camera man's tutorial. It was shot in the beginning of digital film era. (He used Canon camera and lens.) He said use only one lens because every lens produces different color, and it's pain in the ass to fix in post. Shooting a whole production with only one lens! That was eye-opener for me.

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    Always amazing to hear you share your insights …thank you!

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    I'm in the period when I realize, that one lens is mounted on my camera for majority of time and the other 3 that I have, I just carry around. Expensive lesson, since I'm using FF camera and buying lenses for that…

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    I like what you said. About the new cameras, I think it could be smart to wait for a new model to be announced and released, and then buy the current model at a discount, so, to be one generation behind in the body, but the savings could be used to buy a better quality lens, and as you said, lens > body.

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    Thank Michael, saved my bank for this amazing experienced you share. Thank again 🙂

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    Thank you Micheal for your “Real World” advice and explanations. A “true” pro gives back at the same level he/she were mentored/coached/helped. You are a “true professional”.

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    No worries man it is a growing experience

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    As far as gear goes, my first DSLR was an EOS 70d with a sigma 150-600. My hobby is shooting birds and local wildlife. I thought better gear would improve my photography so I bought a Nikon D500. As far as I'm concerned, my pictures are pretty much the same. So I finally agree that the equipment we use doesn't make that much of a difference. Experience matters more. I wish I had kept my money!

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    Many years ago I was once a UV filter person until the UV filter shattered and scratched my front lens element. I would have had less damage if I just used the lens hood instead. For everyday little bumps and bangs, front lens elements are more durable than I thought when I first started. In my opinion, Lens hoods gives me more protection.

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  • July 23, 2019 at 2:20 pm
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    Awesome video man!

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