What Is the Most Common Photography Mistake?

Whether you’ve just bought your first camera, or you’re decades deep into the craft, you make mistakes — we all do. But what is the most common photography mistake?

In this video, James Popsys discusses photography mistakes he believes to be the most common. Rather than encroach on Popsys’ analysis of common mistakes, I’ll offer my own error, and it’s less to do with the technical side of photography.

There’s a mistake that I made over and over again and over the last decade, I’ve watched photographers make the same mistake. It’s something I’ve touched on before and should really dedicate an article to at some point. The mistake is not pushing yourself. Perhaps it’s the blight of the creative filled with internal doubt and reservations, but unless an opportunity arose that I couldn’t possibly turn down, I used to rarely push myself to create something new and more difficult than I had previously done. 

The best work I have created has usually come from shoots where I’ve had doubts about whether I’m capable of the results I would expect from the brief. Invariably, the pressure I put on myself would drive me to fulfill the expectations and sometimes I’d exceed what I thought I would be able to do, too. The areas of discomfort in any craft are where the most gains are there to be had, and so I wish — particularly in my earlier time as a photographer — I had pushed myself when no briefs were pushing me. I would have grown quicker and who knows where it would have taken me.

What do you think the most common photography mistake is?


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