There are really hundreds of photography myths out there. You’d be surprised how much emphasis people put on them, too. This is particularly true for new photographers, as they start out on their photography learning adventure.
Being a photographer has its ups and downs. As artists, we are constantly learning our craft, honing our skill, and working toward making every image better. So we hunt of the tried and true ways to make that happen. Sometimes, this means latching onto information that may have guided us in the beginning, but now use as a crutch.
Here are six photography myths that amateur and professionals alike can kick to the curb:
MYTH 1: Stick to the ‘Golden Hour’
It’s true, you can compose some brilliant images during that special time just after sunrise (or just before sunset). However, it doesn’t mean you should limit your photography to only this timeframe. There are many different photography subsets and the ‘Golden Hour’ can be more or less useful depending on the type of photography you engage with. Lighting is absolutely important, there’s no denying that. But there’s really no such thing as bad light. Great photographers know how to make the most of the lighting they’re working with so their photos can be composed with maximum impact.
MYTH 2: A better camera = better photos
Until you learn to compose your images, set up shots, and work with your subjects (getting kids to cooperate comes to mind! Ha!), a more sophisticated camera will do you no good whatsoever. First you need to put in the time to learn the basics of photography. This can be done through schooling, or by being self-taught. Whatever route you take, as long as you put your whole heart into the process, you’ll start seeing better photos. Guaranteed.
MYTH 3: Post-processed photos are fake
Some post-processed photos take editing a bit too far. But that doesn’t mean they’re all fake. The truth for this myth really lies in the middle. Using a post-production software to enhance a photo can bring it to its fullest potential. However, a photographer should never rely on Photoshop or any other software to save poorly composed photos.
MYTH 4: Compose every photo with the rule of thirds
The golden ratio, the rule of thirds, keeping the horizon level – all of these rules are guidelines meant to help us. However, they shouldn’t be a considered a mandate. Every photo will have its own unique set of circumstances. As photographers, we need to be able to distinguish those differences, and know when and how to break or bend these rules.
MYTH 5: More shots will mean more keepers
Sure, taking a ton of photographs might help you capture a few diamonds in the rough. In reality, what this really means is more work. It’s far better to work on your artistic eye and learn all you can about better composition. This way, you take less shots and still end up with amazing photos.
MYTH 6: Photography is easy
Anyone who’s ever claimed photography is a piece of cake clearly hasn’t tried photographing a large family, with a toddler or two in the mix. Ha! In the modern age of smartphones, taking photos is easy. Being a photographer, not so much. Let’s not confuse the two. Having the dedication it takes to learn all that photography encompasses can be a big enterprise on its own. There is always a way to make your photos better, your composition tighter, and your images stand out more. It helps to have a little patience and sense of humor, too. 😉
With any myth, there’s usually a kernel of truth hidden inside. Photographers should always rely on their own artistic integrity and intuition to guide them. This goes for both amateurs and professionals alike. Let your style of photography take you where it wants, and don’t let any of these photography myths hold you back.
About the Author:
Julie Kubal is a child and family portrait artist and photographer serving Washington DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. She is passionate about creating warm and meaningful artwork through modern portraits and lifestyle photography at a location of your choice!