How to avoid the most common photography mistakes

We share a few tips on how to overcome the most popular challenges when photographing your artwork and collectible items.


1. Use a single-point autofocus

Especially when shooting small objects or close-ups with an extremely shallow depth of field.

how to use a single-point autofocus                autofocus

2. Use a tripod

Due to insufficient lighting conditions, your shutter speed probably gets too slow for shooting without it.

3. Make sure your lens is clean

Especially if you’re using your mobile.

Brightness /exposure

1. Get as much natural light as you can.

Shoot near a window or outside. Avoid photographing items in direct sunlight, it’s better to shoot on a cloudy day or in the shade. See the difference in the photos below.

how to avoid common photography mistakes                

2. Use a reflecting panel

It can be any sort of white surface put against the main light source, on the other side of the object. It will lighten the whole scene and illuminate shadows.

how to use reflecting panel

3. Add light

The more the light is bright and diffused – the better. It’s best to use two sources of light for getting less deep shadows and contrast. Remember about using proper white-balance mode to preserve accurate colors.

4. Shoot at a high ISO

An increase in ISO makes the camera sensor more sensitive to light so it can even the low-light conditions. – But be careful of an increased noise and getting your photos blurry.

5. Turn off the built-in flashlight

So you don’t get bright glare spots or the whole image overexposed. Especially at close range, the built-in flash is too bright. Unless there is no other way of getting better light conditions.

photography mistakes

Contrast /colors

1. Set your camera’s white balance mode correctly.

Choose depending on the sort of light you’re using. Strong tint (you get yellowish or bluish images) is difficult or impossible to fix in post-edition.

white balance mode set your camera’s white balance mode correctly

2. Adjust color and levels.

This is an optional step that requires additional software, but usually worth the effort. Use it carefully so your photos still look natural and not over-processed.

Composition /backgrounds

1. Get as close as possible to your object

Get as close as possible to your object to fill the frame, especially if your item is small.

get close to photographed object to fill the frame

2. Use zoom close-up

To avoid a perspective distortion and a deformation of the object, use zoom close-up.

3. Use a macro mode

It can get you as close as you need. Otherwise, being too close may make you unable to have your object in focus.

using macro mode

4. Concentrate on getting the lines straight in the viewfinder

For example, when photographing book covers from above.

5. Eliminate unwanted elements

Try to remove all unwanted elements that appear on your background within the frame (including dust).

6. Choose a contrasting but neutral background

If your item is rather dark, pick a light background to make it more visible. Otherwise – choose analogically. Don’t use a color background, if you photograph a colorful object. You’ll get the best results by picking a neutral one – white, grey or black.