5 Ways to Look Like an Amateur Photographer

Custom SLR Contributor

Guest post by Jakob Schiller

Not to be a photog snob, but there are a few key things that are frowned upon in the photo world, and for good reason. Here are the top five you want to avoid:

  1. Hold and turn your lens from above.
    This is the quickest way to mark yourself as an amateur. Anyone with experience knows that you need to cradle your lens from below because that provides extra stability and is more ergonomic.
  2. Leave the lens cap on.
    Most of the photojournalists I know never use a lens cap; they protect their lenses with filters. That’s because they don’t want to fumble around with a lens cap if they have only a couple seconds to make the picture before it’s gone. If you do use a lens cap, make sure you get into the habit of taking it off every time you raise the camera because you’re going to feel awfully silly when you make a black picture.
  3. Sport a photo vest.
    Maybe these things were cool back in the 1970s and 80s, but they’re tacky now. And they’re unnecessary. If you want easy access, wear something like the Timbuk2 Snoop Camera Messenger Bag.
  4. Carry a huge zoom lens when you don’t need it.
    Some photographers like to show off their big glass. It makes them feel important. It’s just silly though, to bring a long lens like a 300mm to an event where there’s no need. You’re just weighing yourself down and making it harder to make a good picture.
  5. Talk about gear all the time.
    Keep the gear talk to a minimum. If all you do is stand around chit chatting about new cameras, you’re gonna miss the photo. Stop jabbering and start shooting. And remember, the best photos depend more on the photographer than the camera. So focus on improving your photography - not your equipment.
Jakob Schiller Photographers

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