I’m going to start a bit of a series here focusing on my photography mistakes. My reasons are two fold – firstly, so that you may not make the same mistakes as I have, and secondly so that I can share and be honest that my life in photography is not shiny and perfect – far from it. So, to begin with, here are the first three.
The Saving Issue – RGBwhat? ?
This one is a biggy, and it was actually only last week that I discovered this. For the last couple of years, it was always in the back of my mind that my pictures on facebook / instagram / my website just looked dull an pretty uninteresting. I was always really happy with my edits in Adobe CameraRAW, but then online, they just didn’t look right. And I admit – I blamed myself for just being a bad photographer (note: don’t do that). Recently I created this image, and I was really happy with the tones and contrast and colours. I uploaded it to my website… and it just looked blah. I was annoyed, so I opened up the original next to it and….
The difference was actually pretty shocking. The left side is how it was uploading to the internet, and the right side was how it looked to me, and how I wanted it. Safe to say, I was shook, and it was like a light bulb in my head. There surely had to be a reason for this and a way to fix it. I posted on some photography facebook groups, and within no time at all someone had pretty much worked it out for me – I was saving my images in Adobe RGB colour space – which is not really supported by browsers etc. What I needed to be saving in was sRGB. It was one, small drop down menu in saving that was throwing off the whole of my photography online. This was one of those life-changing moments in my photography, suddenly it all made sense. I was a bit annoyed that for a few years now I’d been saving my photos so that online they looked dull, but mostly I was just really happy that I now knew this.
It’s going to be a while going back and re-saving past photo sessions so they look their best online, but my general portrait portfolio is now looking much more saturated – just how I want it ??
Stuck at 1000px ?
This mistake was just really, really annoying. I started a 52 week project a while ago, and I began with this image.
I was pretty happy with it, and casually saving for web, at 1000px when… I didn’t save the photoshop document. The only version of this photo I have it 1000px wide. That’s it. So I can use it on my portfolio, I can print it small, but mostly this image it pretty useless for anything big. I’m come to accept it as the beacon for being careful for how you save your imagery and documents. I actually like how it’s small, it’s symbolises a learning curve and it’s just imperfect which I’m liking.
So, the lesson here? Be careful with how you save files with a lot of work you can’t re-create.
Peer Pressure ??♀️
Peer pressure is always there, you have to navigate it and recognise it, and often that is difficult. My peer pressure came from feeling like I had to photograph weddings / families / engagements / events if I wanted to be a photographer.
A lot of the photographer friends I had made or photographers I followed on social media would post these (brilliant and lovely) images, and if I wasn’t creating those kinds of image I felt like I was doing things wrong. At this point I wasn’t too sure where I wanted to go with my photography, and this kind of work was getting me some attention from other people who were interested in photos – this gave me a bit of a boost too.
University taught me that you can be a photographer simply to photograph, and not have to sell family and wedding photography in order to be considered a photographer. I am 100% not saying that there is anything wrong with that, I will happy still do those kinds of photos to people, but what I’m trying to say is pick your influencers carefully. Follow people that speak to you on a creative level, and not just because they do photography. Try and carve your own path. I’m still getting used to this, because I like so many different kinds of photography that I don’t feel like I have a ‘niche’. You do you.
What photography mistakes have you made? Sharing is caring.