5 Photography Habits You Need to Unlearn


There are many habits that we tend to do but they just let us not step out from our faults, today we try to figure out together 5 Photography Habits You need to Unlearn.


1. Backup the whole life

It’s easy — and a nasty habit — to overlook backing up your files immediately after a shoot.

As a rule, the first thing you should do when you finish a shoot, even before checking, cleaning, and putting away your gear, is back up your files.

The memory cards we put in our cameras are fragile pieces of plastic and comprise circuitry that can easily be damaged. It’s not worth risking your work disappearing into the ether, just because the chances are nothing will go wrong and you’d rather put your feet up after a long or challenging shoot.

I usually make backups every day, the first thing is to empty the memory cards and copy all the files on one SDD or HDD, then if is important I make a second backup on Amazon Photos, where I have unlimited space for images.

The best practice is to back up your work right away and then back up your backup for extra security and peace of mind.

You should never have a single digital copy of your work. Ideally, you might consider a double backup onto hard drives and then placing a selection of your work into a cloud-based archive system accessible from anywhere with an internet connection.

Photo Shooting with Ishita Sharma by Emiliano Vittoriosi
Photo Shooting with Ishita Sharma by Emiliano Vittoriosi, Berlin 2023

2. Don’t let your camera do all the work

As technology evolves and as artificial intelligence develops, there’s a temptation to leave the heavy lifting to your camera.

Today’s cameras will make sure your picture is in focus, suggest an ideal exposure, and even pick out faces in your composition.

However, is heavily relying on your tech the best approach for a professional photographer?

There is a liberating aspect to the technical prowess of modern digital cameras. Freed from the difficulties of learning to master a complex machine, your photographic vision is free to express itself spontaneously.

But there is a bad habit nestling amidst this technological fairytale. With most cameras — even the pro versions — selecting ‘Auto’ or ‘Program’ settings, reduces the photographic process to little more than a simple point-and-click.

Leaving the camera to make all your photographic calculations, means you are missing out on an important part of the creative process.

I advise to use always the camera in Manual mode and sometimes the auto focus can be a limited option, while can focus on points that we don’t need, that is why is important to learn how to shoot pictures that we need in Manual mode. Trust me you will never leave the Manual mode and for you will be difficult to use Automatic mode again.

Photo Shooting with Ishita Sharma by Emiliano Vittoriosi
Photo Shooting with Ishita Sharma by Emiliano Vittoriosi, Berlin 2023

3. Quantity over quality, first shoot then watch!

Taking pictures is so easy and, with storage being so cheap, it’s inexpensive to shoot a variety of angles. So go ahead, and shoot a little more so you’ll have all the choices you need later on.

Exploring the visual potential of a subject, ‘working’ a scene to find the best angles and lighting, usually requires taking many pictures. So it’s not a ‘bad habit’ to shoot plenty.

After all, the images you create are the raw material of your shoot, so you may as well have lots to work with.

Where bad habits do emerge, however, is in the editing process. It is here that you absolutely must aim for quality over quantity.

Think of it as the 1% principle. Imagine that 99% of the pictures you take are part of a process that is contributing to the creation of that 1% (give or take) that will constitute the ‘jewels’ of your shoot. These will be the pictures that you show to your client and the world.

Too many photographers are in the habit of wanting to show too much of their work, which ends up dulling the impact of their best images. If you’ve shot a great portrait, edit your shoot down to its essence — give choice and variety but not repetition.

If you will take over 1000 shoots during your photo session, who care, is important to take many shoots so this will free your skills to search best angles and avoid doing always the same shoot, give the best to your session, and don’t focus so much on how much you do.

Photo Shooting with Ishita Sharma by Emiliano Vittoriosi
Photo Shooting with Ishita Sharma by Emiliano Vittoriosi, Berlin 2023

4. Never watch your camera pictures during a shooting

I know some people who do that, they watch the camera pictures during the shootings and start to delete pictures.

This really bad habit, don’t let yourself face the failure or even don’t let yourself face what can be potential in one or more shots you are going to cancel right away in the shooting.

Imagine you are shooting pictures for an event, in those cases you are just avoiding focusing on what the event is offering you and missing maybe the best moments for great pictures. In event photography mainly you need to be present and shoot plenty of images, usually, I shoot between 1000 and 3000 pictures depending on the situation.

The steps are clear, and there is first the part of the shooting, and then the selection, and the post-production.

Don’t select the pictures at the right moment you are shooting, this is for many reasons, you are wasting your time and the time of the people in front of you.

You are not understanding that you need time to get away from the shoots and watch them back with a fresh mind and new ideas.

Avoiding a fail, and a fail is just something in your mind, anyone else would think that because mainly is part of the process of taking shoots that are going to be deleted.

Focus only on the photography you are doing, and don’t let evil come into your mind!

Photography by Emiliano Vittoriosi

5. Shoot first and fix later, don’t let the software make your work.

If you’re using Photoshop or Lightroom or one of the other digital tools available for processing your images, you’ll probably be aware of just what can be achieved after downloading your pictures from your camera.

The temptation — one could call it a bad habit — is to shoot first and then fix any exposure, lighting, or compositional issues using post-production software. This is a bad habit because it’s likely to make you into a lazy photographer.

As in most arts, much of the skill in taking great photos lies in acquiring a certain degree of technical mastery, of understanding the mechanics of your chosen medium.

For this reason, it’s good practice to learn how to shoot good photos with your camera set to ‘manual’. That way you’ll learn to understand the interaction between aperture, focus, exposure, and shutter speed. Think about composition at the moment you take the picture, rather than shooting aimlessly and then cropping your work digitally later on.

There are plenty of my students or photographers I have seen that tend to crop their images, just as a matter of laziness to not make a step more in front of their subject.

Most of the time just for fear or anxiety, ending up with results like cropping a self-portrait horizontally and cropping vertically, where you can see clearly in the reflection that the camera is horizontal.

In short, it’s best to learn the art and techniques of photography, rather than relying on the wizardry of hi-tech software to fix your mistakes.

To conclude, those were just 5 Photography Habits to Unlearn, but trust me there are many more, and many are not nice to have in your daily photography habits.

If you are in Berlin, Germany and you need help to understand what to Learn and what to Unlearn, join my 1:1 Coaching sessions for photographers, and together we will fix and push your skills to the next level!

Get in touch with me here!


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