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A while back we asked you all for your input on what the biggest mistake to avoid when taking photos. Your response was overwhelming! Almost 800 Responses, many which were entire blog posts themselves. THANK YOU so much for your willingness to share your collective wisdom.

There were a lot of common themes throughout and we compiled them into these 58 photo tips. But then we made a big infographic to celebrate the TEN mistakes that were most often mentioned! We hope you enjoy the post! Check the bottom of the post for the 2 winners!

Fracture's Awesome Infographic of Photography Mistakes to Avoid!

Now let’s dig into our favorite picks for the 58 tips you guys submitted. Here they are in no real order.

pablo (36)

1. Avoid double chins by finding flattering angles.

When taking portraits or selfies a perspective taken from below or underneath your subject is much less flattering than one taken from above. -Tyler Roberts

When taking photos of people, avoid looking down at the camera (too many chins!), always keep heads up. -Anonymous

pablo (35)

2. Avoid built-in flash if possible.

Don’t use your built-in flash, especially with portraits! It will lead to over-saturated and washed out pictures, as well as unflattering pictures. It also never works well at all in concert photography. –@afairclough

Avoid using flash when it’s possible. It tends to make the photo look like a point and shoot even if you spent $1000+ on a nice camera. Lighting is so difficult to get right, try to go with what is naturally provided. If not then a separate flash or other professional lighting is the way to go. Avoid using flash if there is plenty of natural light – natural light looks much better than artificially white light. –@nickel1686

pablo (37)

3. Turn off HDR sometimes.

As a general rule, avoid applying too much HDR into your images. I see a lot of a newbie photographers who go crazy with HDR and a lot of their images look very unnatural if not extremely garish. There a reason why graduated neutral density filters were invented in the first place! -Anonymous

pablo (39)

4. Keep your back to the sun.

When taking photos always avoid shooting directly into the sun, in most cases the sun will wash out the photo and make it unusable. -Anonymous

Don’t take a photo in daylight unless the sun is behind you. -Anonymous

A lot of beginners think that taking photos with bright light in front of you or your subject is great. Big no-no, you typically don’t want to take photos facing a light source, since your camera will adjust to the brightness of that source, and the rest of your picture will be dark. It’s one of the reasons that photographers like shooting on cloudy days. the light of the sun is diffused more evenly, and your camera knows, making subjects come out clear and bright. Plus you don’t have to worry about working around the sun as it moves. -Donna Krizik @dkrizik

It’s all about the lighting and positioning. Make sure the sun is behind the photographer- sunset timeframe is optimal. Also – have the right angle to improve the look of the subject. Center isn’t always best – think of how you can position the subject creatively with other things/people in the shot. -Anonymous

Backlighting. Period.
1) the more of it the better.
2) light in front of the subject, not behind.
3) natural light is preferred to artificial.
Being mindful of those three rules will improve any photo. The number of times I’ve see someone say “let’s take a photo, oh that window is beautiful, stand right in front of it” is incredible! –@jtropey

When light is coming in from a window don’t stand with your back towards it as you’ll only get a whited out background. Instead take the photo while facing the window to get beautiful soft light on your subject. Windows are natural softboxes which create flattering light, so take advantage of them! -Michael Chiang

pablo (40)

5. Keep your light source in front of your subject.

Avoid backlighting. -Gayla

So often, especially in restaurants, you try to take photos of friends and family at the table and back light ruins it. Try raising the camera and tilting the top of the camera TOWARD the light source (you can stand to do this). You’ll get everyone and be able to see their faces without all that washed out white light look. -Preston Stafford

Try to avoid super bright sunlight directly on or behind the subject of the picture. -Mackenzie Mueller

Don’t take a picture with a big source of light behind the subject. –@SerenadeXS

Be careful of backlight, it a real photo killer. -Tom Elpers

A big mistake I often see people make is shooting with bright light behind the subject. Unless you want a silhouette shot, this is a bad move. Have more light in front of the subject than behind it. –Greg Colker

pablo (41)

6. Avoid auto-metering on black cats.

Rajah hates this.

pablo (42)

7. Don’t get too hung up on “the rules.”

The mistake I try to avoid the most sounds counterintuitive. I try not to get hung up in all the “rules” – I just shoot and delete those photos that I don’t like. That way I don’t miss that special candid moment when all the factors of light, composition, etc, magically meet. While you need to be ready to shoot, in many ways taking too much time “getting ready” spoils the shot. -Catherine

One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to get too caught up in all of the rules and miss out on the fun. Your pictures may not be technically perfect–maybe the exposure is a little off, or your composition leaves something to be desired–but they’re yours. No one sees the world exactly like you do. Get out there, have fun, and take lots and lots of pictures. You’ll figure it out. -Jennie @mabelbaker

pablo (43)

8. Bring your camera. Bring it everywhere. And use it.

Bring your camera!

Bring it everywhere. And use it. (Don’t just lug the camera bag to games, parties and through airport security. So many regrets with this mistake. Lately I’ve been especially guilty.)
Even if you only manage to shoot a couple of frames, and even if they’re lousy – riddled with all the mistakes possible – you’re guaranteed tangible images. Proof. Memories. Childhoods. One day years from now you will appreciate what you shot.
PLUS, there’s that amazing joy when you – even accidentally – capture something wonderful. -Jennifer James @jencorona

pablo (44)

9. Clean your lens! (Especially if you’re using your phone to take pictures.)

One common mistake most people make when taking pictures, whether using a DSLR, a point-and-shoot, or a phone camera, is forgetting or ignoring to check if the lens is clean. A dirty, smudged lens results in blurry, unfocused, muddy pictures. – Dominique James @dominiquejames

A huge mistake to avoid is having a dirty camera lens. If the lens is dirty is will affect you pictures and make them look blurry. Always be sure to wipe the lens with a soft and clean piece of fabric. Happy cleaning everyone, it will make a huge difference. -Salena Y.

pablo (45)

10. Try not to cut people off.

Avoid cutting off at the joint when shooting people(elbow wrist,knee,ankle. This happens mostly when people leave too much space over their subjects head. A slight tilt down shooting people. This helps tremendously and will help with composition. –Jwfotography

When shooting people, either crop bodies at the waist (or higher) or include everyone’s toes! Dangling shins/ankles just don’t look great on anyone. –@marcjason

Main thing is to make sure you get all the things you want in the frame.
So that you don´t end up with a photo missing your mother in-law.
Another thing is taking photos in the dark. It can be tricky. You may use a flash and end up with an overexposed picture. On the other hand, taking a picture with no flash, may leave you with a dark photo all together. I always take a lot of pics with and without flash and maybe with some light in the background. –@twitboydk

Make sure you can see everyone’s faces in a group photo. -Ashleigh George

pablo (47)

11. Pay attention to depth of field.

Be careful shooting macro subjects with autofocus or a large aperture. One of the Fractures that I have on my wall could have been much improved by using a tighter aperture to gain more depth of field of my dog’s face! -Anonymous

pablo (48)

12. Remember the rule of thirds.

One huge mistake when picture taking would be taking a picture with the person in the center as if they are in the cross-hairs. When taking a picture, you should follow the rule of thirds. You should use the 6×6 grid then put the object of your picture in one of the grids so that they are slightly off centered. This way the picture will be more aesthetically pleasing to the viewer. –@calston22

Don’t always center the main object of the photo. If possible, add the grid function to your camera and follow the rule of thirds for balance. Whichever vertical (or horizontal) grid section the main object lies in, keep the other 2 grid sections more simple. This makes for a well-balanced, uncluttered photo. -Anonymous

Don’t always center the subject of your images. Life is asymmetrical, and the eye is pleased by it. Look for opportunities to utilize the “rule of thirds” in composing your images. -Anonymous

You don’t have to work for National Geographic or have thousands of dollars worth of equipment to take a great photograph! There are a couple of simple tricks to make your photos pop. Stop centering your subject! Use the rule of thirds and you’ll notice a difference right away. Get closer! Use parts of the subject and background that can sum up the entire scene. Plan your shot before you click away look at the sun and shadows and think about how you can use them to create depth and texture. The most important tip anyone can give is this: READY! Get off the computer and go shoot! –@pitboss3

pablo (49)

13. Make sure the lens isn’t obscured.

Always remember to take the cap off of the camera, and if using a phone do not have finger over the camera. Life is about moments and you want to catch them all. Literally can be gone in a flash. -Anonymous

I have taken quite a few pictures where it looks like something is sprouting from somebody’s head, light pole, branch, an eave, bunny ears, so be aware of where the person you want to take a picture of is standing or sitting.

I haven’t done this but my husband occasionally gets his thumb in the way so try and hold your camera so your finger doesn’t get into the picture. -Diana Foster @dfoster

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14. Don’t over edit.

One of the main mistakes is making you take the photos you promise for example at a wedding make sure both sides of the family is represented. Also lighting is important. Lastly I believe when editing never over edit changing a persons natural photo might not end well. -Keith

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15. Edit your photos.

Editing can take a so-so photo and make it a great one. It’S amazing what cropping and adjusting the brightness can do. -Anonymous

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16. Keep an eye on your exposure.

The biggest mistakes can be made with incorrect exposure. If a photo is too bright or too dark, it fails to convey what you were trying to capture. -Susie @theeyebehindthelens

Ensure that exposure (whites and blacks) is correct–don’t make something unrecoverable in post.

Ensure that the shutter speed is appropriate for the subject movement.

Don’t get sucked in by artistic wide aperture and end up with a depth of field that’s too narrow. -Anonymous

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17. Bring a few extra batteries.

Keep your phone charged! Carry a battery pack if you have an iPhone. Or carry extra smart phone batteries if you have one of those exceedingly rare smartphones that allows you to swap batteries internally. -Sam Arriola @sarriola

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18. Shine the light onto your subject’s face.

If the subject is a person, good, expressive lighting. Avoid backlighting that obscures or eliminates facial or hair features. If the subject is a landscape or some inanimate object use lightning to impact the shot, consider early morning or late day shooting. -Anonymous

Not paying enough attention to the lighting on faces. You end up not being able to make out facial expressions or see their eyes. –@NickPalkowski

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19. Sharpen the photo by adjusting the shutter speed.

Make sure you have a fast enough shutter speed to avoid camera shake (blur). My biggest mistake for images that are not sharp! -Glen Fly Fluharty

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20. Fill in shadows with the flash.

Always use flash on people, even in daylight settings, to fill in shadows and light up their eyes. Light cannot travel through solid objects, so eyes can end up shaded beneath eyebrows, creating “raccoon eyes.”
When taking a scenic photo, make use of best light, which is morning or late afternoon. Midday light is not as attractive and is considered “flat.” -Kmoser

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21. Avoid distractions by keeping your focus on your camera and your subjects.

I see a lot of colleagues/photographers answering their cell phones while on a shoot. I mainly photograph birds and wildlife and always put my phone on mute when I begin my shoot. That way I won’t miss that great shot, as I’ve seen others do who were foiled in their attempt to snap a great shot by answering their cell phones at the most inopportune moment.

I also will not constantly check my shots on the view screen as I see other photographers do as it never fails that something dynamic will happen while they are checking the view screen. And the last thing I will never do is spoil another photographers chance at a great shot by throwing my screen up for them to take a look at my pics. Inevitably whenever another photographer wants me to check out their pics it’s at that very moment something spectacular happens with the subject we are trying to capture on camera. It never fails. So these are just some of my thoughts on how to get great pics and avoid missing a super shot. –Gordon Allen

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22. Keep your camera focused too — no one likes blurry photos!

Give the camera a split second to focus accurately. Too many blurry pictures out there. –ArtBNelson

Many people don’t realize that you can separate the focus and exposure on your phone when using the camera app. Not using this feature leads to some really funky pictures. If you pinch and spread your fingers out on your phone screen you can usually separate the exposure and focus of your shot leading to a much more improved photograph. Making this one small change can make you go from looking like an amateur to looking like a pro. –@Kyle_Casey21

The most common mistake to avoid when taking photos is missing your focus point. On many cameras the focus point moves around or is right in the center of the screen. This can cause the subject that you are photographing to be out of focus while the plant behind them is in really sharp focus. Please make sure you find your focus point and point it at your intended subject prior to composing the shot so the image will be focused properly when you pull the trigger! -Mark Malter

We all make mistakes sometimes 😉

After much trial and error, a couple of the biggest mistakes that I try to avoid when taking photos are:

– Spending too much time setting up the shot. If it’s not “perfect” to your standards, you can use cropping to your advantage later on, rather than spending a ton of time framing what can be adjusted with simple editing tools.

– If anything, time should be spent on reducing any blurriness. Focusing on different parts of the image in your frame while stabilizing with a simple tripod (makeshift or otherwise) can give the image a higher-quality look with less fuzz when you zoom into certain parts.

– Always shooting at eye level is something that many beginners struggle with. Getting more fun perspectives on a photo can give a whole new light to your image, and create a more unique story! –@da_mermaid

pablo (38)

23. Avoid shots of the tops of heads by getting down on their level.

I’ve discovered that my pictures of kids and pets improved dramatically when I stopped taking them from above, and started crouching down or laying on the floor to get an eye level view. When you do this, the features just pop out, and it makes it easier to crop in on just the face or whatever you’re highlighting. –@ernieann

I’m guilty of taking photos from the wrong angle. I was photographing my grandchildren from above, but I’ve learned that getting down to their level results in much better pictures. -Carol

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24. Up the resolution for crisp images.

Make sure your photo is at least 300dpi in size…This will give you the opportunity to fit to all size framing. Make sure your picture is clear and sharp for better results. – John D’Acquisto

Make sure you use the highest megapixel you can get, so that your picture will retain the detail when you get a Fracture. –@RustinAustin

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25. Turn your camera horizontally.

Take photos horizontally. It is easier to crop a a photo vertically from a horizontal photo. This also gives you the opportunity to get the surroundings of the subject. Since even camera phones are very powerful, moving back and then cropping usually won’t result in a lose of data or image quality. –@joeybromone

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26. Remember to include people in your pictures.

Here’s a simple one: don’t forget people! It’s easy to start snapping photos of amazing locations but forget to include friends, family and yourself. Including people in the shot can really tie the moment together with the experience. Invest in a portable tripod and get familiar with your camera’s timer function. Make it fun and set the timer to get a series of shots and do some funny poses! -Eric Soulliard

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27. Learn your camera and check the settings regularly.

If you are new to photography, try not to use the scene intelligent auto feature. Take the time to go through all the features your camera offers. Ex: creative auto portrait,landscape, close-up, sports, special scene, manual exposure, etc. Learn to use the iso features that will expand your horizon and see how the correct lightning can make or break the quality picture you take, becoming a good photographer and showing off the pics you take will become a lifetime hobby. -Delroy A. Davis

One of the biggest mistakes I see people making with their photography happens before they even take a snapshot. It’s not knowing their camera. This in turn can lead to poor photography.

Often people associate great photography with owning an expensive piece of equipment but this isn’t necessarily true. It would be akin of saying that a chef makes great food because they use expensive cookware.

Whether you own a compact camera, or a DSLR, it’s important to know what your equipment is capable of. This means you should experiment with your camera in a range of environmental settings to discover what works best for you. When it comes time to take that family vacation picture, you’ll be at ease with capturing the moment. –Nathan Abbott

-Avoid overexposed shots.-

28. Framing is important, so make sure your horizon is straight in those sunset pictures.

Make your photos significantly more attractive by simply leveling the horizon in the background before sharing. –@lunawire

When shooting horizon photos, and especially those involving water, be sure to use a straighten tool if the shot is not level! A beautiful family portrait set against a “leaning” sea can be distracting! -Kristi Thomas

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29. Stop, drop and consider your light source.

The position of the lighting in the photo, especially when shooting close subjects, like portraits, can make the difference between a washed-out or dim photo and a photo that captures the person and the moment accurately. –@aschellhas

Lighting is always very important. Something I’d recommend avoiding is having the light source behind what the focus of the picture is, as it can detract from the product, and obscure it’s natural colouring. Natural lighting is obviously a majority favourite, but studio lighting and flash photography can look very professional when the camera settings are adjusted accordingly. –Corinne

Getting precise lighting is key to a beautiful picture. If the picture isn’t action oriented, take the same photo with many different types of lighting. –@emukiller

Lighting is key. Great lighting can make mundane subject look like something out of a magazine and a leave an awesome subject with zero likes. Focus on natural light that isn’t too harsh and it will change everything. –@emilyanderson16

Flash or no flash… that is the question. For best lighting, adjust lights around subject, adjust subject and finally determine if the flash should be used or not based on previous lighting fixes. –@jackwoodall

Avoid dark places. -Anonymous

For selfies, face your light source. Not so much that there’s camera shadow, but enough so that you’re not a silhouette. Also, don’t do Blue Steel, unless your name is Derek Zoolander. –@neurozach

1. Not knowing your equipment.
2. Not stopping to let your camera focus.
3. Not considering your lighting source.
@cattieness

A big mistake to make while taking pictures is using the wrong lighting and focus. The lighting is a main part in photos so if you want a brighter picture have the sun begins you and in front of you for a darker picture. Editing can change this of course. Another main problem with photo taking when first starting is not giving the camera time to focus on a main view point. If there is a certain part of the scene you want accentuated circus the camera on that one pice so my will be clearer than the rest and give the photo a nice textured look. -Jordan Callais, @jcallais13

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30. Make mistakes. You’ll learn.

The biggest mistake one can make when taking photos is not practicing enough. Photography, like any art, is about discipline. Take as many photos as possible. Never miss an opportunity to capture a moment. -Andrew, @whatsgoodwithandrew

It’s funny but some of my most interesting shots were mistakes. I would urge the new photographer to make mistakes, as strange as that may sound. -Anonymous

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31. Consider time and location before you turn the flash on.

Don’t crop too severely while shooting. You can always reframe afterwards and push in, but you can’t pull back out.

Don’t dismiss the flash entirely – it’s common to assume that just because so many bad photos come from using the flash that the flash is inherently what’s making them bad. When used correctly, a flash can be useful.
Always click a few times when shooting someone, especially if you aren’t using the flash. If you give them a countdown, start actually shooting on 2, and keep going for a few seconds after “cheese”. You’ll get some better exposures, and reduce the chance you caught them on a blink. -Matt Hartwell, @thoughtmecca

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32. Use natural light when possible.

Lighting is important. Use natural light when possible. Late afternoon light really helps people look their best. Avoid sun behind the subject. If using flash, have it above your subject. The concept of “thirds” really helps compose an image. If shooting scenery, having an interesting object as the focus. -@deckyourdesktop

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33. Find flattering angles.

No “up the nose” shots. No one wants to see inside your snout. Too many selfies show disgusting nose hairs and enlarged pores. Focus on a normal and happy smile — leave the nose alone. -Kathy

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34. Turn off autofocus sometimes.

Be sure to manually expose when doing panoramic photos, and be sure to manually focus as well.
Don’t forget to turn off noise reduction when doing star trails and northern lights photos.
Be sure to turn off auto focus and image stabilization when doing time lapse photography.
Hope this helps! –@akphoto49

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35. Turn off filters at first.

No filter on the initial photo when using your phone. It can cause blurred images. Happy Snapping! –@AWilson2123

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36. Other.

Too many pictures are taken without placing someone in those pictures. Please start placing people in your pictures and make that moment more special, memorable and just all-around better. -Anonymous

I think one of the biggest mistakes or misconceptions is that you need an expensive camera to take great pictures.. It is more powerful have an eye for composition .. So concentrate on composition and not the camera. -Anonymous

When I take a group picture, I tell everyone that I’ll count to three. But when I have said “two” I hit the shutter and then I shutter the camera again on “three”. This way I capture a more natural pose and then a second shot just in case. -David Brazzeal

Before passing over a certain shot, travel all over the shot with your camera, enlarging & reducing and inspecting. You will surprise yourself when you realize you DO have a creative eye. Now saying that, I found out not ALL shots need to be enlarged. Yes they any shot can be enlarge to make a statement, to make an impact on the viewer, etc. I am saying that I had to see that some shots needed to stay at their original size to get the big picture. Others shots scream to be enlarged and put on canvas or what y’all are doing! I have a “Fantastic” shot of all different colored marbles in a box divided for different colors. Took the shot on a slight slant to give interest. The store was a small town mercantile store on the town’s Main Street. The light was high overhead so I did not have to use any flashlight inside. Being glass marbles like we used to play with when we were kids gave me such fond memories. Sooooo, when I look back at my shots I was pleasantly taken in by the subject, the color and the childhood memory. I am saying some shots will mean more to you and you start seeing another creative side of yourself. You really start to SEE! -Darlene Wood

My son had professional pictures taken. The photographer was short so she stood on a ladder. Sooo in all of the pictures, my son’s eyes are rolled back because he’s looking up! They were all ruined! –@jw310

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37. Pay attention to your background.

Too often, people take photos with terrible backgrounds that ultimately render a photo looking unprofessional or like an amateur took it. Often times a simple rotation of the subject, or moving 10 ft away from the current spot, will give you a better background and sometimes even better lighting for the photograph. Don’t let the background take away attention from the focal point of the photo. –@arizo15

Pay attention to background or what is behind your subject…from a messy living room to bright lights, they can mess with the outcome of the photo.
Composition! Make sure things are centered or artistically off centered. –@adventuresinteachingmyown

Look at what is in the background. Sometimes we get so focused and capturing our subject that we don’t notice in the background (pick one) the senior in the Speedo; the Big Girl panties draped over the chair; or Aunt Tilley picking her nose. Changing position or tidying up the background area can save your shot…and some embarrassment. -Alexandre L’Eveille

Background is important, and is often as important as focal point of the photo. Often a great photo of a child or a couple can be ruined clutter or some other less then desirable background environment.
-PS: Is it possible to outlaw bathroom selfies…nasty. -Anonymous

Taking a picture of your favorite loved ones, pets, and children, it’s easy to concentrate on the item of your focus. You look in your camera viewer and you still your smiling, happy family. Then you download it and look at the full size picture and, OMG, there’s a telephone pole growing out of Aunt Matilda’s head. Cousin Joey has a tree limb poking in his ear, and WHO IS THAT MAN in the background?
Spend a little time making sure that the background is uncluttered, except for the lovely outline of Mount Fuji, or the sunset at the beach. Your fractures will be all the more treasured for it. -Margaret Girton Harding, @m2harding

When taking a photo, remember who and what your subject is. Everything else is secondary so minimize any backdrops and images that interfe with your true subject.
Another rule of thumb I follow; lighting is everything. Stay clear of dreary and dull objects/shadows that impede on your image! –@lexstorey

One of the biggest mistakes I make when taking photos is just pointing and shooting. I’m always “on the run” but want to take photos of the things that I find cool. My best advice is to take the time to set up a good photo. I always go back through my photos and wish I had taken the time to make each one look really good.

Another mistake to avoid when taking photos is having extra “stuff” in your frame. Sometimes it may be just a branch or maybe it’s a person in the shot of a piece of architecture. Either way, you are going to wish it wasn’t there later. Ask someone to move or maybe look for a different spot to take the picture.

Lastly, a mistake to avoid is only taking one shot of what you are capturing. Take multiple shots and decide later which you like the best. Sometimes you are somewhere that you are never going to come back to. Take 4 or 5 pictures of the same thing with different angles, zooms, and even setting on your camera. You can always buy more camera cards you can’t buy back your once in a lifetime trip. –@mobrownie11

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38. Change your perspective.

Failure to frame I think is a big mistake. Taking the time to get down on the ground or get up in the air and make sure that the light is coming from behind you or wherever appropriate for the shot is critical to getting that “WOW!” shot that even your mother-in-law thinks is awesome. Though she can’t believe you took it 😉

Something I notice all to often is perspective of the subject matter. So, let’s say you stumble across a cool drift wood stump on a beach somewhere. The light is perfect. Instead of just trying to frame the entire stump and snap a photo, really explore that monstrosity. That huge stump with water spray splashing up on it with each wave that rolls in will have so much more to photograph the closer you get to each nook and cranny. Wet wood sheen, various color hues of sun bleached to burnt wood, the various shafts of light beaming through root arms, knots, holes, wood rings, deteriorations and a plethora of textures. This can be applied to any subject matter. It doesn’t have to just include noticing the close up stuff, stand way back, check out below, above, inside if possible. Explore the perspectives, you will be amazed at the shots that come from it. -Brent Porter, @runjwalker

Not examining many perspectives available to you before you take the shot, or only viewing one perspective. Different and unique perspectives provide interest in otherwise normal or standard photographs. –@pjmartin44

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39. Have a goal in mind.

I shoot mainly wildlife photos, and one thing it took me a while to learn was this: go out with a clear idea of what shot you want, and how you’re going to get it, but if the light is not right, or the animal you wanted doesn’t show up where you hoped, don’t be blind to other shots that are on offer! Some of my favourite photos have come from completely unexpected and unplanned moments! -Jenny Grewal, @jenny_grewal

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40. Print your images.

Your photos need to get out of the electronic world! You will become a better photographer when you look at your images in print. Once you see an image that you’ve created at Fracture, you’ll certainly look forward to your next adventure!

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42. Be ridiculous.

Don’t give toddlers too much candy if you want them to be still for pictures. -Anonymous

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43. Eliminate shadows, get a better shot.

My biggest tip is making sure your subject is well lit. Don’t cast a shadow over them. For bonus points, get the right angle for the light source to make their eyes sparkle. -Dan W., @nerddotis

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44. Don’t take photos for other people.

I think one of the biggest mistakes in photography occurs when the photographer compares her captures to that of others. This can lead to feelings of inadequacy and underestimation of the beauty and value of one’s own photography. Aside from low lighting and blurriness caused by such, Other mistakes stem from not believing enough in captures to share them with rather world. -Colette B Rogers, @ftulani

Don’t take photos for other people. If the first thought in your mind is, “I hope this gets X likes on Instagram,” you’ve lost the plot. –Jake Kiser

The most critical thing is to take the picture. Don’t see the shot and leave your camera in your pocket. If you see something neat, take the shot and work the scene. Even if you didn’t go out intending to capture something great, maybe you will. Look at what you’re shooting and move around to get the shot you want. If you’re shooting a high res sensor you’ll be able to crop to get the framing you want but if you’re shooting with an iPhone or older camera – or if you’re trying to take a BIG picture – move around as needed to get obstacles out of your way. -Michael Maskalans, @tepidcola

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45. Remember the focal point of the photo. Don’t clutter it up.

Coco Chanel once said “before leaving the house, a lady should look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” It’s similar with photography, too much in the frame and it can take away from the overall scene, don’t be afraid of simplifying. -lchip

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46. Stay candid.

A big mistake I used to make was focusing on the pose rather than the whole picture. Letting the picture happen organically, enjoying the beauty of the moment has made my photos much more memorable and alive. A true expression of awe or happiness is so much more important and authentic than that perfectly centered absolutely not candid smile photo I took too many times. –@debrahanlon

Switching gears, a mistake to avoid is not one of my favorite things about my camera is that it’s always with me to capture moments I know I could never simulate if I didn’t capture the moment right then. The moments that are beautiful and a part of life as it happens. I don’t mean the food you’re eating, I mean the grandma that is salsa dancing on vacation when she’s been confined to a wheel chair for a year and half. Or your sister bursting into tears as she’s walking down the aisle on her wedding day. Your baby’s first steps and the expression on their face. The moments that if you wait too long to grab the camera, you won’t capture the same emotion ever again. Don’t make the mistake of having to have everything be PERFECT to snap the beautiful emotional moments that make us human, because in my humble opinion, those are the best photos on earth, possibly evoking more emotion than was originally captured. (If that makes sense.) –@headadt

I have a great picture of my 6 grandchildren and they were totally unaware of what I was doing. Go ahead you can take my idea. We were at a big park that had a partially covered wide bridge over the pond. The kids were all holding hands with arms spread out, kind of skipping/walking when I said, “keep walking, now turn around and look at me.” CLICK I went. What a great keepsake I have. Their ages are 6 to 11. Spontaneous is the best prize forever! -Anonymous

Don’t forget to enjoy the moment of actually being there (wherever you are!). Take the photo thoughtfully but quickly so that you can truly enjoy seeing what you are also taking a picture of! -David Neal

When taking a photo not taking a picture is the biggest mistake – too many times people miss the shot because they are waiting for a better angle and miss the moment altogether. -Marc Pohlman @mapohlman on Instagram

Don’t try too hard. A great photograph is probably right under your nose. Don’t miss the small things looking for the perfect shot. –@dessertchic

When taking photos don’t become your worst critic! I had gotten to a point where I was very happy with the results of my pictures. I entered several photos into my company’s corporate photo contest. Since the company was part of the Fortune 500 there were many entries. I was so excited, surprised and grateful to have had one of my photos win. However, I found I became very critical of my own work. Nothing was good enough and I found myself no longer taking pictures. I was my own worse critic! It wasn’t until my daughter was born that I realized the decision I had made. I decided no matter what the results of the photos, I would look at them with a renewed passion. I didn’t want to miss the many moments the future would hold with a child. If I could share some advice, remember to enjoy the moments, enjoy your photos and the memories you’ve created. –@merickson84

STOP Being Too Serious. Today’s smartphones and cameras will take great photos. Some of my best vacation photos from this year were just quick snaps, no posing, no playing with settings; just having fun with family and friends and taking snaps. –@BourbonJake

Avoid waiting for that perfect moment to take your picture. Every moment is priceless. Fracture can keep your memories alive forever. -Anonymous

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47. Stay still, avoid blurriness.

My biggest fault when shooting is getting a little blur. I have to constantly remind myself to lock my upper body when using lower shutter speeds. :\ –@kristylumsdenphotography

Hold the camera steady and make sure your subject is still unless you are using action mode on the camera. Choosing the correct mode on the camera is also important. With small children I have found the more candid (not planned or posed) the better. –@kesweet

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48. Take lots of shots.

Being satisfied taking one picture of a subject. Digital photography practically screams for experimentation. Take a photo and then change your elevation (stand on a bench or lay on the ground), change what you center on, change your angle. Later have fun picking from your group of images to discover what moves you most. –@popefish

Don’t wait for the perfect shot. Try to line up something that might happen and is well composed, but shot several shots when you think something will happen. You can always delete bad pictures later, but you can’t get a toddler to, “Do it again.” –@myotherpants

With phone photography becoming the norm, so many people are trigger happy and do not focus in on their subject before taking their photo.

So just a short checklist: Check your light, focus on your subject, pause and always take several shots. Rinse, repeat 🙂 -Instagram @nlimani

Don’t be afraid to take multiple shots of the same situation. Specifically, based on phone camera memory or media storage on your camera you can delete all the “bad” pictures. So ultimately you can capture that perfect moment to Fracture. Also “focus” on the focus of the picture. Take a moment to tap your phone screen or stabilize your camera. -Elizabeth Tallant

One of the biggest mistakes I make when taking photos is just pointing and shooting. I’m always “on the run” but want to take photos of the things that I find cool. My best advice is to take the time to set up a good photo. I always go back through my photos and wish I had taken the time to make each one look really good.

Another mistake to avoid when taking photos is having extra “stuff” in your frame. Sometimes it may be just a branch or maybe it’s a person in the shot of a piece of architecture. Either way, you are going to wish it wasn’t there later. Ask someone to move or maybe look for a different spot to take the picture.

Lastly, a mistake to avoid is only taking one shot of what you are capturing. Take multiple shots and decide later which you like the best. Sometimes you are somewhere that you are never going to come back to. Take 4 or 5 pictures of the same thing with different angles, zooms, and even setting on your camera. You can always buy more camera cards you can’t buy back your once in a lifetime trip. -Morgan Brown, @mobrownie11

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49. Be patient. Take the time to frame and focus your images.

It may sound simple, but one mistake I’m working to avoid is being too quick in taking the shot. I start out with the best intentions of calmly and thoughtfully composing a scene. But sometimes I find myself just snapping away, only to get home and find that I completely missed THE one look I had in mind initially. Taking the time to recognize lighting, perspective, background, composition and especially noticing the little things that might spoil the perfect shot (like a trash can!) will go a long way to giving you peace of mind that you’ve done all you could to get the photograph you envisioned. -Deborah Williams, @debwill54

The mentality that you can be as careless as you want with your shots and just “fix” them in post. Compose & expose your shots as well as you can and don’t rely on post to do the work for you. No software can compensate for laziness up front. And sometimes a shot is so poorly/hastily executed that nothing done in post could ever save it. -Tim Heaston, @TimHeaston

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50. Remember why you’re taking the photo.

The biggest mistake I make is not thinking about the reason why I am taking the photo. This changes everything – my focal point, the framing, where I need to be with lighting – everything! Thinking “why” takes me from ok photos to great photos, by pushing me to think about what really matters. -Anonymous

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51. Turn off the date stamp.

Turn the date stamp off on your digital camera. –@ryk824

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52. Turn your camera on.

Remember to turn the camera on. -Anonymous

-Avoid overexposed shots.- (3)

53. Avoid overexposed shots.

One huge mistake I think many amateur photographers do are over exposed shots. I often tell people to under expose shots because you have more chances of recovering details vs an overexposed picture. –@vandcphotography

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54. Make sure your SD card is unlocked.

Make sure your SD card is not locked and you know how to unlock it. -Tj Norris

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55. Skip the smartphone camera sometimes.

Use a real camera, skip the smartphone cameras we’ve all been accustomed too. You will be pleasantly surprised. -Ben Rametta

-Avoid overexposed shots.- (1)

56. Use a tripod for optimum balance.

Always make sure your liens cap is off, check your setting on your camera if not sure of what setting to use auto is always a good place to start. Use a tripod when ever possible. Most of all have fun, let the word see through your eyes, and snap away. -Coty Knoblock

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57. Use autofocus to avoid blurry images.

Poor lighting, shaking – autofocus is so helpful! “Impaling” or having weird things go on in the background of a portrait. -Bri Petersen, @bripetersen90

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58. Zoom in, ideally with your feet, not the camera.

I tend to shoot my photos standing too far away when I should be standing much closer to get the picture I actually wanted. -Bridgette Willams

Most photos are taken from too far away and have to be cropped. This results in loss of quality. So when taking your photos, get close, then get closer! -Katie Floyd, @katiefloyd

Too often people take very long distance pictures that their cameras can’t handle. Don’t be afraid to push in and take close up shots. -Karen Koppett, @jasonandkaren

The best zoom is your legs. If you can move the camera close to the subject do that before you use the zoom. Especially if you are using a digital zoom! –@hdctambien

As a teacher of photography, there are usually three things I tell my students to be aware of while shooting.

MOVE YOUR FEET. Too often, my students take full length body shots when they really need to take a headshot. Before you take a picture, ask yourself, “what is important in this photo?” If the it’s a prom dress, then get the full dress; if it’s a kiss between friends, move in close and get just their faces and the look of love in their eyes. In other words, get closer, move back, get high (group shots), or get low (children). –@mister_hampton

Zoom with your feet, not your fingers. Don’t use flash on something far away. Remember that your iPhone camera can capture more detail than is visible on your screen, so zoom in on pictures when sorting to get a better sense of which pictures succeeded or failed. -Henry Frautschy, @VintagePilot

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59. Zoom out. You can always zoom in while editing.

Taking pictures too close up. I always make this mistake, which usually becomes a problem when I want to post my pic on Instagram or other social media. Once you upload the pic, the outer edge gets cut out and you have to get creative to try to make it fit properly. Remember, if you take the pic further back, you can always zoom. –@barbgarces

Well the one thing I try to do is not zoom in too close, it will blur or pixelate the photo and make it harder to get a good quality print. You can always crop the photo later to narrow in on what you really wanted to capture, but if its grainy you can’t fix that as easy if at all. –@dkariel

Thanks to everyone for the incredible responses! We received nearly 800 entries!

Big Congrats to our winners, Jennifer James and Alexandre L’Eveille! You two should check your email for your prizes!

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