If you’re a beginner or intermediate photographer, it can be surprisingly hard to get clear advice on how to build your skills. With so many tips and tricks floating around out there, it can be difficult to know what is right for you like black sheep photography stephanie debolt.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of some of the most popular photography myths – and explained why they are not true! If you’re interested in taking your photography skills to the next level, avoid these misconceptions at all costs!

8 myths about photography are:

1. Professionals always use high-end, expensive camera gear

This is a myth that seems to be loved by photography enthusiasts of all skill levels, and for two good reasons. First of all, it seems logical that you need advanced equipment to take advanced pictures. However, it’s just not true! Sure, there are a few cases when higher end cameras and lenses will produce better results (for example on a day with especially strong light), but the difference between the image quality of different digital SLRs / mirrorless cameras is not significant. Also, high end cameras are not required to take good photos. Many entry-level and mid level cameras produce excellent results and offer a lot of flexibility.

The second reason why this myth is liked is that it makes us believe that taking really nice pictures requires expensive gadgets that we just can’t afford. This has several negative consequences, because if we feel ashamed to use a camera without fancy features, we tend to avoid taking pictures altogether. If you want to get better results, make the most out of what’s available!

2. It’s more important getting an expensive camera than getting the right lens for it

“Great lenses don’t make great pictures; great pictures use great lenses”.  The truth is that a lens, like any other piece of equipment, is just one part of the total picture. A great photographer can take amazing pictures with an entry-level camera or with a cheap compact despite using a mediocre lens.  What really makes photos better and more believable is your mastery of composition and exposure. This requires practice, so don’t think that you’ll become a better photographer by buying expensive gear!

3. Photographing people will make you look like an amateur

Photographing people will make you look like an amateur. This may be true if you’re not used to working with them or if they don’t cooperate, but it’s up to your own personal style to decide whether it will work for you. Many great photographers started as portrait specialists, including Helmut Newton, Ralph Gibson and Irving Penn.

In fact, some of the biggest names in photography have been hired precisely because of their ability to make people look good. I’m talking about photographers like Richard Avedon (who shot for Vogue), Peter Lindbergh (who has given Kate Moss her best covers ever) and Annie Leibovitz (who did a whole series on Julia Roberts). If professionals manage to take amazing portraits consistently, you can learn how to do it too!

4. People who use mobile phones for taking photos are amateurs

It’s true that amateur photographers usually go for big zoom lenses or filters to compensate for low photographic skills. But as soon as a topic can be covered using a smartphone, many amateurs will try to make it look like a professional job. The best example of this is the iPhone, which allows taking portraits that look incredibly similar to those taken by professionals (see the examples above), but with only one hand!

5. People who take pictures from unusual angles are amateurs

The truth is that all creativity has its roots in observation and common sense. For example, it’s possible to take interesting pictures by looking at something you’re used to seeing in an unusual way or at an angle you haven’t seen before. If a camera has enough zoom and/or focal length, it’s possible to record amazing things from an unusual perspective. Even simple changes in framing can create an entirely new look (see the picture below).

6. Taking pictures of yourself with your phone or digital camera is an amateurish practice

If you’re used to taking pictures with a digital camera or smartphone, taking photos of yourself will probably make you feel nervous (and subsequent doubt). However, no matter what you use to take your pictures, doing so gives you more control over the final result and makes you understand how it works. Taking your own pictures confirms to yourself that you can be an artist, even if you’re not formal in your approach!

7. You can fix bad photographs in post-processing

There’s nothing wrong with using Photoshop, but it’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to turn a boring image into a good one. In fact, we don’t really like people being overly dependent on software and tools.

Not only does the use of Photoshop make a photograph look unrealistic, it makes the original feel less valuable – as if the photographer could not trust his/her own ability to take good photos. All that post processing does is improve the colors in an already interesting photo and makes it look artistic.

8. It’s important to have a lot of pictures in your portfolio

The myth that you need to have a lot of pictures in your portfolio is an understandable one, but it’s incorrect. It seems that everyone has heard about it and everyone agrees: the more images you have, the better the chance someone will like them enough to hire you. But it doesn’t work this way!

The key question is: What is the quality level of each photo in your portfolio? If there are 20 images and 3 of them are outstanding, someone else is much more likely to hire you than if all photos are just average.


It’s important to know how to take good pictures, but it’s even more important to have fun doing it. Also, there’s no point in taking bad photos just because you’re at home. You’ll never learn anything if you put yourself in a situation where your heart is not in the game.

Photography can be a passion and an art, but it doesn’t really require special equipment or techniques (unless of course you want to become a professional!). If you practice and achieve mastery with what you have from day to day, anyone will be able to benefit from your work.


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