Digital Photography Tips to Help You Capture Life's Memories

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Basic Photography Mistakes To Avoid

Here are few basic photography mistakes that every photographer should avoid.

First Basic Photography Mistake...Not Reading The Camera Manual.

Today's digital cameras have many advanced features and options to help us take better pictures. Spending time to learn all of the functions and settings on your camera will help you become a better photographer and get the most out of the camera.

A key to learning the many settings and features of your camera is to experiment with the camera settings under different lighting conditions and on different subjects.

Experimenting with your camera settings will help you learn how making a small change in your settings or turning a specific feature on or off will impact the picture. When we know our camera inside and out we can maximize its potential and will be ready to take the best photos possible.

One of the first steps on the path to becoming a better photographer is learning how to the get the most out of your camera by understanding its features and settings.

If you are not one to sit down and read the manual...but you want to learn more about digital camera settings or digital camera modes, check out the links to the right.

Second Basic Photography Mistake...Not Having a D.A.M. Plan.

D.A.M. = Digital Asset Management. A fancy way of saying BE ORGANIZED! Digital Asset Management involves the whole process of downloading (ingesting), cataloging, storing and backing up your photographs. However, for now I will focus on the importance of coming up with a practical and useful way of naming your photos as well as having them stored on your computer in an organized fashion, making it easy to find the photo you want when you want it.

Whole books have been written on the subject of Digital Asset Management and while it might not seem that important as you just start out...the fact is that the longer you take photos and the more digital picture files you have on your computer, having your photos organized in a logical and easy to find method becomes very important.

From the beginning, find a logical and organized way to name and store your photos. I prefer to organize my folders by year and subject but what is most important is that you have a way of naming and organizing your photos that works for you and makes it easy for you to find the photos you want when you want them.

There are some good books written on setting up a good Digital Asset Management System for Photographers . Also there are some very good software programs designed to help manage your photos, including assigning them to specific categories and rating them for their overall importance or quality.

Don't make the mistake of waiting until you have several hard drives filled with photos, all with generic camera file names, before deciding to implement a good DAM plan. Start at the beginning and find a good system that works for you. Believe me, it is a lot better to be organized from the beginning than try to implement a DAM program after you have multiple hard drives full of photos.

Recommended Digital Asset Management Programs.

Here are a few good programs that will help you organize and edit your images.

Many of these have free trial versions you can download and try out. I highly recommend ACDSee Pro because it is very easy to use and has some great built-in editing and adjustment features. I have personally been using it for several years after trying out most of the cataloging and digital asset management programs available.

  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom
  • ACDSee Pro 4
  • ACDSee Photo Manager 12
  • Breeze Browser Pro

Or check out some of the free photo editing and organization software that are available here.

Third Basic Photography Mistake...Not Having a Backup Plan.

The mistake of not having a backup plan is the most risky and likely the most harmful mistake of all! Backing up your photos is really part of a good DAM (Digital Asset Management Plan) but it is so important I wanted to highlight it separately.

Let's face it....hard drives fail. Even CD's or DVD's can be scratched or damaged and become unusable. That is why you need to find a good way of backing up all your photos and sticking with it.

I have a friend who recently had their hard drive crash, resulting in the loss of three years of photos. All because they did not have them backed up. Three years worth of photos, thousands of important "captured" memories lost...all because they did not have a back up plan.

Decide early on how you will back up your photos and develop a plan and system that you will stick to consistently.

Characteristics of a good backup plan.

  • A good backup plan regularly backs up new photos as well as any photos that have changed or have been edited.
  • A good backup plan has some type of redundancy that will provide more than one backup copy, ensuring your photos are safe and secure.
  • The best backup plan will have some type of off-site storage where you can keep a copy of your photos in another physical location. Having a copy of all your important files backed up online or away from your home or office protects you in case of fire, flood, burglary, or some other situation that might destroy your photos, including locally maintained backup copies.
  • An effective backup plan must be automated or easy to run, so that you will stay with it and your photos will continue to be backed up regularly.

Fortunately the price of hard drives continues to fall making it more affordable than ever to have ample hard drive space to back up your photos. If you are looking for the best price on an internal or external hard drive I recommend you check out the selection offered by iconor Both of these online retailers routinely have some great sales and are well-established and reliable companies.


Avoiding making these basic photography mistakes is just the beginning of being prepared for whatever may happen in the future. As my friend can attest, losing a year or more of irreplaceable photos is not fun!

Be organized and backup often....!

Tags: Digital Photography Photography Basics