Professional Photographers Take Bad Photos Too

By Amy

Sep 01

bad photos

Good Photographers Take Bad Photos Too

A common complaint I hear when I meet new people interested in photography is they take horrible photos and/or that they know nothing about photography.

Don’t worry! Even good photographers take bad photos!

SHhhh!! Don’t tell them I said that, but honestly they do!

I mean, really…do you honestly think they nail each photo?

Think about it…

Do professional baseball players get on base with each at bat? HELL NO!!

Do professional basketball players make a basket every time? OF COURSE NOT!!


My Mistakes…

photography tips bloggers

Dead Center…a NO NO (typically)

So what did I do wrong in the photo above?

I missed the fact that I’d centered the baby’s foot directly in the middle, and there’s not enough empty space or symmetrical background to pull that off.  


In this photo, I’ve composed a much more appealing shot.  

Really, the biggest thing that changed was I followed the rule of thirds.


How many photos did it take to fill a portfolio?

I’ve heard a very successful photographers comment that he went out for a shoot and took 200 photos of the same scene.  Now, each shot was slightly different.  He changed the subject in the foreground, the angle of the shot, the the light, or something else, and after reviewing the photos on his home computer he felt there was only 1 that he truly nailed and achieved a killer photo!

He felt the rest were good, but only one was great.

Don’t get me wrong, what a professional thinks is “just ok” to many other people could be a stellar photo.

And yes, you can make the argument that professional photographers probably get it right more often than the rest, but they still miss a shot too.

Let’s look at it this way…

Have you ever thought about how many portfolio pictures your favorite photographer displays?

Probably 10-15 of their absolute best are included.

How many shots do you think they take in a year?

That number is going to vary obviously, but rest assured, that number is well into the 1000’s and yet, you’ll only see 15 of their absolute BEST in their portfolio!

So, don’t stress yourself out.  

Shoot, shoot, shoot!

Try different set ups, lighting, angles, subjects, etc.  

Mix it up and get creative.  

Thankfully, we live in the digital media age.

This technology gives you the ability to take and retake photos without using up precious (expensive) film and wasting your money on development costs.

Plus, with film you have to wait to assess what settings worked or didn’t work and then try again, possibly days later!

Now, all you have to do is simply shoot, oogle, save or delete….and REPEAT!  Ahhh, the beauty of digital cameras!!


Professional photographers miss some shots too.

So, earlier I mentioned that a professional photographer may take 1000’s of good photos to get the best photos to fill their portfolio.

However, they also take photos that never make it onto their computers too.

They’re human too! No really, they are!

Again, trashing a photo may not happen as often as the beginner trashes photos, but they have the same problems too.

  • The subject moves
  • Forgot to change settings
  • Forgot the memory card
  • Memory card is full
  • Lost a battery
  • The battery is dead
  • Missed focus
  • Subject blinks
  • The shots blurry

This’s a short list of just a few things that can and will go wrong over the course of your shooting career.  

I’ve had several of those things happen to me in the past and I’m sure it won’t be the last time.  
People make mistakes, we’re only human!

It happens.

The more you practice, the better you’ll get and the less often these types of things will happen.


We all have to start somewhere!

Did you ever stop to think, that the professional photographer once knew nothing about photography too?

Professional photographers weren’t born with innate photography knowledge.

I will admit, some people tend to have “an eye” for photography, but there’s nothing to say that the “eye” can’t be learned.  

So, just like any other subject, you’ll need to study up and use what you’ve learned to improve your skills.

Do you know what else it will take?


Practice makes perfect; isn’t that what you heard growing up?

Well, this is no different.


So, what should you to do?

Start reading through the blog posts on this website, but don’t stop there!

Join my Private Facebook Group to get additional help and support on your photos.

AND I ask questions!

I’m sure as you learn, you’ll have a lot of question and this is the reason you should join my Private Facebook Group.  

Feel free to ask questions and get answers, not only from me, but from others within the group who have been learning just like you!

What are you using to take your photos?  

Smartphone users click here and be directed towards information that’ll help you get started! 

DSLR or SLR users click here to be directed towards information that’ll help you get started! 

If you loved this, please share it with your friends.

About the Author

Amy is the owner extraordinaire at Learn Blog Photography and Amy Paris Photography. She's a single mom to an amazing teenage son. She's passionate about photography and skiing (downhill), the faster the better! Sign up for a FREE 30-min call to light up your photos & biz!