Five Unhelpful Yet Common Pieces of Advice From Other Photographers

Navigating the plethora of advice from other photographers in videos, articles, and comment sections can be a tricky journey. Some tips are indeed helpful and while others, even though well-intentioned, are repeated ad nauseam without being challenged enough.

In this video, Adam Karnacz, of First Man Photography, talks us through five pieces of bad advice that he regularly hears being given to other photographers. The part I connected with most was the point about staying in your lane. Not that I've necessarily said it to anyone or had it said to me, but it's the type of advice — or criticism — is something that I see on a regular basis in comment sections on Fstoppers and on YouTube. 

There's nothing wrong with arguing against an opinion or advice that you don't agree with. But to declare that someone isn't entitled to said opinion, purely because they might not have the same experience as others, comes across as a little arrogant. Its's also indicative of a culture of gate-keeping. Of course, this depends on what exactly is being talked about, e.g. a non-medical professional giving advice on open heart surgery to a room full of cardiac surgeons is just silly — but you get my point. Other photographers who see this type of belittling commentary might be dissuaded from trying new things. People have to start somewhere and I would always encourage others to step outside of their comfort zones.

What bad photography advice have you received in the past?

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Alex Reiff's picture

One that I see often: As soon as you buy your first camera, immediately buy a 50mm 1.8 because zooming with your feet automatically makes you a better photographer.

Charles Mercier's picture

Taking a hammer to a Fuji X-T4! I cringed when I saw that! lol

Michael Krueger's picture

Getting told kit kit lenses are worthless, that zoom lenses are bad and I need to invest in and carry a set of prime lenses with me everywhere, cheap or 3rd party lenses should be avoided, don't get a cheap tripod, cell phones are incapable of taking good photos.

Basically there are too many photographers that sit on a high horse and insist if I can't spend thousands on the latest and greatest camera gear I won't get good photos.

Mike O'Leary's picture

It all depends on your end-goal. Of course, high-end commercial photography requires the best of equipment, but if you want to document e.g. a local community project? A point and shoot could do a decent job if your fundamentals are good. 85% of it is the quality light on your subject.