Seven deadly photography sins

Seven Deadly Sins

Seven deadly sins of photography – it will catch up with you!

Some things you should be careful about…

Photography is full of pitfalls! You will come across them. Keep your eyes wide open. In the meantime here are some of the obvious sins that create problems for all the unwary…


Drooling over the latest release of some mega-technological update of the latest camera, lens, equipment… Then actually buying it because you think it will make you a photographer! Every photographer has suffered from equipment lust. Not one photographer, ever, has become a great photographer because they have suddenly purchased the latest and most expensive equipment. All that will happen if you succumb is that you will be the same photographer with less money in your pocket. Concentrate on getting better with what you already own. When your excellence surpasses the ability of the camera to show it, then consider moving to something new.


Carrying your equipment as a badge… If you buy equipment because it looks good, or shows off your purchasing prowess you are misguided. Successful photographers carry equipment because they need it for the shoot. Your pictures will be much better if you buy equipment only because it is necessary. Then use it until it falls apart. Your photography will improve, your pocket will thank you.


Not using the equipment you have… If you have the equipment you are not a photographer unless you use it. If you stay in bed and don’t take photographs your photography will stagnate. Get up early, stay up late, travel to distant locations, take thousands of pictures and make lots of friends who also shoot pictures. The only way to enjoy photography is to get out there and do it. Then your photography will improve.


Being jealous of someone else’s equipment, photographs, ability, lights, job, whatever.. This is a shameful waste of your own time and ability. There is no better camera in the world than the one you own. Your own ability and skill will increase if you spend the time focussing on your photography. Share with others what you enjoy, and enjoy what you have. That way your photography will benefit directly from attention to your own improvement.


Buying more and more equipment, because its on sale, because its new, because it’s, well, photography equipment… Just because it is photography equipment does not make it good. Just because it is cheap does not make it worthwhile. Just because it is on sale does not mean you have to buy it. Good equipment should be well made, well designed and last a long time. Research your needs very well. Question your motives for every purchase. See if you can borrow something to try it first. Buy only what you need every day for your photography. Anything else you can probably do without.


Hating on others because… The “Other” camera manufacturers products are not to your taste. If someone has something that is not your thing, or they shout about how good it is, then there is only one response. Celebrate the fact they are photographers. Express joy for their ownership. Rejoice with them over their successes. Getting angry about things you have no control over will do nothing for your photography. It will certainly do nothing to help you make friends. Concentrate on working with your own equipment, your own ability and take joy in your successes too. Then your focus will be on improving your photography. Stay with that.


Wanting it all now… No amount of wanting will give you what you want now. Money may buy the equipment, if you have the money. If you don’t then save up for it. There is very little money in photography. So make sure you fund the purchases you make with readily available cash. Debt will do nothing for your photography. It will reduce your ability to get to locations and take photographs. Instead, work consistently for well formulated goals. Set up a savings fund to ensure you get what you really need. Concentrate on what you need to do to improve and focus on working with what you have got. If you work and plan for your improvement what you want will come in time and with step by step positive action.

Being a better photographer…

Is really about being a better person. Great photographers have great insights. Those only come with introspection, self-improvement and concentrated, goal directed work. Oh, and you should enjoy yourself too!

By Damon Guy (author and Photokonnexion editor)

Damon Guy - Netkonnexion

Damon Guy (Netkonnexion)

Damon is a writer-photog and editor of this site. He has run some major websites, a computing department and a digital image library. He started out as a trained teacher and now runs training for digital photographers.
See also: Editors ‘Bio’.

13 responses to “Seven deadly photography sins

  1. Damon (Editor)

    Yes, I think we have all be affected by them! LOL… I have made a similar resolution. Just because I wrote this does not mean I don’t suffer!Tee hee.
    Thanks for commenting.

  2. I think I’m a sloth!! The problem is that I know take better photos in the morning but I don’t like to get up early. So I’m determined to change that this year and capture some sunrises! Great article!

  3. Guilty, guilty, guilty ; ) But since I’ve been doing this project, I have learned it’s not about the equipment or the location. I will jokingly talk about being jealous about someone’s ability, but I know it is my own laziness that doesn’t allow me to move forward–thanks for the reminder. And thank you for always providing such wonderful tips.

    • Damon (Editor)

      OK, you are guilty of something that most of us have also been guilty of at some time! Doing the best you can will move you forward. Enjoy and move on up!
      Thanks for commenting.

  4. Jose A De Leon

    I own a Canon EOS 7D that I purchased last December before taking a cruise through the Caribbean. I got it from Sears here in Puerto Rico and that was the highest end camera at the store. I’d heard about this camera before so I went for it. I shot close to 700+ photos (RAW). I was pleased with the results. Envy? Yes, I have to admit I do sometimes especially when I drool over a EOS 1D X or a Nikon D3s of the new D4. The 7D is my first incursion into the digital age, since I’ve been shooting with an old Olympus OM4T I’ve owned since 1986.
    What makes it so enticing is the how far digital technology has gone. The ISO’s now a crazy! You can do so many things now in all kinds of lighting that were not possible with film. But like a posted here in a past article; I try to shoot with a film mentality and as Damon mentioned in the Pride paragraph, I intend to shoot with this camera ’till if falls apart.

    • Damon (Editor)

      I think that is exactly the right attitude. Of course we all drool over another possible piece of equipment at some time or another. In the end, good research and careful thinking about what you want to buy will mean you buy the right thing and it will give you good service for years. I too think the film mentality is the right way to tackle digital… it gives you more control over the technology.
      Thanks for your comments.

  5. Cathy Donohoue

    That is one great article and one that I am bookmarking. I have terrible lens envy……….and I admit it.

    • Damon (Editor)

      Lens envy… ah, yes! I think everyone has suffered that at some time or another. Glad we have opened the issue up for you! Thanks for commenting.

  6. photokonnexion

    Great! Glad you enjoyed the article.

  7. Jose A De Leon

    This is one of your best articles Damon. I definitely believe you have to master your equipment you have at hand. Technique and lots of shooting will make you a better photographer, regardless of the equipment.