Common Photography Myths BUSTED

There are a lot of photography myths out there, from what’s the best lighting to how easy or hard this work is and more. A lot of worries people have about their photos and how they’ll turn out are based in some of these myths. So here we are, coming to the rescue like we do! ((Gen X ironic laughter inserted here))

But instead of starting with the myths, we thought we’d start out with some interesting and little known facts about photography.


Photography of a bride and groom, outside in the rain, under a clear umbrella.

Interesting and little known photography facts, including some bizarre stuff…

  • The most viewed photo of all time is this photo that was used as a default Windows wallpaper. You’ll definitely recognize it if you’re of a certain age. ((cough))
  • We currently take more photos every two minutes than all of humanity did for the entirety of the 1800s. That one is really not hard to believe.
  • Wake Forest University did a study and found that people think left sides of faces are more attractive. Okay, what?
  • The Victorians, who could be a little… wacky, went through a period of loving “headless photos.” (Don’t worry… they aren’t real or gross.) It was likely just the result of new photographers figuring out new things they could do and manipulate.
  • Though the term “selfie” didn’t come into the lexicon until 2002, the first selfie was taken in 1839.
  • Everybody is better looking in a group. So you know, you should always have a wingperson.
  • Queen Victoria was the first person to use the word “photo.” You probably had no clue she was that freaking hip.
  • The first digital camera was released by Apple in 1994. (Did anyone have one of them?)
  • Cat photos are nothing new. People started taking them in 1871. They even dressed the cats up in suits.
  • People used to not smile in photos because, sure, they had to stay still for a while, but also? They were typically wearing back and neck braces to help them stay in place so they were quite uncomfortable and probably a little grumpy (not a photography myth).
  • The first underwater photo was taken in 1856. (This one felt extra surprising.)
  • And for our last one: The word photography comes from the Greek for “to draw with light.” Now that is super cool.

If you know any weird or interesting facts about photography, we’d love to hear all about them!

Onward to what we promised: Photography Myths! We’ll divide these into a couple of clusters.


Photography of a young man seated on a log on the beach staring at the camera.

To start, photography myths about lighting.

Because these seem to be extra… bothersome to people.

  • One of the top photography myths is that overcast days are not good! When in fact, they are awesome! Clouds turn the entire sky into a big, soft light source. It’s especially great for portraits. We got lucky with that kind of sky with these family photos at Presque Isle and Frontier Park.
  • When it comes to sunlight, the best times of day for photos is the hour before sunset and the first hour after sunrise. This is referred to as the golden hour, and indeed it’s very self-explanatory if you take a moment to notice it.
  • Back lighting is not always bad. It gets a bad rap but it can create some stunning shots.
  • Even harsh weather conditions can make for fantastic photos. It puts a new positive spin on “rain on your wedding day…” (If you got that, we are friends. Even if you didn’t like the song.)
  • Direct and harsh sunlight is just that… harsh. We can work with it (because we can work with anything … patting our own backs…) but it’s not the “good” lighting that people think it is.
  • And artificial lighting is not always a bad thing. Of course! It can give us all kinds of control and options.

Moving on: Photography Myths in general

  • Great photos require expensive equipment. Great equipment is a benefit, for sure, but photography is about so much more than the equipment you can afford. If you’re just getting started, the important thing is to keep practicing no matter your equipment. Even a phone can teach you a lot.
  • Avoid bad lighting. Um… there is no bad lighting; there’s just a photographer not knowing how to use whatever lighting is available.
  • Always keep the horizon straight. There are some instances when a slightly angled horizon adds to the photo. Play with it and see. (But psst… usually a straight horizon is a good idea.)
  • Don’t put the subject in the middle. Again, it depends and that’s why we play with composition.
  • The camera never lies. Um, yes, it can. Depending on what camera you’re using and what lenses, etc., what you end up with might not be what you were actually seeing.
  • Photography isn’t a skill. This myth has gotten extra prolific with everyone and their cat/dog even taking photos. (I mean, really… people are putting cameras around their animals’ necks so we aren’t exaggerating there.) But when you start to pay attention to high quality photography, you’ll start to see the difference.


Photography of a bride and groom under the veil with the photographer with his camera and giving the thumbs up.

And finally: Myths about photographers

  • Photographers “just” take photos. Again, this myth has gained a lot of weight because of how much everyone is taking photos these days. But there is so much more to this work than a few sentences can articulate. We are not just standing around snapping shots at a wedding, for example. We’re there to help in so many more ways and we’re there to make sure the memories of this big important day are well preserved.
  • Being a photographer is easy. Anyone can do it. Sure, if you want to put in the many thousands of hours it takes to hone your skills. Like any art, time spent learning is most important and too many amateurs think they can just jump in the game with no study or practice. And there’s so much more, again, to being a photographer than simply taking a ton of photos.
  • A photographer barely needs good photos; they can fix anything on the computer. Nope. You still need good shots. And we pride ourselves on capturing you in camera without any photoshopping.
  • Most of our time is spent photographing. Again with the nope. There are countless behind the scenes hours that go into our finished products.

We could probably write a book about all of this, but alas, we’re too busy taking photographs and running a photography business. We hope we brought some (good) light to your ideas about photography. The next time you’re looking at old photos that have lasted over decades and even longer, just imagine who took them and how. The history in your hands is the reason we do the work we do.