Young woman messily eats a cream doughnut

We have all heard of them – the Seven Deadly Sins.  You might think of them as a bit of a joke, or you might think of them as out-dated.  But did you know that they can seriously affect your photography, and not in a good way?

Let’s have a look at the first of our Seven Deadly Sins of photography…. Gluttony.

The original sin of gluttony is all about overindulging (in food) usually at the expense of others who are going hungry and/or eating much, much more than you need.

If you regularly attend group shoots, you will have come across photography gluttons.  These are the photographers who hog the model, they shoot for twice as long as anyone else in the group and they always have, “just one more shot” – except it is never just one.  These are the photographers who take, take, take and leave little time for everyone else to shoot.

I try very hard to prevent “model hogs” at my studio events.  I try to encourage photographers to take only take a few shots and then let the next person shoot.  That way each person’s turn comes round quickly, not only that but people can see how others are shooting and build on what they are doing.

For those who do their photography when travelling, you may see a different type of photography glutton.  This is the person who pushes forward to get their shot of the scene and stands in such a way as to block the view or scene for other photographers.  Even more annoyingly there appears to be a trait in this type of photographer that means that they feel the need to stay in position while they ‘chimp’ (look through) their images on the back of the camera, or to then hold a conversation oblivious of everyone else who is waiting to create their image.

Temple Bar

In most cases, these travel photography gluttons are not doing it maliciously but are just oblivious to their behaviour.  Thankfully, a polite “excuse me” request is usually enough to resolve it.  Having said that as a Brit, I find myself too ‘polite’ and reserved to ask them to move, and I end up just standing there… tutting loudly!

Finally, there is also another type of photography glutton.  This is the photographer who just keeps clicking again and again and again.  What they end up with is scores or hundreds of near-identical images.  Yes, there is always a place for taking a couple of identical shots to give options in the event of a subject blinking or to protect against camera shake, but more than this doesn’t actually help – it merely gives leaves you with lots of images to look through and edit.

While this last form of photography gluttony might not affect other photographers it will certainly hold you back in your photography development.  What it is indicative of is a lack of confidence in creating your images.  Just stop and think about it, if the composition didn’t work on the first shot, unless you change something it’s not going to work on the next, or the one after that.  Someone once said that the definition of madness is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.

So what is the solution?  Yes, take a couple of ‘identical’ shots, but then for the next shot make sure you change something.  It might be as simple as changing from a horizontal composition to a vertical one.  Then after a couple of shots, you can change the angle – shoot from the side.  Then after that, you can try zooming in or zooming out.  This way you may still have the same number of images but you will have a lot of variation.  You can look at shots and pick the best and you may be surprised about what you create.  This is known in photography as working the scene.  If you want to know more about “working the scene” take a look at this blog post.

So are you a photography glutton?  If you recognise yourself in this – I hope this has helped you identify some steps to overcome it.

We have a discussion thread about this topic in our community – please add your thoughts about this blog post there:

Until next time, keep making great photos,