Using zoom lenses to get closer
Starting out in photography, we often zoom with the lens instead of our feet. Zooming and moving in closer accomplish two different things. While a zoom lens is great to have and very useful, remember that when you zoom in with the lens you are not just bringing the subject closer to the camera. You are making the background seemingly closer as well. Sometimes this can make a space appear smaller or more crowded than it is.
Working too fast
Ignoring little mistakes when looking through the viewfinder such as a misplaced stick in the foreground of a landscape, hair blown onto the subject's face, or a pose that just looked “okay”, is often a common mistake photographers make. It’s time to no longer accept “okay” in the viewfinder of your camera. If you see a problem, fix it and don't pretend it doesn't exist, and you’ll see your photography improve tremendously.
Focusing too much on the technicalities when shooting
We’re often too focused on ISO, aperture and shutter speed. When you're so busy worrying about the camera settings, you're not paying very close attention to what is in front of the camera. Not only does this take the fun out of shooting, but it generally produces images we aren't happy with. Practice, practice and more practice is the only solution. You can easily practice at home by walking into different rooms, estimating the needed exposure settings, and then metering in your camera to see how close you were.
Not getting close enough to the subject
You need to make sure the subject of the photo is clear, and a good way to start is to fill the frame with your subject. You can usually accomplish this by just taking a few steps towards your subject or zooming in slightly. This helps to overcome the mistake of making the subject too small and insignificant, which leaves the viewer wondering what the photo is supposed to be of.
Placing the subject in the middle of the frame
You should aim to place the subject away from the center of the frame. Luckily, there are some very simple guidelines that can help you arrange elements in your frame, such as the rule of thirds. As you look through your viewfinder or study the LCD screen on your Canon DSLR , imagine two vertical and two horizontal lines creating a grid of nine boxes. Try placing the point of interest, on or near the points where the lines intersect. You can also crop portraits to the rule of thirds using your grid overlay in processing.
Not thinking about the direction of the light
The direction of the light and how it’s illuminating your subject, can make or break a photograph. If you’re aware that it's striking your subject in the wrong place then you can either move the subject, move yourself or, if the subject isn’t going to disappear, wait a while or return at the appropriate time of day.