Jane McGuire

Lessons to be learnt from the world’s worst photographs

Lessons to be learnt from the worlds worst photographs

Published February 23 2016

Photography has the power change the world at the click of a button or capture precious moments forever. Yet it can also go so wrong. It’s safe to say 99% of us will have taken a photo with the lens cap on or our thumb over the shutter at some point in our lives. Although most of these get deleted we believe there are important lessons to be learnt from the world’s worst photographs so have decided to share some with you.


Lighting really does matter

There are some shadows that you just can’t Photoshop out. The beauty of digital photography is being able to check your test shots immediately, but if you are old school and shooting on film we don’t recommend trying this at a wedding.

Image via deathandtaxesmag.com


It’s all about the pose

It might seem obvious, but posing really far apart at opposite sides of the studio doesn’t work. On the other hand, lining your family up in order of size, with their hands in their back pockets is timeless.

Image via deathandtaxesmag.com


Image via buzzfeed.com


Who needs autofocus?

Although ‘real photographers’ see it as cheating, for us amateurs sometimes autofocus is a good thing – especially when your family are meeting a big bear that they have queued for hours to see.  

Image via dailymail.co.uk


It’s important to remember what the subject of the photograph is

Those ‘look at me leaning on a pyramid’ optical illusions are great when they work, if they don’t they just look like this. Also if you are capturing someone’s wedding, avoid focusing on anything that isn’t the happy couple.

Image via lostateminor.com


Image via telegraph.co.uk


Timing is everything

The internet is full of amazing perfectly timed photographs. Although this wasn’t the original plan for the photo, just go with it.

Image via cloudfront.net


Image via distractify.com


Image via distractify.com


Image via uuuploads.com


It’s always risky when there are animals involved

You can’t tell them what to do, or know what they are thinking. Animals can ruin a photograph in one bark, bite or unexpected appearance. Here are a couple of our favourite examples.

Image via pinterest


Image via distractify.com


This also applies to children

The longer the photoshoot, the more likely the child is to get bored and ruin it. On the other hand, attempting an ambitious ‘flying through the air’ shot with a young baby is bound to go wrong, so don’t ever try it.

Image via awkwardfamilyphotos.com


Image via nydailynews.com


Putting the two together is a recipe for disaster  

We don’t want to know what happened next for any of these photographs; however the more important question should be why these parents stopped to take the shot.

Image via thelaughingstork.com


Image via distractify.com


Watch out for the photobomb...

As hilarious as we find them, the photobomb can instantly ruin the perfect photograph. From an unexpected lama to a nudist on the beach, always expect the unexpected, especially when you are on self timer.

Image via awkwardfamilyphotos.com


Image via awkwardfamilyphotos.com


Especially when you are in a zoo

Trying to take a selfie in the zoo? You’re here to photograph animals remember.



Finally, remember that props don’t always work

They may seem like a good idea at the time, but sometimes even the most imaginative prop can look plain weird.

Image via cloudfront.net


To learn some slightly more technical lessons, a photography course is a great way to brush up your skills whatever your ability. What’s more if you’ve got any photographs that belong on this list then be sure to share them with us on our Facebook page – happy snapping! 

Jane McGuire

Jane McGuire received her BA (English) from the University of Loughborough. A yoga enthusiast with a sweet tooth, in her spare time you will probably find Jane in the gym or online shopping.

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