I find another somewhat ‘rookie’ blunder many photographers make is to take very similar photos time and time again. For example, posing in front of something with the same signature smile/smirk ad nauseum.
Some of the best photos I’ve ever seen from others (or from my own personal travel photos collection) have been of candid portraits. The type of shots where people have natural facial expressions and aren’t even aware the camera is in front of them.
I’ve found that it’s often better to take shots of individuals or groups candidly without them even noticing.
You’re capturing individuals & groups as they act naturally experiencing a far more wide range of both postures and facial expressions than when one is knowingly standing in front of a camera feeling somewhat self conscious with a predictable grin and orientation.
Some people really shine in front of the camera when they have no idea a camera is there in the first place.
At least, if you’re going to take lots of posed compositions try to spice it up a little by getting individuals to strike a different pose or facial expressions every once in a while.
It just gets so mundane to see the same thing over and over and over again.
Finally, consider taking shots of locals interacting in a natural manner. Investing in a camera or lens with a decent zoom range (telephoto) is quite essential for this type of photography to avoid getting too close to the individuals intruding upon their personal space or making them feel uncomfortable and rigid.
The best solution is to try and position yourself where you can take these kinds of people shots without he/she even noticing it.
It certainly takes a bit of skill and effort to develop the right techniques to make this process as natural as possible. Enjoy practising this technique and in not time you’ll be a natural at it.