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Love Mail From Alex

Dear Youarenotaphotographer.com,
In my opinion your website is perfect and just the right dose of medicine for fauxtogs and photographers alike. I am a photographer and I started my business late 2010. Now at first I did just think, ‘hey I’m good’ because 1 out of 20 pictures would be decent. Then my mother, who has been a photographer for about 15 years – 8 professionally – politely told me that I suck. So I started learning how to use my camera better, I looked online at other photography, and I spent hours with my sister trying to hone my photography skills.
Now I feel proud about my work and I have confidence that it is about 300% better then when I first started. I look back at some of my work from late 2010 and early 2011 and it is scary. I knew basic composition and lighting and figured that was enough but it so wasn’t.
I am glad for your sight because even if it does hurt feelings, it show the difference between crap and pictures worth buying. Where I live so many people believe that they can pick up a camera and – BOOM – business. Sadly, I was one of those and I feel badly. People of course will pay for cheap pictures not realizing that they are wasting money. Fauxtaogs steal pro photographers business and it makes it harder for us trying to run a business to create income!
Thanks again for a place for me to rant and have a few laughs,
Alex
12 Comments
  1. Alex I couldn’t agree with you more! We should always strive to get better and to have higher standards!

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  2. Kellie says:

    Nice email Alex. I am a mum with a camera and always worry that I will be put into that ‘momtog’ group but I know that I too have improved over the years and can spot the crap ones a mile off.
    I get really fed up when I look on local websites at the amount of people advertising their ‘photography business’ and go to their website and see a gallery of their own kids with spot colouring, orange or blue faces and terribly out of focus. And then there’s the free wedding photographers!
    We all have to start somewhere and it takes a long time to get anywhere!

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  3. Julie says:

    Eh…I agree with a lot of this, but…I can’t really say fauxtographers are “stealing” anybody’s work. The truth of the matter is, until most people wisen up and are able to see what GOOD photography actually is–which will never, ever happen, of course–many of them are going to take the better deal money-wise. Sure, it sucks, and it’s terrible, and causes good photographers not to have as much business–but it’s not stolen business. My best advice? Hone your craft until you’re REALLY good. And when you are, aim for higher-end clients with taste instead of the average person who doesn’t know a good picture from their own butt. Am I being elitist? Probably. But it’s the truth.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Love this. If you are on here whining that we are all too harsh, your work probably belongs here and it shows. If you sell to a customer, expect to be held to standards. Really irritates me when people think they can give crappy quality and think that they are just as good as professional quality. BTW no I am NOT a portrait photographer, but I am an architectural photographer and I guareentee every one of my clients would tell me where to go and how to get there if I came up with the quality most of these shots demonstrate! Get rid of the facebook mentality and realize that there is a huge difference! Focus is NOT optional, crappy focus does not mean “creative focus” it means DELETE. Creative focus still highlights the subject, not a random background object. Color, lighting, composition, background, and post edit, all important. Think about it this way, you hire a guy to build your house and the kitchen is amazing but the rest of the house looks like S***, bet you aren’t happy.

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  5. Rebecca says:

    I am not a fauxtog or a photog but the bulk of the statement is true. The only part that is bull poo is the last part….Boo hoo hoo…fauxtogs are taking away money from real professionals….boo hoo hoo. Many of those fauxtogs are doing what they can to help provide for their families. They are no less deserving of extra income then anyone else and if people are willing to pay for their services then so be it.

    Self rightous little snoot. Yeah, I just made up the word “snoot”. I don’t know why but it pleases me so I am going to go with it.

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  6. FroggieG says:

    Rebecca, “snoot” is a word so you made up nothing. It is a piece of lighting equipment used in studio photography. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snoot But if you were being sarcastic, then F off.

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    • Rebecca says:

      Huh, how ’bout that? I had no idea. As I mentioned in my post, I don’t have any clue about anything photography related. I just know that people have the right to buy anything they want. To be mad that people want to buy (or more to the point) sometimes have to buy cheaper pictures is self rightous. Don’t be nasty to me. It wasn’t a personal attack on you.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    “Self rightous little snoot. Yeah, I just made up the word “snoot”. ”

    that comment alone throws you in the fauxtographer basket

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    • Rebecca says:

      And how is that? I don’t take pictures of anything but my kids and I would never sell them. To that point, half of my pics are pure crap. So I am not sure how my statement that further proves that I know nothing of photograpy puts me in the catagory of a wanna be photographer.

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  8. Anongirl says:

    I agree that bad photography should never be sold at professional prices. I love photography, right now it is a hobby for me, I am definitely an amateur, and want to learn more, a lot more before I can even think about the next level. I also know where some of these people are coming from. Their only choice is a fauxtog because they cannot afford a pro’s price. Not saying that a pro does not deserve the prices they charge, but lets face it, in today’s world only the rich can afford those prices or you have to take out a loan. Yes it did sound elitist to say to find clientele with money and it is also wrong to take darling photos of dear son or daughter with that cute old fashioned bicycle, and the only package they could afford was the cutesy background that was done tastefully, dangling the other “more professional” pictures before them like carrots for a horse. Not fair by any stretch of the imagination!!! It makes me mad!!! No matter where they are in life…they deserve to have pictures of their loved ones at prices they can afford. So guess what, that fauxtog may not be a pro, may be decent, and are probably gonna charge less too. I am not trying to be disrespectful to any pro by any means, I have a friend who is a wonderful and imaginative pro photographer. I am on the outside looking in here, mind you, and my heart still aches for the photos I had to leave behind of my children because I could not afford the “best package.”

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  9. Morgan says:

    It really does affect a professional photographers income. I have lost sessions because a fauxtog with almost no experience offered sessions for $20 less than myself and I wouldn’t price match. The photos they paid for were quite terrible! I have absolutely no problem with someone who is still learning that charges $40 for a session. Honestly I am not really competing with someone at that price point and I did just that when I was starting BUT it’s insulting to see someone with NO experience charging the same as I do for a wedding. Just like any career you need to start at the bottom and work towards your goals, not just look at what other photographers are charging and set your prices like theirs. It’s a LOT of work with tons to learn! :}

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  10. Emma says:

    Morgan, if that potential client was fickle enough to be swayed by $20, then you’re probably better off without their business anyway. Rather than take a swipe at and blame the other tog you’d be better off educating the client!

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