You Are Not a Photographer - Bad Photography Blog

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Why This Site?

To many of you, the reason we started this site is painfully obvious. You’re a professional photographer that’s noticed 100 other “pros” pop up over night, or you’re not a photographer but noticed that all of the sudden 9 out of 10 of your Facebook friends have a professional photography site.

Cheaper cameras and accessibility to clients created a boom of bad photography, something we here call “fauxtography.” Buy a $600 Canon Rebel, start a Facebook fan page and boom, you think you’re a photographer.

Two of us started the site after looking through the Facebook albums of one of these fauxtogs obsessively for a few days. We couldn’t get enough. And then more of our Facebook friends started photography pages and their photography was even worse. We were hooked. We passed links back and forth over email for a few weeks before realizing that other people needed to see this stuff. We created a little Tumblr blog, which has since moved here. Threw up some ugly graphics and barely spent any attention on design, but within weeks the site was going bananas. Apparently we struck a cord with a lot of people.

Facebook and the Internet have created not only overnight photographers but cake makers, bow makers and poker players. We’re all for entrepreneurship, but that doesn’t mean that we aren’t going to laugh or cringe at the results when they’re horrid and tacky.

This site is for fun. It’s light hearted, so don’t take it too seriously.

If you need to contact us, you can email us at youarenotaphotog@gmail.com.

 

45 Comments
  1. Amanda says:

    I agree 100%
    I have people telling me to start a photography business or a bow business but I know I am not good enough to sell my stuff, nor do I really want to. I just take pictures for fun and because it interestes me, same with making bows. I really wish people would realise that just because you can sell things easily these days doesn’t mean you should.

       3 likes

    • aquinas says:

      No, the fact that you can sell your work easily is EXACTLY why you should. It means that someone values it. I realize that you are just trying to protect people from the dangers of buying photographs that they like but really aren’t “art”. Doesn’t that strike anyone as a bit elitist and overly paternalistic? I understand the urge to protect the uninitiated from the horrors of cute kittens and dramatic rainbows. But why bother? Most people grow out of it eventually and it really is a victimless crime.

         0 likes

  2. Jamie says:

    Amen, there are so many other things that are more important to worry about and SOOOOOOOOOO many fauxtographers, I just enjoy looking at the stuff these people think is good enough to “sell”. There are a bunch on my fl, or on friends pages and I wonder if any of the people involved have any idea how BAD the photos are.

    But I love cakewrecks too, so I’m probably included in a group that others may think is mean spirited.

       1 likes

  3. Mark says:

    I find this site to be very interesting and entertaining. I also use it as a learning tool. Some of the commenters get a bit nasty and/or trivial but that seems to come with the territory. I have zero desire to become professional even though I have a professional photographer friend in Chicago who tells me I have some talent (I think she’s just being kind). I do photography for my own enjoyment and I had have the walls of my house adorned with my work. I have real empathy for the pros who have to battle being undercut by those with no talent who call themselves professional. Quality doesn’t come cheap but, unfortunately, there are many who are only interested in cheap. In most cases, you get what you pay for.

       2 likes

  4. Ken says:

    I would like to cross over into the realm of professional photography but I don’t think I have the necessary people or business skills to do so. I think my photography is decent enough but I have no desire to do weddings, kid pictures or any of that type of thing.

       0 likes

  5. Libby says:

    I have you in my feed as a humorous break, one of the few. Sometimes I’m appalled give my employment as a photo editor. But sometimes the stuff is just hilarious. I’m cutting audio now for therapy – maybe we could set some to music with a hundred different wipes and fades. ;-) Have a good one.

       0 likes

  6. grateful mom says:

    “Apparently we struck a cord with a lot of people.”

    Did they bleed much? I think you meant “struck a ‘chord’”!

       0 likes

  7. Carrie says:

    As a musician, the word is “chord,” as in “struck a chord with us.” ;) Sorry to nitpick, but being an English person, I couldn’t resist.
    Otherwise, I love your site! I am not a photographer (or fauxtographer), couldn’t afford either anyway, but I still enjoy this site.

       0 likes

  8. Ann says:

    This is like the Regretsy of photography. It is awesome.

       0 likes

  9. I think you’re doing great things with this site.

       0 likes

  10. Kristi Barragan says:

    I LOVE this site! I completely agree with 100% of why you started. Funny a friend and I pass links back and forth as well! lol

       0 likes

  11. bbryants says:

    I like this site because it reminds me of how crass people are. I take photos and strive every time I shoot to learn something new and improve. I am absolutely an amateur but then again I’m also a medical student which means two things. First, that I don’t have enough time to completely get into the craft and that the small amount of time I do get to spend with it had better be productive. Second that I have a real education and by no means desire to pursue photography as a career. This site makes laugh because of all the people getting their underwear bunched up that someone is trying to do something that they feel they are talented at. I always see criticism, but never product from the critics. I’m sorry for the people for whom this is all they have, and even sorrier that they are so insecure that if anyone comes along trying something new they feel the need to berate that person to see them as less of a threat. Keep up the good work.

       6 likes

    • luke says:

      “Second that I have a real education and by no means desire to pursue photography as a career.”

      ooooo, clever little jab there. well done, sir. well. done. if only i’d known only your type of education counted as “real” and the only one that mattered! bravo!

         2 likes

    • R.A. says:

      Well I also have a real education and photography is my career…. soooo…. real nice there.

         2 likes

    • Aslyn says:

      I’m currently a photo major and I can assure you that while you think your education is one of extreme importance, I would never go to any sort of medical advisor if they were this catty and thought less of people for pursuing fine art. If I think I have talent at being a doctor, should I just go buy some syringes and give people shots? No, because that isn’t what I’m talented at and I hope someone would let me know if I was delusional enough to think so. If your photography is this awful, I hope you see it on this site to get a kick in the butt to find something else.

         4 likes

    • Agustin says:

      Excuse my English.
      I’m NOT a photographers. I don’t do still pictures. I do some videography and I charge for it, that doesn’t mean I’m a pro. I study at film school and I frequent “photographers” that aren’t really.
      I CAN SEE WHY PEOPLE WOULD DESAGREE WITH YOU, I’m an art and film student, but still I THINK YOU ARE RIGHT, I think this webpage is the result of low selfsteem and “real photographers” feeling a threat from “fauxtographers” (or whathever).
      IF THESE PEOPLE ARE “REAL PHOTOGRAPHERS” THEN THEY SHOULDN’T FEEL ANY KIND OF THREAT OR ANYTHING (I mean anything) BECAUSE OF THE EXISTENCE OF “FAUXTOGRAPHERS”. At the contrary, I think they DO feel threated, I think the DO feel the technology is being much more democratic and they DON’T LIKE IT.
      Why? Because they feel their “art” and “profession” is in somekind of danger.
      I feel sorry for this collagues. Really, I do.
      In the “about” page of this page they text “A REAL PHOTOGRAPHERS DOESN’T BUY A CANON REBEL FOR 600$; A REAL PHOTOGRAPHER HAS MORE THAN ONE LENS”
      Do you know what I THINK? I think that A REAL PHOTOGRAPHER CAN DO A STUNNING JOB WITH ANY CAMERA, and would leave all of us speachless. So, no, the creators of this page, by their own rules, aren’t really photographers.
      BTW, the one thing i didn’t appreciate was the comment on your supposedly “real education”. I study film, and it has taken more than 4 years by now… My girlfriend is a Medicine student, and she respects my work. So try not to say such things.

         0 likes

  12. ScaryFauxTog says:

    I like this site. I am glad I somehow found it and I check periodically for updates!

    I share it with friends/family and fellow Photographers!

    Even though I don’t do photography for a living, I do see how point n shoots, camera phones and entry level dSLRs make people believe they are Pro :)

    One pet peeve of mine is when someone buys a dSLR (yes, entry level) and they NEVER EVER buy lenses for it, they just continue to shoot with the kit lens it came with and they never take it off of the GreenZone (canon) or Auto.

    Ah well :) Keep the fauxtog posts coming!!

       0 likes

  13. Richard says:

    Yeah it is funny. But the site also reeks of elitsim, bad vibes and sour grapes. Who gives a rats arse what others do or call themselves? It has no bearing on what you do or how you live life.

    I could make comments about commercial shooters no matter what they charge claiming to be artists – but I don’t. Just let others do and be what they want. I would have expected that you would get more return on your time investment trying to look at the people above you than sneering at the ones below.

       12 likes

    • Danielle says:

      I agree. I laughed, I’ll admit. But stating that someone is “not a photographer” is incredibly pretentious; what IS a “real” photographer? Who gets to decide that? Do you reach some magical threshold and suddenly you’re “a photographer”? A photographer doesn’t have to be a GOOD photographer, anymore than a writer has to be a good writer, and if idiots are willing to pay money for these people’s sub-par work, then so what? Yeah, it sucks, but judging by what people pay for wedding pictures nowadays it certainly doesn’t seem like the experienced professionals are suffering from all the amateurs.

      You say you’re only here to criticize people for calling themselves “professional” photographers, but the definition of “professional” is to be making money at something. Sadly, people can and do make money taking crappy photos. If the site were just called some witty version of “Bad Photography,” (personally I’d vote for “Say Cheese”, ha), it might be different. But it almost seems like you’re threatened by all these sub-quality photographers popping up everywhere. As the site’s positive feedback illustrates, most people do realize that this stuff is crappy in one way or another. It seems like a lot of energy to waste being upset at the fact that people are making money taking photos that aren’t as good as yours.

         3 likes

    • Marie says:

      I agree. No one should be judging others as you do here. Everyone has to start somewhere, as I am sure you started as a beginner one day too. While trying to make your mark, I can ensure you would not have appreciated the people who judged and mocked your work as you do on this site. This is exactly the same as children being bullied in school, for lacking what others think they are entitled to. You should be supporting and helping beginner photographers who lack the skills you have, not poking fun at them or putting them down.

         2 likes

  14. R.A. says:

    Click on my name to see this album on Facebook. I am not friends with her on there and I can see the album so hopefully her privacy settings do not prohibit it. I met this woman when she had a “photography show” at a small local gallery. I previewed her stuff on FB before attending the show and just HAD to go see it. It was worse than I thought. I hate to be a snob, but I’m a photographer, have taken college classes on it, have a DSLR, and work for a local photography business, so I know what I’m talking about. This young woman has some freaky editing techniques including adding crazy textures to try to hide how out-of-focus everything is, using high contrast coloration, and bright white vignettes. As I said, I met her, and she was excited to meet a “fellow photographer.” I was actually embarrassed to have her say she is the same as me. I asked her what kind of camera she uses, and she said “A Canon. It’s here in my purse actually, it’s a PowerShot.” Exactly what I suspected. I have taken some actually good shots with my old Canon PowerShot that was only 3.2 megapixels, and it was 50 times better than anything of hers.

       0 likes

  15. Anne says:

    As much as I love the bad photography on this site, please don’t mock the Rebel line of cameras. They’re a good bouncing point for someone who is actually trying to be a real professional, and until they can afford a full-frame, it’s good place to start and get going with. I know that one friend of mine who is trying to get her own business going doesn’t have the money yet to invest in a 5D Mk.II but has produced some excellent work with her mid-range Canon and quality lenses.

       0 likes

    • R.A. says:

      I use a Rebel and it offers excellent quality in my opinion! I can’t afford a few grand yet for a D-series and the more expensive lenses that go with it. With the right knowledge on how to use the Rebel and Photoshop/Lightroom it’s hard to tell the difference. Heck, I have even gotten some amazing shots with the two point and shoot Canons that I’ve owned.

         0 likes

      • Anne says:

        Exactly. I’m only a keen amateur myself (with a 600D, 28mm f2.8 lens and a ‘nifty-fifty’ f1.8), but seeing what people can create with equipment lower level than my own…I envy their skills and try to emulate them in hope that with practice I will pick up that particular skill.

        It just seemed like this was a jab at Rebel owners, not just because they’re a common choice for fauxtographers, but because generally I’ve heard a lot of comments about people who own Rebels and the equivalent Nikons are ‘not really photographers’. Very elitist, because if they have the skills, then shouldn’t any decent SLR/DSLR be sufficient?

           1 likes

      • R.A. says:

        When I was first getting my “start” in photography I owned a Panasonic Lumix. Decent starter DSLR but the photo quality wasn’t anything near a Canon or Nikon. There was a lot of color noise. I did however shoot in manual of course and know what I was doing. A girl I worked with told me she just bought a Rebel. I asked her if she ever took classes in photography, and if she knew what shutter speed, aperture, and ISO was… she gave me a blank stare and just said “I don’t know, I just looooove taking pictures!”

           0 likes

      • Anne says:

        *facepalm* Maybe you could teach her a few things about her camera! She’ll be surprised by what she can achieve when she takes it off Auto and into Manual.

        I did badly when I took Photography for A-Level (lost motivation because it was very linear…there was too much of trying to emulate someone else’s photography style and not really enough class experiments to find your own style). But I still learned how to use my camera, spent hours researching different functions and how to use it correctly.

        One thing I will say with the Rebel line…I’ve had two different ones and I find they have a tendency to over-expose the image a little when following the built-in exposure meter. Still this might just be my preferences.

        Still shocks me how anyone’s images can be as bad as the ones on here. :P

           0 likes

    • SS says:

      I had the first Digital Rebel from 2003 and printed some 8 x 10s of the shots I thought were half decent. I’ve since moved into full frame Nikon. But I’m in no way a pro and just shoot for myself even though I’ve had some family and friends say I should submit to contests or do gigs. But some of the comments on here (especially the Submit section) can be downright nasty. It didn’t sit too well when I commented on that but I let it go. To each their own, I suppose.

         0 likes

  16. Alicia says:

    Thank you for this site! I have a friend who is a wonderful photographer, and it irritates me to no end that these Fauxtographers could be stealing her business, but it’s also funny to see the mistakes these people make. :)

       0 likes

  17. Is this considered fauxtography?

       0 likes

    • R.A. says:

      I would not consider that to be fauxtography. While some of her images aren’t great, some are pretty good. It looks like she has a lot to learn yet, mostly about editing (looks like she doesn’t do much at all). While there are professionals that have higher quality stuff, I would not knock her work too badly. Mostly what I notice with hers is a lot of shadowy faces (which can be fixed with knowledge in editing). What I consider to be a fauxtographer is someone who has really grainy or blurry images and they “edit” by increasing the contrast way too much to cover up the bad quality photo, weird Photoshop tricks like superimposing the image on a strange background, or weird harsh vignettes.

         0 likes

  18. David Gutierrez says:

    I have recently been exposed to this site, and I have mixed emotions about it. Some of the images posted for critique are a bit outrages. Excessive post production causing weird color schemes and unnatural skin tones is not attractive. Editing software in the wrong hands can be a disaster. I agree that some people should not try to make money just because they have a camera. One thing I don’t agree with is the comment “someone buys an entry level dslr and thinks they are a pro photographer.” I am sure everyone knows that a pro photographer is not a skill level. Someone can pay their bills by taking horrible photos, and they will have earned the pro status. Regardless, an entry level DSLR and pro DSLR both have what every digital photographer needs. They both have an LCD screen that allows you to chimp away at your images as you go. Just because one has an entry level DSLR doesn’t mean they can’t produce nice images. Some people don’t agree that a good photographer doesn’t need the newest most expensive camera. Jonathan Canlas uses a Holga as part of his wedding arsenal. It is a 30 dollar plastic “toy” camera (those of you that started photography with the purchase of your first entry level or pro DSLR might want to look up the Holga and Jonathan Canlas). It seems like a lot of people that make comments on here make themselves sound like they are Joe Mcnally. Are all of your images perfect? Out of all the hundreds and possibly thousands of photos you fill your card with on one shoot, how many are keepers? When is your next workshop that educates people about photography? If you are that inclined, why are you wasting your time here?

       7 likes

    • Photog says:

      amen i agree…not only that but think about the people (clients) that will see their photos here against their will how offended are they?

         1 likes

  19. John Stoneback says:

    I think the capture is accurate. This poor bastard actually has no cranium . Is that stopping him? Hell no.

       0 likes

  20. John Stoneback says:

    Just because a photograph is bad doesn’t mean it has no artistic merit.

       2 likes

  21. kliz says:

    You are just threatened by the noobs after seeing that they got more raw talent than you. This site is based on your attitude not to tolerate competition. Why don’t you show us your photos and we will judge whether or not they belong here.

       0 likes

  22. Clint says:

    Have you guys ever heard of the DMCA? Should I or should I not?

       1 likes

    • David says:

      Just because a photo is bad does not mean that copyright does not apply. I’m pretty sure every photo on this site is being used without permission. A true photographer would respect the copyright on other people’s images.

         2 likes

  23. Stephen says:

    Look at my fauxtography!! LOL. Who would waste their money going to school to be a photographer these days?

       0 likes

  24. Heather says:

    Funny, I was just looking at somebody’s “Professional Photography” facebook page who has problems with every shot technically. They are obvious technical flaws that don’t take much looking for, severe over or underexposure, white balance off, unfocused shots. I am going to be starting school in September to become a photographer and when I see this crap it really irks me. I can take better shots than many of these “pros” but just because I have a fancy camera and an eye for it, doesn’t mean I am going to start up a business without getting some credentials first. I want to improve my shots because even though they’re good and better than a lot of photographers that are charging money for their photos, they can still be improved upon to be great.

       0 likes

  25. Emily Taylor says:

    I’m tired of tosser kids running around with plasticy little POS rebels taking black and white pics of bottle caps and fucking sidewalk cracks and shadows thinking their hot shit. Makes it hard for real photographers to be taken seriously anymore. Fad Chasing faggots.

       0 likes

  26. Irony says:

    I find it ironic that gordonl09s, the main author of this site? Has such tasteless and over-generated photos.

       0 likes

  27. law says:

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       0 likes

  28. luke says:

    yes, clearly the point is to make money. that’s precisely why they have weapons-grade hosting and the site never crashes under massive loads.

    ohhhhhh wait.

    ;)

       0 likes

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