Fauxtog Spotting

I was at the park this week when I stumbled across the ever not-so-elusive fauxtog, easily spotted by her on-camera flash, cliche props and the awkward way she interacted with the family. I was so tempted to ask for her business card to see if I was right about her fauxtog status, but didn’t have the nerve.

So my fauxtog spotting story is rather tame, but it made me curious. Have you seen a fauxtog in action? Any horror stories?

(Please don’t mention names or link to anything in your comments)

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  1. I can usually pick out fauxtogs by the way they hold their lenses…with an overhand grip, elbows flying out at 90 degree angles, no support for the camera but easy to rack that big zoom in and out.

    • that’s how I spot ’em, too!

      • wow you would think that would be uncomfortable! i guess i’ve never even thought of holding a camera that way because it just seems natural to have the right hand on the grip and the left hand under the lens.

    • I know, that makes my head explode when I see it.

    • i can’t even picture this… I always hold my camera with my elbows tucked in tight, that I couldn’t imagine shooting any other way

    • Overhand grips seem to be very common in movies where photogs are shooting with a tripod. Just an anecdotal thought, not sure it would hold up with actual research =)

      • I sometimes have my elbow out, but im also very creative with my pictures, and end up taking them in weird positions some times… And i definatly make sure i feel natural when i hold my camera, i dont tense up. I think its weird when eople do.

  2. I once saw a “photographer” shooting outdoors, with an external flash – pointing up towards the sky….

    • hahaha. yeah that “bouncing” isn’t going to reach the clouds and come back down! wow

      • I shoot events for the US Military in Kuwait and I would be shadowed by fauxtogs lol. I would back up or look over my shoulder and they would be right behind me trying to capture the same shot which is so damn rude but funny at the same time.

    • Wsroadrunner

      That kinda depends on the shot and conditions. In all fairness, I have done shoots where I have used my external for catchlights and fill but for certain shots I will pivot it up out of the way so I can get the shadows I am going for.

      • my only question is if you’re going for shadows why do you have the flash firing at all on that shot to where you’d have to pivot it?

      • Wsroadrunner

        If you’ve ever used a Vivitar 283 or a speedlight you’d know that they recycle faster than they initially power up. Time is money, I work a lot of commercial fashion work and models and it’s ridiculous to waste time turning a flash or strobe off and on when it can be redirected.

      • Speaking of time optimisation :
        On most WL trigger therre are channels and a switch to set to one or another or all channels

        It makes it even mor efficient to flip a switch that is actually on the camera than running arround manipulating the flashes.

        If this can save you another second of your time ^_^

      • When using a diffuser with external Speedlight, I point the flash up sometimes. You get just enough fill light from the diffuser spread during the day and can fill easier without blowing out highlights on a bright day. There is some merit to this if a diffuser is being implemented.

      • When shooting outdoors, I sometimes use an on camera flash (in addition to ocf) ponted upward (45 degreesish) with a bouncecard to add catchlights to the subjects eyes.

    • they could be using the flash for catchlights to add some sparkle to the eye.

      • that wouldn’t be too bad an idea as long as you had a diffuser on it.. just plain on camera flash would look unflattering and make the image look flat because the subject would look artificially lit while the background would have natural light… but if you had a speedlight on top of the camera and were pointing straight on to get that eye sparkle the best thing to be at least would be to have a diffuser either attached to your lens to diffuse the light and still get the catchlight in their eye and not have a harsh flat shot or even better find a location indoors with lots of natural light and have them at the window so you get the window light as a catchlight but still have good diffused lighting and you can control it.

      • some cameras are different though.. I had a newer canon rebel xsi that had a great fill flash on the camera and didn’t look as harsh but my older nikon D70 has harsher more artificial look to the on camera flash so I try to avoid using it, use a strobe or if I’m in a really tight spot and i’m indoors and need the light I do my poor mans diffuser and use a paper or styrofoam plate and hold it under the on camera flash to bounce the light and avoid harsh shadows and flat lighting.

      • You could just point straight-on and adjust the flash compensation down 1-2stops so you get a touch of fill and catchlight reflections but not harsh light?

      • Wsroadrunner

        No Aimee, not the case. Properly shot, the directed lighting doesn’t need to be diffused.

        At 17mm an external flash on a bracket does catchlights beautifully.

        Some of my favorite works have been shot without diffusion, both my own and others. (Loook at Art Ketchum and GW Burns’ work sometime… both rarely use diffusers)

      • Haha, you don’t even need a diffuser if you know how to use the exposure controls on the speedlight. You can set the exposure of the flash to a negative compensation in order to create catchlight without overpowering the main light source.

    • Is there a chance that the shooter could have been feathering light..? i’ve used it quite a bit.. looks stupid? yes. useless? if used right, no.

    • I use an external flash inside for lots of things were the lighting isnt favorable. You just have to know how to use it. I used it all day for documenting a church function. I use it often.

    • lol hey now!
      I’ve been in that boat before…because in my mind in a fast moment it’s easier to point it UP and waste my batteries than to turn it off. Logic is not my specialty sometimes.

    • I do that at times… I have a Nikon SB900 and I will use -at times- that little build in bounce card for that “sparkle in the eye”…

    • What’s wrong with that? I do it a lot of the time. If you pull the bounce card out it creates catchlights in the eyes but doesn’t ruin the natural light.

    • That’s correct. As you described it, it could be use for catchlights. Or it can be simply that they were indoors moments ago (did you check if the flash was still firing?) Having the flash connected doesn’t mean it’s been used.

  3. I by no way claim to be a professional but I at least have a basic knowledge of how to use off camera flash or how to adjust my poses to accommodate for the best natural lighting. I lived in Charleston, SC for a few months and saw SEVERAL photogs in various “popular photographry” areas along the coast. Down by Rainbow Row was a favorite and I remember seeing this one female photographer toting around her camera and looking like a deer in headlights while looking for places to pose the family while they walked aimlessly behind her waiting for some direction and when she did finally sit them down on some awkward looking steps they looked extremely uncomfortable but the whole time she was like “oh that’s amazing keep that up!” in a sort of false voice while photographing them half in shadow half in sunlight which would result in uneven exposure and hotspots on the areas of their bodies that were in the sunlight…. Like I said, I’m not an expert but at least be watching where your light is coming from or compensate by using an off camera flash in the direction of the shadow to fill in light to help offset the sun… *sigh*

  4. We had a carrier group come home yesterday. They were out in force….

  5. sickofcupcakes

    Well, just because someone is taking pics of her own family and doesn’t know what she’s doing doesn’t make her a fauxtog…just a mom. It’s the ones who prey upon others with their lack of skill that earn the title.

    • How can anyone be sick of cupcakes?

    • AdriftZealot

      That’s one thing I was thinking… I agree to shoot close friend’s families free of charge and because I love them. Lots of people do, that just makes us hobbyists.
      Sometimes I get paranoid that hobbyists and amateurs are easy targets on here too because sometimes there’s no telling difference between them and some pretentious fauxtog. I’d never want to mock someone or be mocked because they dared use their camera in public.

  6. Wsroadrunner

    Yeah, I have run across them a few times. One in particular comes to mind though as the funniest… I had been at the park because I was hired to do shots for the birthday party of a gentleman who was turning 74.

    As I noticed this woman with her entry level camera and popup flash, complete with kit lens taking pictures of people with my party in the background I wandered over and asked if she was with the group that I was shooting because I was going to be doing a group shot in a few moments and didn’t want to leacve anyone out. She quickly told me that she was a :pro” and she was doing family pictures of her customers (not clients, but customers). I asked her nonchalantly if she realized she still had the lens cap on just so I could watch her look. LOL

    I did notice that she was shooting in Automatic mode and had the AF on. I hope the people liked their pictures with me doing shots of someone else in the background. LOL

  7. I want to start taking “pics” of the fauxtogs in action. Maybe that should be a new blog!

    • Matthew Magbee

      Doing it for the past few weeks. Snagged one of a lady with a nice canon 50d with a zoom lens. She was shooting xmas lights in the dark at the sky with her on camera flash. Win!

      Next was one of a well dressed man taking wedding pics with a casio PNS. Another Win

      • I just attended my brother’s wedding. They wanted me of course to be their photographer but I wanted to be in their wedding instead. Anyways, I started taking over with my 5D and canon 70-200 because the girl (cousin) they hired was late. When the Fauxtog finally arrived with her point and shoot, she looked at me and said ” Oh my gosh! Who needs a lens that big…Giggles”. WIN!

  8. How to spot a fauxtographer in one easy step:

    Someone who calls someone a fauxtographer because they are not using top of the line gear. AKA “gearfag”. These people are convinced that your pictures will be horrible and you are a N00B for not shooting with L glass.

    Gearfags can also be spotted by how they spend $5000 on gear to get the perfect shot, but still take 2hrs per photo to “get it right” in post production.

    • this is true. Although I would snatch up a D300 or a 5D mark ii in a heartbeat, i will take quality of the photo over quality of the camera anyday. It’s not about the gear you use but how you use the gear you have

    • Gearfag? How very homophobic of you.

    • lol. I love technology and love gadgets and know what I want to have but financially isnt going to happen..how to use what you have is number one BUT glass is what makes or breaks ya.. I work with lil as possble cause I hate lugging stuff around, But one thing I have learned more than anything is invest in glass! And when you do you see a HUGE difference!

      • Yeah, glass is definitely key.

        Granted, with some of the “low-end” lenses these days, the tech has come along far enough and trickled down well enough that you don’t need the top-of-the-line lenses to get good glass.

        That being said, your average f/4.5-f/5.6 kit lens just doesn’t cut it. 😀

    • Jay Dascenzo

      “Gearfags can also be spotted by how they spend $5000 on gear to get the perfect shot, but still take 2hrs per photo to “get it right” in post production.”

      Gearfags, Riick? Really? The finest photographers I know and admire… the true pro’s, award-winners and genuine artists … often struggle to scrimp and save and sometimes do without the basics to keep upgrading and investing in the top-of-the-line tools of their trade. And you mock them as “fags?”

      The real pro’s also refuse to settle for any work that falls short of their best and so rack up countless long hours in post-production because to “get it right” takes a lot of time, Riick … it also takes a lot of integrity, dedication, passion and pride in oneself and one’s work. I give these guys my highest regard, Riick, and you give them a hateful, ugly, bigoted slur that mostly showcases your petty and insecure contempt for the best our profession has to offer. Riick.

    • I’m Dutch. That’s probably why Gearfag doesn’t sound all that harsh a term to me.
      But I agree with Riick on the fact that there many, many photographers out there that think only Nikon and Canon make nice glass. I do most of my picture taking with Sigma 30mm F1.4 and a Tamron 60mm F2.0. on my D7000/ D90. You should see the looks I get from the D700 + 24-70 or 5D users…

      • Nikon and Cannon glass are far superiour than the comparable Sigmas and Tamrons. Not that those are terrible and you can’t get nice pictures, but you do get what you pay for.

      • Sorry but not if you read the test results… Last year I did a Nikon workshop so I could have a go at some of their professional lenses. I was thinking of going for the 24-70 F2.8 or 17-55 F2.8. At the time they did not impress me at all. Great pictures but not neccesarily better than with what I brought with me. Probably they would blown me away if I´d been able to put them on a D700 but on my D90, they seemed to make no difference at all…
        The workshop BTW was given by a Pro working for news agencies and a new paper. He´s been to Iraq as an embedded photographer with the Dutch military. He has 2 D3s that he claims to only use on auto setting and exclusively shoots JPEG. He has no lenses over F2.8.
        He´s got some great work but I could not help thinking I could have made some very, very nice shots too had I been given the chance of going where he gets send too…

    • Wsroadrunner

      I suppose you’d consider my Phase One IQ180 and the 3 LS lens’ I use most of the time as “gearfagging”, huh Riick? FWIW, I never worry about how much time I spend on the shot touching up and adjusting while I’m taking the check to the bank. LOL

    • So you wouldn’t want a 5D Mark II and a canon 70-200 IS for weddings? Just sayin. 🙂

      • No I wouldn’t want your huge telephoto for weddings… If I had to bring only 1 lens it definitely would not be a 70-200… I use two lenses when shooting weddings… my 17-55mm constantly and my 80-200mm occasionally… for ring shots and other detailing shots I kick in some ol’ skool 55mm ais action… honestly shove the IS/VR up yer arse and learn how to hold your gear.

      • no disrespect intended, just don’t understand why everyone gets duped into spending an extra grand b/c they lack technique.

  9. I had taken my kids to a local park to feed the ducks.

    I saw this girl doing a family photo shoot. She pulled a filthy comforter out, spread it on the ground, sprinkled some dirty leaves on it. Then she told the family (of 8) to all sit on it however they thought was best…

    Then, instead of shooting with the pond in the background, she stood with her back to the pond, and shot towards the parking area… such a delightful backdrop for a family portrait.

    • That’s awful. Although one think I disagree with, if you tell a family to sit on the ground however they want, it always looks more natural. I always do that every time. Then if it looks bad, I fix the bad parts.

      • Having a family look natural is one thing… they had infants and what not and looked at her like… “Umm… indian style? What?”

  10. Saw a faux tog at recent corporate holiday function. $2000 lens and high level dslr and she never took it off live view. She held it on live view so the huge lens was flopping as she tried to take pictures. The flash was good but she pointed it at a 45 degree angle and never changed it when shooting landscape versus portrait. Poor thing

    • ugg I hate live view! lol. reminds me of point and shoots! Anyone who has used my camera always ask why they cant see what they are shooting I have to tell them its not a point n shoot you have to look through the viewfinder! lol

      • Live view isn’t so bad IF the situation requires manual focus in a narrow DOF and “eyeballing it” doesn’t work. I use live-view for moon photos and for locking in the focus for time-lapse series.

  11. My most recent Fauxtog sighting was a woman doing an engagement shoot, expensive 70-200mm lens with the lens hood on backwards and the flash stuck in the hotshoe in the vertical bounce position. I was at a park common in our area for engagement portraits. I always love to see these people trying to bounce their flash off the sky.

    • Oh, and no, she wasn’t trying to do feathered light. She was tryng to fill in the shadows created by the harsh overhead lighting due to the fact it was Twelve noon and the sun was directly overhead.

      • Wsroadrunner

        Some are foolish enough to not know the windows in the early morning and evenings. Sunrise and sunset lighting is great with some fill light

    • The lens hood can be stored on the lens by screwing it on backwards when not in use. FYI

      • Thanks for the advice Melissa, but it’s not doing much good when it’s fitted that way while shooting…

      • Just because you’re shooting outside it doesn’t mean you have to put on the lens hood

      • I store my lens hood on the lens all the time while shooting so i don’t lose it

      • Of course you have to. Unless you want to get washed out contrasts.


      • I do this too. Totally agreed. Not particularly doing anything wrong. I would imagine I would have had it in use being really sunny out.

  12. the one i saw shooting family portraits of a family with 2 toddlers while she was wearing a strapless dress takes the cake for me!

  13. 1) using an on camera flash does not make one a faux tog.
    2) using a consumer grade slr doesn’t make one a faux tog.
    3) being awkward in dealing with a family or client doesn’t automatically make one a faux tog.

    I’ve been in situations where the off camera failed and the backup failed too. So it was to the on camera / pop up for the shoot. I’ve also done photo shoots with a Nikon D40. (the photos turned out fantastic – thank you). And I’ve done shoots where the clients were dead fish.

    Granted all of these at once would be a bit much. But stuff happens.

    And yes – I have shot outdoors with a bounce flash pointed straight up – just to get a touch of shine in the eyes without blowing out the shadows or detail.

    • You could always use flash exposure compensation for the same reason, -3 stops in ttl does the trick. Or use the manual settings on the flash. I generally bring a small stand, put the flash in the stand and use a direct flash in manual (today it’s very easy to set manual settings quickly and confirm with a light meter) to accomplish what you are saying, putting a little catchlight in the eye without overriding the natural light, if I don’t have a stand, then held off camera wired to the camera to make sure it is precisely directed to where I want it. Honestly, what I saw wasn’t accomplishing anything on the subjects, no catchlights, nothing. Good raccoon eyes.

  14. I went to a park today…saw a lot of sessions going on…only one camera didn’t have auto settings. And not one had a quality lens…oh well….easier for me to work on my business.

    • Really? You walked up to every single person and personally checked the settings on the camera?

  15. skynigurl

    You might be a fauxtographer if:
    You think F-Stop and Shutter Speed are street rappers.
    You think that Developer, Stop, Fix, and Wash are from a 50’s propaganda film.
    You spend 10 minutes shooting but over an hour tinkering with it in Piknik.
    You officially opened for business on Facebook.
    You automatically called yourself a professional after getting your first digital camera for christmas last year.
    The only buttons you’ve ever touched on your camera is the on/off and “shoot.”

  16. I’d rather have an EOS3 loaded with Portra 160 over a 5d mk2 if I were shooting people.

  17. Awkward camera and model handling does not make a fauxtog. Poor equipment does not make a fauxtog. These things we all have done while in our early learning days.

    Having the gall to charge for images which reflect these problems, does make a fauxtog. Not wanting to know how to be better, not working and studying to be better, does make a fauxtog. Not showing accurate examples of your work before accepting fees for shoots, does make a fauxtog (no stock photos on my website, I took’em all, anything else is false advertising).

    • so very true….we were ALL like that when we first started but I didn’t start actually charging people until I knew I was ready…there are so many fauxtogs out there charging more than myself and have unbelievably horrible images, that they display proudly on their facebook pages…ugh

      • Anonymous

        I agree. There is always new equipment I want. New things I could learn in Photoshop. Workshops I want to go to.I think we are all always learning!! Gosh I never thought I would switch from film to digital.

  18. In my photography class in pursuit of a graphics degree. This year, we had a typical middle aged mother who decided to go into photography because her friends liked the pictures she took of her own kids who was taking the class in her free time and going to critiques. While any introduction to an art form is valid and she was taking a step in the right direction with the class and the critiques, she clearly could not get out of the fauxtog state of mind. She went to only one critique and decided to never go to another again because “The atmosphere was just so negative, every one had something negative to say about my pictures”. I’ll admit I’m new to photography, but I had heard those exact words in other art classes before and knew this woman wouldn’t last. Sure enough, when the critique for our first project rolled around, she argued with students and the professor when the pointed out some flaws in the picture and stormed out in the middle of the discussion.

    • Anonymous

      Ugh. Thin-skinned responses to CC. I hate it. Why the heck are you pursuing serious art classes if you’re like that?

  19. I had set up this lavish set right on the edge of a big pond for a couples shoot I was doing….(on a sat) everything from flowers to a full picnic set with hanging tealights from the weeping willow tree, super beautiful set up…..I saw a wedding party around the other side of the pond and was hoping they wouldn’t disturb us. Sure enough 15 minutes into our shoot (I was actually shooting some photographer/videographer colleagues of mine) the fauxtographer strolls over, rebel in hand and asked if he could use MY set up for his wedding couple! I kind of looked at him perplexed and politely said it wouldn’t be fair to my clients and myself if I had let them photograph there, what i REALLY wanted to say was ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME? NO!…he of course left in a bit of a huff hahha

  20. So I’m perhaps a little more forgiving in the fact I don’t do photography as a profession. However, reading some of these stories how are you sure these are not just people shooting on their own for family/friends? And potentially not charging for their (perhaps bad) photos.

    I will say though that I’ve done photo shoots for friends and family, for free simply because I don’t want to get out of practice. I don’t think I’m as bad as 95% of the stories written in the comments but I’m sure something could be taken out of context that makes me look like a novice.

  21. I was literally in the middle of a family portrait session with a repeat client (laying on my stomach, facing a six month old baby, shooting), when a fauxtog – dressed in sweatpants and a windbreaker (I kid not) came right up to us and asked how old the baby was.

    Then she continued to explain that she was a baby photographer and that she had just taken baby pictures of her bosses son. If she were here, she would be right down there with the baby, taking pictures.

    Meanwhile, I AM, right “down there” taking pictures. Unbelievable.

    Luckily, my clients have been using me for years and got a good chuckle out of it and then said they should have given her MY card so that she could go online and see how wonderful their portraits turned out.

  22. While driving through a small rural town, I spotted a fauxtog through my window. Doing a session on the train tracks. Backdrop? Rusty industrial buildings. That’s OK, a few hours in photoshop will clear that right up.

    It was all so very redneck, I had to laugh. My husband is a native Southerner and he found it hilarious as well. He started joking about the fauxtog suddenly noticing the light got brighter… oops that’s a train, better get off the tracks!

    • I would give that one a pass. Honestly – have you seen the “in” style senior photos? Train tracks and industrial buildings are a must.

      Since you don’t know what f-stop the photographer was shooting at – the industrial buildings could have been a very nice blur – with the right lens and settings.

      My train track horror story is much more indicative of a Fauxtogher who has way too much money and 0 brain power.

      Summer – July – temp is 100 + degrees at high noon. I am driving by a local train track and must shoot at space. There in the heat is fauxtog, assistant, senior subject, and mom (with make-up bag). Assistant is trying from the ground to get a scrim / reflector in place and is sweating like a pig. Of course it is impossible to get it into place because the sun is directly overhead and he doesn’t have a ladder or extensions. Senior is literally having makeup melt off her face and faux tog is mad as hell a) because I stopped to watch this trainwreck, b) because client is hot and mad, c) because assistant can’t do the impossible.

      I’m guessing that she ended up making all of those into “HighKey” and editing out a lot of sweat and makeup runs… or maybe going Goth with them.

    • Yeah, I disagree with calling this one a fauxtog. A lot of modern shooting uses rugged backdrops to create some fantastic shoots.

    • Wsroadrunner

      Most people don’t even realize it, but it is illegal to be on the tracks (the actual distance from the tracks in many states is 15′ in each direction). The tracks and a section each direction of them is railroad property.

  23. I once saw “Pro” at a lake near my house shooting a family at the shore in a gorgeous wooded grove, against a bush. He was 30 feet back, and had a Gary Fong tupper-er-lightsphere on his on-camera speedlight.

    100 feet away, another “Pro” had a family leaping in the air on the beach, at least 20 times. I bet she even spot colored their reunion t-shirts afterward.

    I am proud to be a serious amateur, that shoots for myself, and no one else.

  24. Went to a high school drama production, a rather small affair, I first thought that the woman taking pics was just a mom of one of the kids, but soon realized that she is to young to have an 18 year old, And by the amount of photos she took she was covering the event. It was not her camara or her flash or anything that screamed fauxtog at me, it was the fact that with every shot you heard every beep, and this at a tiny event where you really had to sit and listen to the performers.

  25. I’m a salsa dancer. To paint the picture, that means shooting pictures of fast moving people doing turns and complicated patterns in a half darkened “room”.
    Started out taking pictures at parties I went to. First using my camphone, then a point and shoot. Then a top of the range compact. Followed by a Casio bridge that could take 40 shots a second. And all of the time I got terrible pictures…
    So I finally (early 2009) bought a Nikon D90 with the 18-105 and the 70-300 kit lenses. Worked a lot better… But in came the SB600. But that made all of my “subjects” look like deer caught in headlights. So started buying Gary Fong stuff and all the rest to experiment. Made my pictures better but still…
    All the time I had been reading up so I decided to see what a fast lens could do. Went for a Sigma 30mm F1.4. With a bit of high ISO that did the job…
    What I mean to say is that you need a variety of kit depending on the circumstances. Most pictures I take with my D90 and D7000 I no longer use flash. When I do use flash (SB600/ 900) I use many of the gadgets I got to soften the impact of the flash.
    Am I a gear freak? YES. I am. But it’s all part of the effort trying to become better still. These days I hardly everhave to take out my flash. Knowing how to use the settings and shooting RAW made my life a lot easier. Oh and I only use primes these days.

    Worst stories:
    – Folks/ Faux bouncing their flash of a 20 feet high black ceiling;
    – Faux that -at a concert- use their flash turned towards the audience;
    – Faux at a concert using flash at all;
    – Faux using “anti red eye” flash at a salsa party and not understanding why their camera is always 1.5 seconds too late making the shot.
    – Faux using kit lenses and the build in flash at a party lightning up the place that much that they act as a fill in for me. (Sometimes that gives a real nice effect though. 😉 )
    – Faux that use a 50 cm wedding bracket to have their flash balance way above their camera and that than tilt it to make “portrait” pictures in and have folks dance into their flash, almost breaking if clean off.
    – Faux that tap dancers on the should getting them to stop dancing and stand still so can take their picture.
    – Faux that when you try and help an admitted starter set up his camera come in, take over and return the camera from A/P/M to Auto setting with pop up flash.

    And finally that guy that uses his entry level DSLR with just his 18-55 kit lens and no external flash that markets himself as a wedding photographer. Making pictures that scare me but still he’s got quite a clientele.


    • “And finally that guy that uses his entry level DSLR with just his 18-55 kit lens and no external flash that markets himself as a wedding photographer. Making pictures that scare me but still he’s got quite a clientele.”

      See em all the time

    • Agreed up until “Faux using flash at a concert at all.”

      I photograph local concerts for a living, and I’ve been forced to use my speedlight once. When the band playing required that the stage lights and room lights be turned off while they were playing. My 50mm 1.4 and a 12800 ISO could not cope with pretty much total darkness. So, although I pretty much never shoot with my speedlight, I can see where in some cases it is necessary. (On another note, focusing was also near impossible when I couldn’t really see the band!)

      • I had to use a flash at a concert once because it was really really dark. I was kind of bummed at first but the I started to get comfortable witth it and had a great set.

  26. So I was at a “gathering of Professional Photographers in America” Rather a large to do with seminars and the such. The presenter at one of the seminars I attended was a very well known pro lecturing about exposure ratios for a particular portrait lighting setup. he was a cannon shooter and was going on about the slight difference in the Nikon setups. No disses just fundamental differences. He asked if any Nikon shooter had gear with them. The closest and most convenient was a female that happened to be “on assignment” for one of the organizations sponsored publications. Her rig included a D2X with a 70-200 VR and a SB 800 sitting on a stroboframe. She even had the 50s “press” hairdo. The presenter asked her to “shut off the flash set ios 100 at 1/100 F8″ the dear in the headlight look was the first indication that she had just entered the ” I have no clue zone.” She finally piped up … she only works in program mode … she never shoots manual – it is too difficult. The moans and jeers from the crowd was impressive. One of the attendees helped her set the camera up. Moral of this story – if you are going to be “covering” a event of photographers for a photography magazine at least understand how that $7000 rig you are carrying works. BTW strangely we never saw her again at the convention –

  27. I had a client come in to have some photos of herself done, 40ish woman. We went into the area behind my studio and did some shots against the back of our building. Cut to the 6 months later and I walk out the back door with another client and walk right into this lady shooting a H.S. senior against the same spot. OC flash pointed straight at the subject..deer in the headlights look when we walked out. She quickly grabbed the senior and scurried off. I was able to see the amazing images on her professional photography Facebook page that she’s started…complete with gushing comments about how great the shots were. (they weren’t)

    • Wsroadrunner

      Send her a bill. If it’s distinguishable as your building and she doesn’t have a signed property release, she owes you for the space rental… set your own price.

  28. Saw one a few weeks ago on a beautiful Fall day in a park; her subjects’ backs (and a lake) were to the light and she wasn’t using any OCF or reflectors, so either her subjects’ faces were going to be completely dark or the beautiful Fall colors in the background were going to be totally blown out.

    • Anonymous

      I saw an entire wedding being done with the on camera flash…….. WTF. How do you shoot with a almost $2000 lens and no extended flash.

  29. I came across a russian wedding photo setup in Germany and couldn’t believe what I saw.

    Take a look here at my facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150334699114941&set=a.378384459940.158922.300475114940&type=3&theater

    The assistant held a reflector inside the shadows of a Pavillon where the couple sat in. In addition the fauxtographer uses the built in flash to light up both against the bright sunnny meadow in the background because the reflector was useless.

    Glad he wore a jacket with his web adress printed on I was able to spot the website and soon knew I was right with my appreciation :-/

    The worse thing wasn’t the fauxtog himself but the clients who obviously were really stunned by his professional appearance. Take an assistance with a 2x2m reflector with you and you’re a professional!

  30. I gave a friend one of the extra licenses for my photoshop because she was a stay-at-home mom with an interest in photography, so I thought I’d save her a few bucks by letting her use mine. Next thing I know, she’s posting tons of overly-processed photos of her kid (no big deal, right?) and, after getting her hubs to buy her an SLR – bam! Now she’s got a fb page and “business”!! Photoshop+DSLR+Free Time = fauxtog.

  31. photomommy

    Just wondering… I am in no way shape or form a professional photographer. I do, however, have a Sony a330 camera, which I purchased a nicer zoom lens for, and I have 2 umbrella lights, and a tripod. I ALWAYS use my on camera flash, because I can’t afford another flash. I do not have studio type backgrounds, and I do NOT sell my photography services to people looking for a session. Although, I have been asked by friends and family members, and a few of their contacts, to do photos for them, I never consider myself a professional photographer.

    Why do you people think you have to have top of the line photo equipment, backdrops, separate flashes, and so on to be a professional though? I do agree, ALL of the photos on this site are horrific, and I am appalled that people call these “professional photos”…. but I hate to see that 99% of you knock down people who don’t have all the equipment you think makes a great photographer! I have been contacted by a few professional website developers about purchasing nature photos that I have taken, and I have repeatedly turned them down because I do NOT sell my work. I enjoy the art of photography, and have a true passion for it, but you guys are awful to completely knock others down because they don’t have the “proper” equipment.

    • Anyone selling their photos should invest in the proper equipment

      • disagree with disagree –

        I’ve seen remarkable photos done with iphones, ipads, and p/s cameras. Just spending the money on gear doesn’t make you good. It just means that you have money to spend on gear.

        When I buy gear – it is because I need it to do something that either I can’t do with my current gear, I can do it with my current gear, but it is a pain; or something has broke and I need a new one.

        I can show you photos taken with on camera flash that look as good as those taken with light boxes, etc… again – like Clapton said in the song “It’s in the way that you use it…”

      • Wsroadrunner

        Agreed, I wonder how many of these people who state that proper equipment doesn’t matter would mind me coming to their house to build cabinets with a hammer from a local mega mart and a chainsaw?

      • Anonymous

        Actually the hand tools comment makes a good reply to photomommy. No, you don’t need the higher end tools. But they can make the job a lot easier, faster, be more dependable and more versatile. I’ve seen master carpenters that in tight spots could produce top end work with a circular saw and hand tools. Actually they could cut a straighter line by hand than I could with a table saw.

        But that same carpenter is going to be much more productive and be able to do more things with a shop with $100k of machinery. No, you don’t need all of that equipment to do good work but it makes life much easier.

        A skilled photographer can produce good work with consumer grade equipment. But it often means more work on their part to pruduce the good work.

        You appear to be willing to learn. That alone sets you apart from most of the “fauxtogs”. Add in a tripod and decent lighting and to me that demonstrates you are trying to take better pictures but not by just throwing more money at the camera and lens.

        Most of the sneering comes from observations that most of the people with the consumer equipment don’t even bother with a tripod much less additional lighting and so in most cases lower end equipment implies fauxtog = bad results. Unfortunately that tends to get shortened to lower end equipment implies bad results.

        You’ve got a decent starter kit. Keep at it with what you’ve got for now. You won’t learn any faster with a $5k camera. When you are ready to improve your equipment my advice would be to find a used pro body that is in good shape and one good lens. If you look for a model that is one or two versions back from the latest and greatest you can find some very reasonable equipment. Lenses, well, don’t depreciate. At least for the good ones. The flip side is that if you decide you don’t want to go pro they have very good resale price.

        Good luck!

    • I too disagree.
      It’s the folks that ** refuse ** to invest in some proper equipment but still market themselves as pro’s.
      It’s the folks buying top equipment but refuse to properly learn to use it but still call themselves pro’s
      It’s the folks that’ll shoot a model and o no post processing at all and that sell their services as if they are pro’s.
      It’s the folks that go and do a wedding cheaps as ***, make terrible pictures and present those as if they are the best “art” ever.
      It’s those faux that most of us’d like to see disappear.
      It’s not the folks that with the simplest of kit make beautiful pictures. As said, I can really get jealous of some of the shots I see taken with an iPhone.
      Made some of my best pictures with a very basic compact on auto setting…

    • I don’t think anybody is labeling people fauxtogs before of their equipment. If you read the site on a regular basis you know that Fauxtogs are not about their equipment, but a whole pattern of behaviour, out of which the equipment ( and knowing how to use it )is just a small indicator, but that often times is a pretty good indicator.

      • photomommy

        90% of the time, when I see someone reply to a photo….. it is mentioned about the “fauxtogs” equipment. And editing software. Maybe someone can’t afford PS? Maybe someone can’t afford lightboxes? Just saying. And to Dave… I completely agree with you. Thank you!

      • Wsroadrunner

        I don’t want ot spend the money for a medical degree, can I remove your appendix anyway?

        The fact is, if you are going to do a job, have and properly use the right equipment and knowledge.

        Just sayin’

      • Anonymous

        Picnik is the editing software that’s usually brought up here. I can respect GIMP, but if I hired someone and found out they post-processed through a website editing service, I would laugh in their face.

      • Wsroadrunner

        Agreed Orlando, the problem is the fauxtogs are lacking in knowledge and proper equipment.

  32. I saw one of the local fauxtogs at Walmart the other day. She’s always talking on her facebook page about her personal issues, such as her husbands recently amputated toe, and working in $20 session around her work schedule. Until the other day, I didn’t know where she worked, but she often worked weekends from her posts. I saw her checking out a customer at the Walmart Photo Studio. I thought, how perfect of a job for her, selling shoddy work for a special deal of $9.97, and getting paid minimum wage.

    As usual she spotted me, and turned the other way like a scared little fauxtog normally does. I’ve never even spoke to this girl, but apparently she knows me and is threatened by me some how. Well I know how, she’s watching my Facebook page and copying my shots which I totally take as a compliment.

    • I know just how you feel. In my area, there are some pretty awesome pros. I consider myself a serious amateur. Ever since I began, a whole slew of little girls and a few strange boys have been copying me and believing that they are photographers, too. They must think it is easy. It just makes me laugh. There are soooo many fauxtographers in my town.

    • Wsroadrunner

      Have some fun with her and block her… she can’t see them that way. LOL

  33. I had a neighbor fauxtog who was trying to start a photography business. She called me in a panic one morning wanting to borrow my camera for a newborn session she had booked.

    Yes. She started taking clients without a portfolio, experience, and, I don’t know, A BLOODY CAMERA.

    Needless to say, I did not let her use my Canon 5D.

  34. You are only a real photographer if you have a 1DX and all the L lenses, if you have a 1000D and a kit lens you’re pretty much dead.

    Can’t one start a legit business with low-end gear and make his way up to high end gear?

    I get it that most of these are arrogant, take shitty pictures and think they are wonderful. And as far as I can see it it’s more about their attitude than what camera they have, but good pictures can be taken with low-end equipment, what is low end today used to be high end or even just a concept 10 years ago…

  35. I was on a day trip to Cairo once, the bus left before dawn and we were treated to a beautiful view of the sun rising over the desert sands – gorgeous oranges etc. I was not a great photographer back then but managed to get a couple of nice shots. Pretty blonde in a inappropriate-for-a-muslim-country-clothing in the seat behind us got out her point-and-shoot and took a photo of the same sunset. With the flash.

    I thought she’d realise her mistake (especially as she was holding the camera about 3ft from the window) but no, she just turned to her unfortunate boyfriend and said “d’you think it’ll come out?”. My husband and I couldn’t stop the giggles. Bless her. She spent the rest of the day trying to get arty shots of pyramids and failing, presumably.

  36. Sadly, I’ve seen a number of fauxtogs sporting the huge white 70-200 lens thinking they’re bad ass when they’re really not.

  37. Recently I witnessed a Fauxtog shoot an outdoor nighttime wedding with a Nikon D60 and used NO FLASH or a TRIPOD! the only lights were one spot light on the officiant & white twinkle Christmas lights above the Bride & Groom. Her assistant used a NIkon D40 with a pop up flash. Oh, and did I mention that the groom & his family are all African American?

  38. Anonymous

    This website is gay.

  39. Backward lens hood is the dead giveaway. Every time. At this point, as soon as I take my camera out of the bag and put it around my neck, the hood goes in shooting position, just because I don’t want to look like one of these idiots.

    As for those trying to defend the fauxtogs shooting with bad gear, think of it this way. Would you fly on an airline that cheaps out on repairs? Everyone has to start somewhere, but there really is no excuse for charging someone hard earned money for a photo shoot done with a D3100 from Wal Mart. I won’t even get into the ones that shoot with bridge cams.

    • Don –

      A D700 or D300 or D3x has the same chance of failure as a D3100 out of the box. My first D700 – took it home from the store, put a brand new memory card and a fully charged battery in it – and boom – epic fail. FEE – error – right out of the box.

      I guarantee you that a good photographer, who knows their gear can get great photos out of a D3100 – as opposed to a photographer that doesn’t know crap about their gear with a D3x.

      Actually had a guy come up to me at a wedding a few years ago – back when the D300 was new – he had a brand new D3. Totally clueless – he asked me for advice on settings and how to use his camera. After about 10 minutes of talking, he said – “I have no clue – I think maybe the guy at the store saw me and my credit card coming… ” – Would have loved to help him more, but I was being paid to shoot the wedding – not hold his hand.

      Charges should be based upon outcomes, not equipment. Period.

    • I hope you can see the difference between an airplane with cheap repairs and an entry level DSLR.

      The entry level DSLR isn’t flying 40,000 feet above the ground for one.

      And do you plan on funding a professional photo set if you don’t charge? a t2i and a decent lens has excellent results, of course it depends on location and all, a pricier full frame body will handle low light better, but even at ISO1600 a t2i isn’t that bad, with a decent not too expensive fast prime(canon 50mm f1.4/1.8) the results are mighty fine.

  40. If you’re on a message board full of pros that are cutting up on Fauxtogs and you can’t spot the Fauxtog…then it’s you.

  41. When I read the “easily spotted by her on-camera flash” in the post, I thought: Among the posts in the past weeks there are some more, which “feature” a female fauxtographer.

    Combined with my personal impression, that there are still more males than females in photography business today, I asked myself: If you do some statistical analysis with fauxtographers, would there be an equal gender ratio ?

    • I don’t think so. I’m a young female pro and when I see other photographers at the other functions I’m covering….sadly to say if they are pro, usually they are white men with salt & pepper hair. Very often, I’m the only female pro (young too, 27, have a 7D but waiting on the 5Dmk3). The company who I freelance for regularly had a female fauxtog with an attitude before me (roughly same age, Canon 60D with a speedlite) who blew a very important event that I hadn’t been available for, and I haven’t seen her since. When I first encountered her, it was because someone had accidentally booked both of us to cover the same event…and she shot everything with the flash. The next event I saw her at, she had brought her boyfriend who had a Nikon and my guess was that his pictures came out much better than hers since he wasn’t so flash happy and looked much more confident with his camera, and positioned himself to get the shots he wanted.

      Other female fauxtogs I’ve encountered shoot one-handed with their PNSs and post everything on facebook and talk about how their cameras can’t “catch the colors” they see (!!!!!!). Don’t get me started on how certain localized web news sources are cheapening not only journalism, but the photography field (not naming names, but there’s one in almost every town now under the same brand, some of you will know instantly what I’m talking about)–they barely pay their writers and fauxtographers minimum wage and the fauxtographers who work for them think they’re lucky enough to have the “PHOTOGRAPHER” title…

      I don’t know what it is about the SAHM crowd. I think some of them are lazy and don’t want to get a real job so they take a thousand pictures of their own kid in one day and bam! Instant newborn photographer who will never have to do a day’s honest work ever again! :-/ (And may never earn a decent wage either, but they’re an artist so they should be starving, right? Wrong.)

      The young female fauxtogs get weeded out. Not meaning to sound racist, but I haven’t seen a female minority pro or fauxtog anywhere, and only one black male pro. It seems the field is dominated by white males. That’s honestly what I see. I never see female pros or minority anything. We all know they’re out there but I suppose they are a rare bird.

      The pros whose work I admire and follow their latest work: all white males, except for one, and she’s in Great Britain, 2 years younger than me.

      Maybe it has something to do with that study that was done with middle school girls who suddenly give up on math & the sciences because it’s too hard. Maybe these female fauxtogs think they have to divide f by 2.8 and that must be calculus or something right? LOL

      • @headdesk…

        i’m a young (relatively, i’m 30), minority female pro photographer. i shoot for a daily newspaper. you’re right, most pro photogs are men (lots of them, in the news business especially, are seasoned vets). but i guess in my area i’m lucky, because in each of my sister papers (there’s two) there is a female photog. both of them are also minorities (we’re all hispanic). and one of them has been in the business over 20 years, i’d guess… over 15 at the very least.

        i work the night beat a lot, and consequently wind up shooting lots (LOTS) of sports… for those coaches and teams who have gotten used to seeing me around, it’s no big deal and we’ve developed great rapports over the years. but, it never fails, when i shoot at a new school/venue/team, etc, or especially outside my normal coverage area i invariably get questioning looks, even comments sometimes. people ask if i shoot for a living or just for fun (with a bit of the “well isn’t that cute, little lady” attitude). or they ask if i’m shooting for the school yearbook (i shoot lots of prep sports). my favorite comments are when they say i must take REALLY good pictures because my cameras are so big, and woah! those are heavy looking lenses..

        anyway, that’s all an aside. my point is we minority female photographers ARE out there. and we’re just as passionate, and committed to our craft and the continued learning of our craft, as our lens-jockey brethren. and some of us *ohmygorsh* are even smart enough to finish college. (who woulda thunk that all women aren’t destined to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen making our men sandwiches?!)

      • Female, 26. Shoots concerts for a music magazine for a living, has been doing it since age 20, and (least importantly) has a degree and is in grad school for photography. Also has shown (and is showing) in over 30 galleries and art shows.

        We exist.

        But I don’t do cutesy portraits or weddings. And I’m not (nor will ever be) a mother. Definitely not my market.

      • Dina- I can definitely relate to the comments we get! It used to irritate me at first but thinking back on it, I haven’t heard them in a while. I usually just hand out a business card when I hear somewhat friendly comments.

        Micah- I don’t do a lot of weddings or cutesy portraits either. I do a lot of work in the tourism industry, so I shoot for brochures and websites, and I also do a lot of corporate events. It really keeps me busy. Weddings are nice but I wouldn’t want to do them all the time.

      • Sorry if that sounded rude about the cutesy portraits or weddings, I was just clarifying that when most people think of young female photographers, they think of portrait/wedding photographers who take overexposed photos of babies in baskets with lens flare.

        Sometimes it’s hard to beat the stereotypes and make people realize that you can be a professional photographer without doing portraits. Every time someone asks what I do and I mention that I’m a photographer, I’m instantly asked if I will do portraits of their child or photograph their wedding.

      • lol noooo rudeness detected, my reply might have been short because I was probably running on negative cups of coffee and I already wrote a novel above. haha

        “Sometimes it’s hard to beat the stereotypes and make people realize that you can be a professional photographer without doing portraits.” AMEN. I loathe doing headshots/portraits. Like I said, I’ll do them for friends but that’s certainly not where my advertising is.

  42. I could have been the person you came across in the park. But you know what? I’m not a professional. I’m practicing my camera skills so that one day I can become a professional. I make mistakes, but I’m not charging people for it and I’m learning from the mistakes I do make. Yes, while there are plenty of people out there who have no business owning a camera, just remember there are those of us who want to become professionals who are out there practicing and we may look stupid to you while we do it, but remember where you started out.

  43. I was out on a shoot and was just finishing up with my clients after a sunset. I looked down the beach and saw a fauxtog in action. Ever seen the book/website/calendar “Awkward Family Photos”? Yeah, this “pro” had copied a few of those poses it seemed. The first pose was Dad laying on the ground face down, Mom laying on his back face down, kids then laying on Mom face down and on top of each other as well. It was just like the bloody cover on the calendar. I made sure to get a shot of them to show my boss later for a laugh.

    They then moved and proceeded to stand in a line holding up Christmas lights (somehow battery powered) like a rope and had all but one kid pulling on it. They other kid was pulling opposite them as a tug of war. It looked terrible.

  44. I would just like to say that I am not an idiot when it comes to photography but I still have a lot to learn. I love taking pictures and people always like what I do. I never charge and am willing to whatever anyone wants (within reason). I do not however have enough money to spend on a top of the line anything. What I get out of my 50mm lens and Canon Rebel is a lot better then what I see people who have businesses on Facebook get (and use P/S)! I wish that I could afford a nice Canon L series lens and a 5D but I need to feed my family first. I would think that some of you started the same way. But if my work, that I do not charge for and do not have a “business” for, would make you taunt me and call me a fauxtorapher, I would just assume not do it anymore.

    • I shoot with a Rebel and a 50mm, bro. The most expensive thing I own is a 10-22mm. I’m sure people would call me a fauxtog. But here’s the thing: You said right there that you don’t know it all and have a lot to learn. admitting that means you’re willing to learn. That puts you ahead of so many fauxtographers, because they think they have it figured out, when all they have figured out how to do is buy nice stuff they’ll never use well.
      Keep at it, and always be willing to learn. It will be your saving grace.

  45. I’m a newb photographer… maybe you’d call me a fauxtog… but I’m half willing and ready to post my facebook page for you all to look at my stuff. 😉 But, man, you all are merciless to us noobs!

    I’ve taken a few shoots- never charged- but did them to get some experience. I love photography and I love creating. Do I have photoshop? Not yet because I can’t afford it right now. But I will one day. But I do think I have an eye for composition. I’ve got alot to learn- ALOT to learn. But I love what I’m doing. If I ever get to the point where I bust somebody out for being a noob God help me. Everyone has to start somewhere. With time comes experience.

    • We don’t have a problem with newbs. We have a problem with noobs. The difference between a newb and noob is that a newb is just a newbie and is just new to something. They are still learning and that’s acceptable. As long as they continue to learn.

      The minute a photographer becomes a fauxtographer is when they market themselves as a professional before they are ready and also refuse to learn how to better themselves. That’s a noob. One that does something stupid and thinks it’s perfect. And don’t bother telling one of them that there is the slightest thing wrong with a photo. They will immediately remind you that they are a professional and know what they are doing. If you continue, they will just claim artistic license.

      Just starting out is fine, and since you recognize that about yourself then you are not likely a fauxtographer. As you said, everyone starts somewhere. The fact that you are here and willing to see that not every photo is a work of art means that you are at least critically thinking.

      • Anonymous

        “One that does something stupid and thinks it’s perfect. And don’t bother telling one of them that there is the slightest thing wrong with a photo. They will immediately remind you that they are a professional and know what they are doing. If you continue, they will just claim artistic license.”

        I’ve seen that scenario happen myself. A girl on a photo asked for constructive criticism of a picture of her horse on a photography forum, it wasn’t bad but there were flaws. When people started pointing things out, she started telling people something along the lines of “I thought photography was supposed be artistic. Why is everybody being all cold and technical? Mistakes make a photography unique!”

        *facepalm* Yeah, it makes them “unique”, but not in a good way.

      • Anonymous


  46. My boyfriend and I have a nickname for fauxtogs. You know the line in Tropic Thunder where they say “Never go full retard”? We always say Never go Full auto!
    That and SLRmoms. I was fortunate enough to buy my first DSLR from a mom who realized that she wasn’t going to use the camera for what it’s made for, but there are so many other moms who just buy them because they can and cause they think it will make great pictures.

    Also(sorry for getting lengthy), I was at a concert once that a church was hosting for a nationally touring act. In front of their altar/stage/platform was big wraparound steps and the audience was standing at the bottom of them. I saw one girl from my photography class, didn’t even have her camera. The other was standing in the middle of the audience, full-auto and on camera flash a blazin’. These are girls who want to be serious photographers. really?
    I put myself on the steps, right in front of the audience, and the shots were amazing. Silly fauxtogs. C:

    • So – what you are saying is that you blocked paying audience members from seeing the show, just so you could get your photos? Fail.

      The photographer should strive to be invisible – blend in – don’t become the show… at the end of the show – the audience should go – was there even a photographer here? Not – boy that photographer really knew what they were doing and how to stand in front of the stage… Taught to me by a very good photo journalist years ago.

  47. You can spot spot a fauxtographer when they come over to you after you’ve put on a big lens, with their auto dslr in hand, and say “wow, I bet that takes good photos”.

  48. I have a story about a fauxtog. She is a MWAC. She saw my photos and called me up one day out of the blue (after not having talked for YEARS) asking me what camera she should get since she was going to become a professional photographer. I asked her what she knew about photography, and she said she knew nothing but was going to learn. GREAT! I directed her to some free photography classes and youtube videos and such in the area. She really wanted to know what camera to get. I told her what to get to start out, and what to get if money were no problem. She got the most expensive one (with a kit lens), then immediately started a FB page and posted photos of her children as her portfolio. All of them were overexposed in post-production, blowing out their faces, she used her pop-up flash, and she confided in me that she used portrait mode because it “made the most professional results with the blurry background.” I urged her to at least watch some of the youtube videos on exposure and such.

    She decided to stop talking to me and continued to put out the same crap for about a year, wondering why she wasn’t making money yet.

    She posted a new photo, and I checked it out. The first comment was a camera enthusiast saying how great her photo was, and what model of camera she used? Her response? “A professional one.”

    Yes, I totally understand that it’s sort of a stupid question in the first place, but this was a camera enthusiast genuinely interested in the model of her camera, and she couldn’t even tell the woman what her camera was.

    She’s been slowly starting to give up on the whole photography business.

  49. HopeDiane

    I was at my best friends baby shower, and because she wanted me to participate she hired one of her other friends to “photograph.” The fauxtographer showed up late and two minutes after she arrived the party host walked into the room asking if anyone had an extra camera, because the “Photographer” forgot her camera…. No joke. So I pulled out my camera and let her borrow it. When giving it to her I asked if she wanted it RAW or jpeg, she responded with “I usually just shoot in auto… ” I knew then she was going to be trouble. After the party, she was talking to my friends mother about her “photography career” and said “I recently found this website (then pointed to me saying I might be interested in this) that is free online that you can edit your pictures on called piknik.” My jaw almost hit the floor. Then she got out her laptop, burned a cd of unedited pictures for my friend, returned MY camera to me and left with saying “I will go home and edit these on piknik and then upload them to facebook for you!” Not a single picture was composed, we could have given the camera to an eight year old and got the same results. Lord have mercy.

  50. bjkbbkkbbk

    You sound like idiot.

  51. bjkbbkkbbk


  52. Now, I’m a young aspiring photographer who spent this fall building up my portfolio. A friend took up my offer to be a second shooter for her wedding and I was looking forward to working under another photographer.

    I was surprised to find out that all she had ever done was 1 family session and 1 wedding. Her camera was lesser than mine (even though mine is a consumer grade) and she only had a kit lens. She used Picnik to edit. In our “business” messages, she didn’t use proper capitalization and punctuation. And above all else….. *anticipation* she wore JEANS and Tennis shoes to the wedding!

    I’m not pretending to be fantastic – but at least I shot fully manual with 50mm and 70-300mm the entire day and had a backup battery. I have Lightroom as well as Photoshop. I also wore proper clothing .

  53. Do you think any of this matters?

    In this day an age where information is literally forced down ones throat, it seems highly improbable that clients have not seen photographs from a top quality photographer (I mean surely people read magazines, and see glossy photos!). So if they know what a top photographer can do, and still can’t tell the difference, then really it doesn’t matter, they’re happy, and it harms nobody…they probably wouldn’t have come to a real photographer anyway if the fauxtogs didn’t exist.

    Then there’s the people who pay for a fauxtog and realise afterward that it’s a shit job. Well it’s really quite obvious that someone is working in an unprofessional manner, and surely alarm bells should be ringing straight away. So again, we have a situation where they deserve what comes to them. And as a bonus the client may sue the fauxtog, which should give the fauxtog a nice reality check.

    So really my analysis is, much as I dislike the fauxtog, the reality of it is that they don’t pose a genuine threat. In fact I’d be far more worried about Mr Plod coming down the road and arresting you for being a terrorist.

  54. I saw one by the library the other day, full-on sunset lighting making the couple’s faces yellow, terrible angle to shoot from, spent most of her time playing with settings… I sat in my car and watched her, shaking my head, for about two-three minutes. The couple were in a SUPER awkward pose with the light in their eyes, too.

  55. This site is great for a laugh, but I to have wondered if some of the images posted, were from mere hobbyists who don’t charge for their work. Either way, it’s a good way for serious amateurs to learn what NOT to do.

    I’ve personally been learning the art of photography since 2003, with my first Minolta Maxxum SLR. It was a great place to begin, I even shot many weddings with that beginners camera and a 50mm 1.7 lens, (yes, Minolta’s 50mm came with a 1.7). To this day, I’ve never made enough profit to purchase high end gear. Although I would love to own a MK111, who wouldn’t, and a couple fixed L lenses. Regardless though, I’ve made what I have work for me, even in tough times. I may not be the best business person which makes it more difficult to get clients, but I’ve still been able to put together a nice little portfolio.

    I only started shooting digital last year, with a Canon T2i and Sigma 30mm 1.4, and recently purchased an old school Eos A2 from ebay. I wouldn’t consider someone a fauxtographer based on their gear at all. I know many amazing photographers who just don’t have the income to purchase pro gear. I suppose there is a reason those things are so expensive. In one way it maintains a certain level of professionalism among the elite photographers, which isn’t a bad thing.

  56. I laugh every time I’m at a sporting event and people inevitably end up using their flash. It’s not going to do any good from the distance they are sitting from the action. Not to mention, I go to a lot of hockey games and see people using flash while on the glass all the time. That really won’t work and I’d love to see their reactions when they get home and check all of their pictures only to get a screen full of flash with the image they were hoping for washed out. However, these people are not fauxtographers either since I highly doubt they are charging for any of the pictures they take.

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