Luckily, I don’t have any experience with fauxtogs as a client, but my city is just saturated with them, and they’re stealing business and credibility from other small-business photographers like me. Maybe other towns have this problem, but every day another Facebook “business” page pops up for one! Or someone “got a nice camera,” now they’re starting a business. Average-Joe clients sometimes don’t see how horrible the images are, either that or they’re just really, really stupid, because somehow these pages have a lot of likes and people comment on how “awesome” the photos are. (Shaking my head!)
One of them I hate to make fun of, because she recently passed away suddenly from an illness… let’s just say it looked like she used a point and shoot for everything, it was all shot in the same park in town that EVERYBODY uses (by the same covered bridge, same fountain, same flowerbed, you get it) and she often had people wear matching American flag t-shirts. One that stuck out from hers was the engagement photos, the guy and girl were standing on either side of his Chevy and over the license plate… well, 3/4 of the license plate, she photoshopped a white block with their names and “2013” over it.
Another one that has been advertising on a local buy/sell group on Facebook had some terrible baby photos that were completely out of focus, lots of bright white and colored vignettes, lots of goofy frames, lots of text in the photos, etc. One image was of a little girl on a bridge. The bridge was in focus, and the girl was not. A person commented that they wanted a certain print in an 8×10, and the page owner said “I’m sorry but a print that large will be pixelated.” WTF?
I met a local fauxtog at a “gallery showing” last year (local crappy art gallery that accepted anything and everything and eventually closed). I chatted with her briefly (after viewing her work on Facebook) and asked what camera she used. She said “Oh! It’s here in my purse actually, it’s a Powershot.” All I needed to know.
Now the kicker- a girl I work with got married a few years ago in a courthouse and is renewing her vows next summer, and they’re making it like a full wedding ceremony, dress, bridesmaids, and all. She has been talking to me about doing the wedding. She really likes my work. I’ve done 3 weddings now only but I think I’ve done very well (the first was ok, not terrible, but the recent two I feel I did top-notch work). She said she’s trying to convince her husband that my work is better than this other one, Bekka Gene. I finally found them on FB and OMG how can he even compare me to her? EVERYTHING is blurry. She uses some free editing service online. I can take better pictures with a cell phone. She has no idea what composition is, as most of her portraits have a tree sticking out of someone’s head. She has rampant use of spot color and putting people’s names “creatively” into the image. The photo he had in question was a perfect shot I did at a wedding where I was the 2nd shooter (I was in charge of the groom’s first emotional look at his bride coming doing the aisle as the 1st shooter was in charge of the bride). I got that happy accident perfect shot of his face in perfect focus, trying not to cry, while it was framed just right by her dress in beautiful bokeh. (Link to my image here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/roxanne_elise_photography/8028585176/in/set-72157631618564124). Well, this girl’s husband said “What he heck, the bride’s all blurry.” At first I felt bad for being remotely compared with this other photographer, but now I just have to laugh. Here’s the fauxtog in question. https://www.facebook.com/BekkaGenePhotography