Home Forums Main YANAP Discussion Forum How do these fauxs get so much business?!?! Reply To: How do these fauxs get so much business?!?!


Photography is a luxury service to buy and has been for a very long time. The walmart (asda) crowd generally don’t have the means to buy the services of “real” photographers hence they turn to the fauxtographers. Sweeping generalisation but they also tend to think the faux community provides them with a good enough service and don’t see the added value you get from quality photography as opposed to fauxtography. These are people who often don’t have any photo albums at home and quite often didn’t have a camera at all until the smart phones came about. The shoot and burn fauxes are filling that gap, unfortunately the consequences of not running your business legally aren’t severe and known about enough to dissuade them from starting up their businesses. Buying a camera, especially these days is cheap. You can pick up a good enough camera and lens to start learning for £150. This has been true for some time which has meant that photographers can now come from any background rather than those who had enough money to buy and maintain their 4×5 or 8×10 cameras in the olden days. There isn’t a lack of creativity in the lower classes but in my experience from Britain at least there is less interest in photography, especially good photography.

I think my attitude to the fauxes has mellowed a bit, apart from the ones that shoot weddings and don’t have a clue. If you price yourself at a level to match your skills there is nothing wrong with that. I can’t remember which one of the big names in wedding photography who admits to starting out as one of the $500 shoot and burn togs. These people have their place and if you find yourself competing with them your service isn’t good enough or your are not targeting the right group. There was a recent thread on another photography forum with someone lamenting all the hobbyists out competing him. A brief look through his portfolio it was obvious why, his stuff just wasn’t up to scratch but since he charged like an average good tog his business was failing. Also let’s face it, the average enthusiast these days are producing better work than most photographers dreamt of 30 years ago. This means anyone who want to make a living of photography needs to step their game up and to be good business people. Just have a look through the images at the first few pages on flickr explore or 500px.

What I think lots of people easily forget is that fauxes are actually pretty good business people in a way. They are enthusiastic, offer a service at an attractive price and they also promote themselves in an effective way. They obviously suck at business not realising that flipping burgers would pay more per hour but that is a different matter. Also lets not forget that some of the people with the widest audience any photographers has ever had have sometimes never held a camera before they signed up to instagram and started snapping.

What this ultimately means is that photographers have to adapt and overcome. It was the same thing in the late 80’s, early 90’s when cheap consumer SLRs came out and people started charging for pictures taken with their rebel they got for Christmas. The large middle class living in the suburbs aren’t going to stop buying photography. If you can show why your photography is worth its cost you are going to be successful provided you can promote yourself enough to get enough clients. It is also likely that you will need to learn new skills, be it portrait togs doing commercial work for local businesses or learning to do video. If you don’t adapt your business will fail, just look at these people who where the dogs bollocks back in the 80’s but haven’t changed one bit since then. My local photo studio shut down three months ago which I suspect was down to him not having changed for 20 years. I briefly considered popping around to see if he needed someone to assist to learn from him (everyone should do this I think, even if they are seasoned pros) but frankly I don’t think I could learn anything from him. I’m honestly not too sad to see him go other than him now probably being ruined financially.