Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Needing reassurance! Reply To: Needing reassurance!

#4441

Pik,

To continue your analogy. I do not expect every photographer to be a Lamborghini. But I expect them to at least be a Honda. If you sell me a car I expect it to start every time I turn the key in the ignition and get me to my destination without breaking down every time, if it fails to do so more than once a year, it’s not a car, it’s a lemon on wheels.

You people seem to be completely missing my entire point because you’re fixated on this idea that I’m full of myself and want to tear down this young, talented photographer. I will say this in all caps in the hope you will get the point.

I WANT HER TO SUCCEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And the path to success is not the fauxtog path that she is currently taking. If I got some vindictive pleasure from destroying people, it would be much more effective to just let them continue marching dilutedly toward their own destruction, because failure is on the horizon.

Every single fauxtog featured on the main blog is charging for their work, were selected by the clients on Facebook, and both client and photographer are happy with the results. Assuming that if people are paying you’re not a fauxtog is completely missing the point.

I have been doing this a very long time and I have seen thousands of fauxtographers rush into business, have anemic success for a little while, completely fail to grow, raise their prices because they can’t afford to do it cheep anymore, and go out of business in debt or worse.

The general definition used in the real world for a professional is that it is someone whose work is worth charging for. Therefore, and I’ll say this in all caps so you get the point.

IF YOU CHARGE FOR YOUR WORK YOU THINK YOUR WORK IS PROFESSIONAL LEVEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you think you are still an amateur, or learning (and I’m not talking learning in the “we’re all always learning” sense, which we all are) and you charge for your work. You are, by definition, telling people you are a pro when you’re not. Even if you never say the words “I”m a pro.” Intentionally or not, you’re lying to your clients, and that is what bothers me about fauxtography.

Every last one of us produces substandard work when they are learning. When I retired, I took two years off from charging because I’d spent so long working with professional talent that I couldn’t get a decent pose when I was working with an amateur or a non-model client, with a pro, you get the pose you want from a few words, with a client you who doesn’t know the lingo have to explain how to pose, and that takes practice. If I had charged money for shooting while I was picking up that learning curve (shooting a lot of garbage in the process), I would have been acting like a fauxtog and that is unacceptable.

I am hard on people like the OP because I see potential in their work and I don’t want to see that wasted. She is phenomenal, for someone who has studied, but never really shot before. But to use your analogy, she’s a car without an engine, she doesn’t have the skill to propel her business and so she’s having to push it everywhere. But being in business, she hasn’t had the time to start building an engine because she’s pushing the car everywhere. There is no marked improvement in the 9 months she’s been shooting, and if she keeps doing what she’s doing, she will fail.

AND I DON”T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN TO HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And you people coming in here and telling her she isn’t doing anything wrong is risking that. I don’t say a word on this site unless I believe it is what the person requesting review NEEDS to hear, I couldn’t care less what she wants to hear and what you think I ought to say. I don’t get angry at their responses, although sometimes I respond with force, again, I think that’s what they need. But it drives me crazy to have people come in here, see me being hard on someone, and feel the need to offer undue encouragement because they feel they’ve got to protect her from the big bad bully who is only picking on her to make himself look big. Doing so proves that you not only don’t understand me, you don’t understand that in the real world, the people that are hardest on you are often the ones who are most concerned for your success.

I’ve walked the hard road to success in this business, I’ve helped who knows how many other photographers along that same road over the years, and I want to help the OP too. You are encouraging her to take the easy, fun path, when that path leads straight to a cliff, both for the business and her passion for photography. I encourage her to take the hard road, it isn’t always fun, it is never easy, but it leads upward and onward with no limits to how far and how high you can go.

If there is any question to if the path I am suggesting, while old fashioned, is a better path, let me add this, 20 years ago, the odds of starting a successful studio were not great, about 10:1. Nine out of every ten photographers failed and went out of business within 3 years. Today, now that the “charge while you’re learning” thing is popular, about 1 in 1000 start-ups survives their first 3 years, and better than half will fail in serious debt because of it. And in all this time, the total number of studios lasting more than 3 years had remained virtually unchanged (only increasing due to coincide with population growth).

At this point I have spoken my peace, I have already repeated myself several times on this thread and I tire of it. To the OP, I truly hope that you will take my advice and change to a track that will give you a fighting chance to succeed in what is an incredibly competitive and difficult field. If you choose to progress the way you are, I wish you the best of luck in beating the 1,000:1 odds that you will fail.