Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Be Gentle or Something…

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    I’ve been looking at this website for a while now and I enjoy the pictures that you guys post.  Well I’m not sure enjoy is the right word but I do enjoy the commentary that goes with them.  While I am by no means a professional, I still have to ask the question…am I fauxtog?  I like to think I’m somewhere between crappy and good.  But what do you guys think?  Thanks.


    Normally I don’t take so many pictures of my action figures but it’s been pretty damn cold here lately.


    Bluntly put – you cannot be a fauxtog if you are not charging for your services. If you’re taking pictures for yourself, you’re a hobbyist. There’s nothing wrong with being a hobbyist.


    I did get one of my pictures in Esquire…does that count? 🙂


    Nope!  Doesn’t count.  They purchased/used your photo after you took it, so they were getting something tangible.  To qualify as a fauxtographer, you have to be not very good at photography and selling portraiture or wedding services.   You don’t qualify by shooting news, sports, editorial, landscapes, still life, etc., etc., and so on.

    To answer your real question, however, I think your own assessment is pretty accurate.  I see some boring photos with some pretty good ones mixed in.  If you are hiding from the weather, try shooting the models with more dramatic lighting and better/cleaner backgrounds.  Try out low key and high key.  See if you can get the white storm troopers on a white background, and have them look good.  Because of the contrast, they should look great on a black background.  You could visit some place like Michael’s Crafts and pick up some foam core board in white and black to use as reflectors, flags, and backgrounds.  Try out grids and snoots on lights.


    Not bad for just shooting things around the house and honing your skills, nothing wrong with that. Now if you had said these photos are part of my portfolio, then I and many others would have said to step up your game.

    The only thing I would suggest for macro photos and it is missed by many is to clean off any random hairs and as much dust as possible when taking the macro photo. Since macros are about the fine details and close-ups, no one wants to see a random hair or specks of dust. To me, this is a matter of attention to the details. Your going to get some dust and specks that you can’t remove before taking the photos, that can be taken care of in post, but if these are just for fun, then no worries.

    What I would probably suggest and it is just for skills and fun, is to maybe try some forced perspective shots with your action figures, that would be a real trick to see.


    what photo in esquire?


    Your macros are pretty good with DoF, which seems to be where most macro shooters go wrong.  (PS your mini painting skills are pretty slick too)

    But what I enjoyed viewing was your river boats, trains and architecture shots. Those are subjects I find interesting, and you also seem to have an eye for such things. I would however suggest that you begin experimenting with different angles wherever possible and try bumping up the contrast. Sometimes misty or hazy atmosphere can be problematic for that, but a little extra “pop” could really set those photos apart.


    I got a picture of a ship in Esquire.  It was for an article they called “Big Analog”.  Different angles with ships would prove difficult unless I get myself a boat.  And I’ve been trying to play around in Lightroom to give some of my ship pcitures some pop.


    But thanks everyone.

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