Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Constructive Criticism

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    Not horrible, I would agree with the rest on the yellowing. It’s all personal taste though, and if you get clients that are clamoring for it, then by all means, yellow away.

    The 3rd photo you posted a link to, way too contrasted for my tastes. If you have to do that to get the bubbles to show up, fix it in-camera. If you are shooting manually, adjust for a shallow DOF, knock your ISO around a tick, and you should get what you are looking for without having to do a lot of post-processing. No one will think less of you if you take a peek at your monitor and zoom in to your bubbles to see if you’re getting the desired effects. I know a lot of communication tells you NOT to look, but if you’re trying something new, and you tell your clients that, they will understand. Take a test shot before your session with someone simulating so you know approximately where you want to be, then you can adjust accordingly during your session.


    Not terrible. I don’t know if these photos are really worth money though.

    As photographers in a time when anybody can take descent shots with an iPhone, we really have to perform above and beyond to justify our existence and charging for our services. I’d work on the tones. Try and make the skin as accurate as possible.


    At this point, I think you are a fauxtog, but you can always get better! You asked about the original image you posted, which you said is your fave that you have ever taken, so I’ll offer CC on that one:

    1) Lighting – it appears you really need to practice a lot more with working with natural light. Your subject is out in the middle of overhead sun, as evidenced by the harsh shadows under the brim of the hat, and under the chin across her neck and upper chest. Her face is totally flat tonally and the highlights are blown out as a result of this bad lighting. If you absolutely must shoot during a time of day when the sun is directly overhead, try finding some open shade to get softer, more flattering light. ¬†You also might try shooting early in the day, or later in the evening when you get nice directional light. I would suggest either buying a checking out from your local library the book “The Luminous Portrait” by Elizabeth Messina. This is a fantastic book for learning how to better use natural light in portraits and it can really help you grow!

    2) The editing appears to be pretty heavy-handed because you were trying to compensate for the overall bad lighting of the picture. I totally agree with previous comments that the picture is very yellow. It does not look vintage to me, which may have been what you were trying to achive. Instead, it just looks like you applied some actions to it that only intensified the existing lighting problems.

    3) Composition – this is very subjective, but for me personally, I don’t think the composition is bad, but I don’t think it’s great either. The square image can be appealing sometimes, but I don’t think it’s working with this shot. I am not a prop person at all, but many people are and I totally get that.

    4) Image selection – I don’t think this was a particularly good image to submit to your client. There is nothing really emotional or compelling or sweet about this particular image.

    Hope this was helpful! I think if you work on mastering your use of light, really develop your editing skills, and work on creating more thoughtful compositions you will be on your way to being a non-fauxtog ūüôā


    I disagree with pretty much everyone on this photo. I think the yellowing, the blow out, and everything else wrong with it really gives me an old feel of late 60’s color photos. A perfectly composed photo IMO would ruin the authentic feel of the photo. While this photo is not of my taste I feel that the things that make it wrong make it right since back then the cameras used were slow and they often put the subject in the brightest light possible and the film was high ISO and grain and blow outs were also common. So to sum up how I feel it is the wrong things that make it right. Just like it is pulled out of an 50 year old shoe box.


    Maybe the first one is a little too yellow, but I like them. The one with the bubbles isn’t my favorite, but definitely not even close to a fauxtog photo. And the two things I could think of to make the second photo better are using reflectors and keeping more of the teddy bears in frame; it kind of sucks that you cropped them halfway out while still having some space on the top, but their expressions are nice, and im sure it was tough to frame and keep steady while being that low to the ground


    Davey nailed it.


    Lighting ‚Äď it appears you really need to practice a lot more with working with natural light. Your subject is out in the middle of overhead sun, as evidenced by the harsh shadows under the brim of the hat, and under the chin across her neck and upper chest.


    Well for one I wasnt in direct sunlight..We werent i the middle of it,actually in a lil group of trees..to me there are no harsh shadows,I love the original as much as I love the edited.. but thank you for the criticism..as photographers we all have our own taste and style,and as for the 3rd link,that is my daughter so looking at the screen was not a big deal,the whole point was to make the bubbles the focus not the subject..here are the links to the original of both to show..the only editing I did to the 3rd link was vignetting..






    In the case of the first photo, the original is MUCH better than the edited version – the pic is clearer, the colours are much more balanced, and there is a decent contrast between the apples and the grass.¬†Retouching, like the application of makeup, tends to fall under the “less is more” category.¬† Also; if it aint broke, don’t fix it!

    P.S: Vignetting is evil! (Admittedly I’ve used it before, as I’m sure many of us have – but it really should be avoided as much as possible, so 1980’s).


    Like the original baby basket photo MUCH better . . . . .


    The original is so much better.  I disagree with the lighting being bad.  here are no harsh shadows.  There is a shadow under the brim of the hat but it is not harsh.  The Post Processing killed this image in my mind.

    I think vignetting is a great tool when use properly.  I use it and you generally cant tell i used it unless you look at the original.  Used properly it helps draw the viewer in.


    Agreed with the others that the original looks way better. I didn’t think the edited version was awful, but it reminded me of an Instagram shot that took all of 5 seconds to snap on someone’s iPhone. While it can look ‘artsy’ in the current trend, it looks cheap for someone who has a decent camera and expertise. Especially, to see it with the original, side by side, it just doesn’t compare.

    I love the photo of the babies in the Coke crate, but again, I’d have liked to see more of the bears. They look like they’ve just been thrown there as an afterthought.


    Where are the bolts of lightning and unicorns?


    The uncropped version of the first shot is better.


    You’re not an egregious offender, but to be blunt, the other photographers are not jealous.


    Here are the issues I see, at least in my little ivory tower world (which you’re welcome to ignore)

    1. bad exposures. (first one)

    2. overprocessing (first). The second shot looks like you composed the shot to be processed that way, so you get a pass on that.

    3. ignoring the whole image to concentrate on a particular (3rd – the advertising on the shirt ruins what could’ve been a great image).

    4. poor cropping (all)


    What you do well is an innate ability to shoot kids being kids. This is a strong talent that gives you a big advantage to getting great shots… but you still have to have the camera and processing skills to realize it fully. Right now, you’re well on your way.

    When shooting infants, keep a cloth handy to wipe faces of drool. Instruct the parents to dress all kids in timeless clothing without advertisements. Shoot a little wide to give you some room to play with crops, and make sure you set a focus point on the face (specifically, the front eye).


    dang, ¬†i really dont like the logo ūüôĀ


    I think Davey Nailed it. ¬†I went a step further and looked up your full portfolio, and there seems to be an on going problem with misuse of light. ¬†More attention needs to be paid there for sure. ¬†Seems to me that more attention is paid to props, than over all comp, or the subject/subjects. ¬†Exposure is all over the place which leads me to think an automatic mode is being used. ¬†I could be wrong, but if I am, your missing something skill set wise. ¬†Post processing looks to be done with actions instead of fine tweaking each image. ¬†Now batch processing can work, dont get me wrong, but when you want to specialize in “natural light”, and more on the side of “custom portraiture”, which is what all your statements lead me to conclude, batch processing, and/or actions aren’t the way to go at all. ¬†My advice:

    slow down.  Shoot for yourself, not others.  This step alone will improve your photography immensely.

    you should work on your photography skills and not business at this point. ¬†Learn the foundations of photography ¬†first, then the foundations of business. Work on perfecting shots in camera, and only then develop your editing style. ¬† It‚Äôs not necessary to have a ‚Äúclientele‚ÄĚ or a million faces to work with when you are first starting out. ¬†Now is not the time for ‚Äúportfolio building‚ÄĚ. ¬† No need for people to get taken advantage of, or you yourself to be taken advantage of. ¬†Use objects, and willing family members to teach yourself lessons. ¬†Learning lighting and exposure and in camera work doesn‚Äôt require tons of people invested in your photography, to achieve. ¬†No need to ‚Äúadvertise‚ÄĚ, market, or seek out ‚Äúmodels‚ÄĚ when you are clearly just learning the basics of photography.


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