Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Do I fall under the fauxtog category?

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    I have been doing photography since I was 15. Back then, it really wasn’t photography, it was just a mere interest. I had a point and shoot and loved taking pictures of anything I could.

    I have been through SO many different point and shoot cameras, that it’s pretty ridiculous. It wasn’t even a year ago that I invested in my first ever DSLR camera. It’s my love!

    I’ve always been more into nature photography than I have anything else, but I just recently started getting into people pictures and mainly because everyone wants me to do their pictures! It seems the more I do, the more people want. I charge, but I don’t charge much because I am so skittish on what I do.

    I stumbled on this site not too long ago and I’m just wanting to know your honest opinions!

    Do I fall under the fauxtog category? Or am I doing well enough to be considered a photographer?

    Thanks. ūüôā

    I took this when I first got my new camera:

    I done these for a co-worker of mine.
    Kairi again

    Here are just a couple of my nature pictures. Just for the heck of it.

    Cumberland Falls
    Cumberland Falls again


    In short, yes.

    Poor editing, no demonstrated knowledge of composition, lighting or gear and no knowledge of basic rules of visual arts.

    Consider that professionals may have a degree plus 5-10 years of apprenticing THEN they will begin calling themselves professional… ¬†Compare your education and experience to that and you have your answer.


    Agree. You have several years of practicing to go before charging any amount of money. I think reading as many books on basic photography and portraiture/lighting as you can will definitely help as well. Oh and absolutely practice and read up on editing.

    reality check

    Agreed. ¬†Don’t book any weddings in the near future, you have a long way to go.

    First, I think you may need to calibrate. ¬†Colors are way off, and your prints aren’t going to look very good as things stand. ¬†Start working on a physical paper portfolio of your best shots. ¬†By finishing your images and making photographs you will learn so much about color, comp, editing, light etc and it may even change and improve the way you shoot. ¬†So many new togs skip this fundamental step, and miss out on a very important learning opportunity.

    then study basic composition, and begin to learn directing and posing.

    If purchasing and learning lighting is an issue for you right now, read up on using natural or available light, and consider getting some modifiers, because you aren’t using it at all to your advantage at the moment. ¬†This is a much more difficult way to go about learning lighting, and a bit backwards, but I understand the financial end of things when you’re first getting started, and although it is more difficult, time consuming, and a bit limited, ¬†it’s not impossible to go about it this way.

    If you are serious about taking this on, you’re going to have to learn to say “no”. ¬†This ¬†is exactly how new togs get caught up in the faux trap. ¬†All new togs have people requesting and willing to pay for their photography regardless of quality. ¬†It’s up to you to make sure you are capable and competent FIRST so you have the best chance possible to succeed in this industry.

    reality check

    Here is a cost of doing business calculator, just to give you a basic idea.


    (there are others out there as well google them, and try them out)

    go ahead and fill it in, and give yourself just minimum wage salary for the work you do. ¬†It will calculate what you would need to charge per assignment if you were in business. ¬†Now ask yourself “Is my service and finished product worth this amount to the people I am trying to market to?” ¬†Until that answer is “yes” don’t open up shop.


    I would never consider myself a professional. I just read up on what I can and just keep trying. Trial and error is always the best thing to do. But thank you for your honesty.


    Trial and error is not a very good thing to do. It’s the lazy, uncaring thing to do. Practice with a plan is the best thing to do. Figure out a concept, then practice it.

    Trial and error is like searching for a buried treasure by digging up an entire island instead of studying the cryptic map. You’ll tire of it and fall back into your same bad habits.

    reality check


    you charge, and market your services/products, therefor you ARE saying you are professional to your potential and current clients. ¬†You are also saying photography isn’t worth much, by charging so little. ¬†This is exactly why sites like this exist. ¬†Either A) charge appropriately for your time, or B) continue to learn and develop your skills by not being in business and allowing yourself time to learn.


    Your portrait shots have this hazy over processed look to them. Nothing looks sharp when you do that, and tend to be hard to look at. With kayla it looks like you just went to far into the skin smoothing. Proper lighting can give you the same effect with a less “fake” look. With the Kairi, it looks like you added a texture as well, and it eats into the baby’s legs sometimes.

    Generally never take what the client says as truth, they just see smooth skin and think that it looks like a model, but even most of the over airbrushed fashion shots are still crisp and sharp. Work on taking great pictures then work on editing to make an awesome shot a little better.


    Stef, I didn’t really mean that. I meant that I will try one way in many different ways to see how it works the best.

    I do know I have a lot to learn. There’s so much that I want to do and I’m doing it one step at a time. The Kayla picture was my first edit ever like that, so I know I went overboard. The lighting I know is my biggest issue and I’m currently trying to work on that.


    Lighting is most definitely not your biggest issue. Lighting *is* an issue for you, but you need to take 5 steps back from worrying about lighting and focus on honing the basic technical skills every photographer must possess: Composition – Learn about it, don’t just go out and try to be ‘creative’ and call that practicing composition. There are TONS of books and videos about proper composition theory and techniques. There really are ‘rules’ about composition. Do you know any of them? Focus – Nailing focus will help provide sharp results (not withstanding any blur caused by camera shake). Metering – Learn properly how all of your different metering modes work and when you should be using them, and learn what your cameras tendencies are when metering in each of those modes so that you may input the proper EV adjustment.

    You need to know your equipment backwards and forwards and strive for creating an accurate rendition of what your eye sees if you want the best basis from which to ‘enhance’ your photos with later on.

    As others have said, you’re getting waaaay ahead of yourself and are trying to skip the learning process that every responsible photographer knows they need to go through. Its not as much fun as going out right away and trying to make great photos…but you simply won’t make great photos without learning the basics forwards and backwards. In other words, buying a guitar and learning a simple rock chord progression doesn’t make you a guitar player, let alone a composer/singer/songwriter. And its disingenuous to let people think that of you.

    Once you have all of those basics mastered, you can then worry about learning lighting (ambient and controlled). And once you have a solid foundational knowledge on how to use light, will you then be capable of producing quality portraits….BECAUSE you took the time to learn the basics first.

    Because of all this, you have absolutely no business charging people for your service. Learn the skills, then get the job.


    Okay, thank you..


    The first shot I actually like, minus the editing.¬† I really hope that you have the original unedited version of that one because it’s really not bad.¬† It doesn’t exactly follow the “rules” but there’s something about it I like.¬† You over smoothed the model’s face and the colors are off.¬† But if it was left unedited or slightly edited, then it would have been much much better. ¬† The baby shots are horrible… I don’t know if its because they are out of focus or what… but I don’t like it.¬† The first baby shot of the baby is OK, but it’s improperly composed and the editing is atrocious.¬† Again, I hope that you have the originals because they may actually be salvageable but if they are out of focus (if that’s what the haziness is) then there’s no amount of editing or sharpening that can make it look focused. The waterfall shots…. why do you need to edit the crap out of an awesome waterfall?
    Here’s what you can do now to massively improve your photos.

    1.  Slow your role on the editing program.

    2.  Three words:  Rule of Thirds.  Learn it.  Then learn how to break it properly.


    I need to see more of your work to further offer more advice, but yes you are a fauxtog but you’re new… you’ll grow out of that soon enough as long as you listen to good advice and are dedicated to getting better.

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