Home Forums Main YANAP Discussion Forum Fautog by force. Stories welcome!

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    Alley Lynn 2675

    I think something that it not talked about much on here is the forced Fautog. I am a hobby NATURE photographer. I do decent shots & have nice equipment. I like nature & want NOTHING to do with people, skin tones and especially large groups of¬† blinking people in horrible dresses. Yet, to my dismay, every few years I get badgered & bullied into doing a wedding. Usually the bride will say something like, “if you won’t do it I’ll just buy a bunch of disposable cameras for people”, & the horror of the thought gets me to agree. Every time, there I am, struggling to pose people, deal with mother-of-the-bridezilla & looking totally incompetent. As a photographer it’s a horrible feeling. My best shot it usually the bouquet! I will post my biggest mess this year after I blur the faces – yes it’s that bad.

    If the public would only understand that there are many types of photography & someone who is good at one thing may be terrible at another. I try to enplane this to people & usually get a blank look. They seem to assume that my camera is doing all the work & I just follow it around.

    Anyone else deal with this issue? How do you address it with people without making an enemy of them?


    How do you address it with people without making an enemy of them?

    In short, you say “No”.

    In long, you say “Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo”.


    They are putting the need for getting good images on you instead of taking their own responsibility. If not letting someone take advantage of you and put you in that situation makes an enemy out of them, they obviously weren’t your friend anyway.


    You should probably explain, very clearly, “I’m not a pro, and if you really want to capture the event, you have to hire a pro. A good pro, not some mom with a camera / a kid whose parents say he has a really good eye / or (like me) a nature photographer hobbyist. If this is an important life event you want to capture for the ages, you should spend far more on documenting it properly than you spend on your dress and cake combined.”

    Then, take that disposable camera, and take the best shots you can make with it. Enjoy yourself, and suffer no guilt. Their problem is not your problem.

    Alley Lynn 2675

    Come to think of it, it would be really easy to say “no” if some said – “Hey you have scrap-booking supplies & a Cricut. Would you make my wedding invites for $50?”. Just because I own equipment doesn’t make it the right equipment for the job and just because I do something to relax doesn’t mean I want to be forced into doing it for crap pay.

    It’s amazing to me how cheap people sometimes are regarding photography & yet you almost always, in WI anyway, see free alcohol available all night. Hats off to all of you who do wedding work. Personally I can’t stand it. On the upside – my photos are generally better than the junk shown on this site & I can track a flying bouquet just like a bird. ūüôā

    All I ask is that if you are at a gathering & see a poor forced Fautog, have mercy, if they look like they don’t want to be there, they probably aren’t getting paid much ether.

    reality check

    I’ve never made anyone angry by saying “no”. ¬†I’m not going to do something I don’t know how to do, and/or have no interest in learning how to do, for myself, let alone for someone else.

    So, they don’t care about the photographs taken on their big day. ¬†Lots of people don’t, and are perfectly happy with some snaps and a few cell shots that their friends and family take. ¬†To us it seems silly, and makes us gasp, but, seriously… There really are people out there that don’t care. ¬†I don’t think it’s always a matter of being cheap, or trying to save money, but even if it IS a matter of money, or lack there of, do you really want you or your photography associated with this? ¬†Especially when you don’t even have an interest in it?

    as far as showing mercy… ¬†I have a hard time with that one. ¬†Its just too silly to think “they were forced” to pretend to be something they aren’t, and have been made to do something they didn’t want to do, when it’s so very easy to say no, and explain why. ¬†Much easier than trying to shoot, edit, and print a wedding without having a clue, and without any decent compensation. ¬†No, it’s done for the praise or whatever these fauxs are getting off on. ¬†If its not then why do they say yes, and then post those shots proudly For everyone to see? ¬†Sometimes they will even announce “I’m no longer shooting weddings” or “I don’t shoot weddings”, but they have albums of wedding shots in their portfolios. ¬†They want people to ask, there’s no other explanation.

    Alley Lynn 2675

    As far as people getting ticked if you turn them down – I’m on my mother-in-law’s “shit list” since Aug for refusing to photograph my “cousin-in-law’s” wedding. People are ridiculous but I’m not horribly concerned about that.

    You have a good point that some people just don’t care about photos. If they are happy with just having some guests who help out by recording the event than what’s the harm? That is a good consideration to make. If they just want some shots, than as a guest & friend I will happily help them out, and be really clear that if they want true photography of the wedding they will need to hire out. That is a fabulous solution Reality Check. Thank you.

    I’ve been doing some research as to whom in my area takes great wedding & family photos so that I can give solid referrals & prevent my friends¬† from hiring Fautogs. I think as a friend, if I support my friends in making a choice they are comfortable with, that will offset some of the fear of hiring a stranger.

    Interesting thought that Fautogs do it for power & praise. I guess maybe that’s true for some people. At one time I worked for an entertainment company and shot rock/metal live shows. Now that gave a feeling of power with a “free pass” to anything & everything. Unfortunately the owner, who was my boss, died of an OD & I realized that I had developed tinnitus from the constant exposure to noise. — anyway, I certainly don’t do weddings for “power”. LOL



    Alley, what part of WI are you from? I can attest to the “come to my wedding, there’s free beer!” part! I am also from WI. I’ve done a couple weddings but I don’t really advertise it as a part of my services. It’s A LOT of work, and a lot of stress, and a lot of work for a few months afterward with editing (I’m currently just finishing up the edits for¬† a wedding I did at the end of October). One wedding I was actually contracted out by another studio as the 2nd shooter. It was nice being one of two, less stress involved. The last wedding was my friend’s sister and the only wedding I have scheduled for 2013 is one of my close friends and I don’t think I want to do any others this year. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it, it’s just a lot of work and it takes away from my other portrait work I prefer to do. Photography is my side job currently, it may be a career someday but I can’t support myself on just that right now.

    Also, one thing with Wisconsin weddings- fighting with getting the drunk groomsmen to cooperate for pictures (this is before the ceremony, mind you). At that wedding two of the drunk groomsmen were downright rude to us. And getting the wedding party in and out of the bar quickly enough between the ceremony and the reception. Yes the last wedding it was frustrating as the sun was getting low and they were still at the bar doing shots, and we had more photos to take. Some of the wedding party was getting antsy because “pictures were cutting into their bar-hopping time.”

    Alley Lynn 2675

    I’m from the Appleton/Fox Valley area. The drinkers are many! Canon really needs to create a white balance setting for red-face crying drunk in a pink dress. There isn’t much that makes that hot-mess pretty. Thank heavens for Black & White!


    Haha! Crying hot mess? Oh boy. For really red skin I neutralize it with one action that adds cyan in a brush-on format. I can do it in Lightroom also, but the brush-on one is quicker.

    At the last wedding one of the bridesmaids was sniffling through the whole dinner because her boyfriend was texting her and being a jerk. The bride had to steal her phone and go into the bathroom, call him, and tell him to stop it. Bride and bridesmaid haven’t talked since the wedding unfortunately! Glad I had such a cool bride to work with though.

    You’re quite close to me then! I live in FdL. PS can I see some of your work? I love photography of nature and still life also, that’s what got me more into photography at the beginning and I love just shooting that stuff for myself.¬† Here’s my page. https://www.facebook.com/RoxanneElisePhotography

    Alley Lynn 2675

    I sent you a message on your page. A little paranoid to post my account on here. Some of these folks are brutal critics. ūüôā

    Mrs Woo

    I actually got talked into shooting a wedding long before the days of digital. ¬†My step sister (who is by nature very frugal to begin with) was planning an outdoor wedding with at total budget of less than $300. ¬†Not only did I get lassoed into shooting the wedding (all the time insisting to her, “I have never photographed a wedding, do not have adequate flash, etc.” ¬†(to which she argued this is an outdoor wedding, there’s this big thing called the sun to provide light), do not have my own dark room to do prints, etc.) I also did all the flower arrangements and decorating. ¬†I guess I should be grateful that since she made me photographer I was not required to also be a member of her small wedding party…

    I had been trained to do darkroom work by a former wedding photographer a few years previous.  At the time, I aspired to be a professional photographer one day.  I love photography, love people Рit sounded like a great job.  He talked me out of it.  He had done it for a long time, but even back then the competition and unpredictability and lack of respect for the craft by many clients made him frustrated.  He told me that if I really was that naive I could try, but I should always make sure I had a day job.

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