Home Forums Main YANAP Discussion Forum Fauxtog spottings in the wild!

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    I thought I would post this so people could call out fauxtographer spottings that you have made without necessarily pointing out their work, but rather while seeing them in action.

    My best fauxtog sighting (and what inspired this thread) was at the Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh last spring.  I went to walk around and do a little macro photography since the flowers were in bloom and it was a nice day.  I knew it was going to be busy because it was a beautiful weekend day, but I was overwhelmed when I got there.  Instead of expecting a lot of people taking pictures of the flowers, the place was overrun with fauxtogs.  Most of them were easily identifiable as they were predominantly young women with a very basic camera and kit lens using their pop-up flash and toting a bag full of props, with a dressed up family in tow.  They had varying levels of professionalism, but most were the exact same, and putting their subjects in the same spots and having them do the same cheesy poses.

    I will admit I saw one honest to God photographer amongst the group while out there who was doing a “real” photoshoot.  This was younger guy with a mother and toddler.  He was shooting with like a D700/D3, 70-200mm 2.8 lens, and had a speedlight on a tripod that was operated via Pocket Wizard.  More than his equipment though, he simply followed the mother and child around, and discreetly photographed them while they enjoyed the gardens.  As they walked around, he would occasionally stop them to grab a posed shot or suggest something, but for the most part, he worked in the background.  Additionally, instead of just standing up and saying cheese, he was getting on the ground, shooting through bushes and plants, and getting very creative angles.  Even more than his gear (which obviously showed he had an appreciation for having the right equipment for a shoot) his professionalism showed that he was a serious photographer at work.

    So anybody got other stories of fauxtogs in public?


    One day I was driving downtown to meet a family I was going to be shooting. We have a very aesthetic downtown here and I use a few of the brick walls and alley ways during photo sessions. As I was parking, I saw this girl with a small DSLR and what appeared to be a kit lens around her neck with a cheesily-dressed family behind her. They were walking toward this one park where there is a memorial fountain. Too many people take pictures right in front of that fountain and another one at another park. And the photos always look so bad! I was just glad she didn’t follow me to my “secret” locations. I always get slightly annoyed when people “steal” my spots, lol. There is one goldmine spot in town that is public property with some abandoned buildings right by the river and lots of foliage that so far, I have not seen any other photogs posting photos taken there. It’s only a matter of time I’m sure though.


    I encountered a genuine “Uncle Bob” at a wedding I went to a few weeks ago. I was a guest so I was able to relax and watch everyone else taking “photos”.   The professional the couple hired was great, and did all the right things that one would expect from a wedding photographer. At the reception I noticed another gentleman with his giant DSLR (fitted with a battery grip, nice prime lens and a mid-level body) taking photos of people at the tables. All well and good except for the fact that he was using the camera’s built-in pop-up flash, lol!


    Mrs Woo

    A photography student that didn’t understand what aperture priority and shutter priority were, assured me they always shot in manual but then asked me to show them how to adjust shutter speed and aperture….  SMH

    (okay, that isn’t so bad, except they just announced the opening of their own studio on Facebook)


    I had another one I just thought of.  This guy is more of a creeper fauxtog than anything else.  He is a much older guy who runs a local website that does “model photography” which is usually just an excuse to get questionable looking women to take their clothes off for him.  Really cheesy stuff.  This guy used to stalk around on another message board I frequent where he was much older than everybody else and was basically run off because the other photographers thought his work was terrible.

    As for the encounter itself.  I was doing some photo stuff for a local charity celebrity golf tournament.  Myself and another guy from aforementioned website were walking around the course trying to get different shots of the action.  About halfway down the course we ran into a hole sponsored by Hooters.  They were giving out swag and hanging with some of the celebs as they would come by and the spot was obviously teaming with guys.  We got some pictures and kept on going.  When we came back later on that afternoon, we noticed this old guy hanging out with a camera who had been there before.  The other guy and myself noticed how he was taking lots of pictures of the girls and was showing some of them the shots.  I got a picture of him doing this once.  We joked within earshot of him that it would be funny if it was that same guy that had been on our message board before.

    Sure enough, later that evening I was processing my pictures and ran across the one shot I got of the guy showing a Hooters girl his picture.  He had a lost and found label on his flash and it had his website name on it.  It was the same creeper dude that we had talked with before.  That was definitely random as hell and he absolutely looked and played the part.


    Off-topic, but FauxFighters, what is “giving out swag?” LOL. Maybe I just don’t know all the cool lingo. “Swag” I thought was short for “Swagger” or what teenagers and the annoying side of pop culture have taken the word and made it to be a kind of confident cool-ness or possibly a way a young man tries to walk to make it look like his $%^* is very heavy.

    Swag to me is really still a style of curtain.

    I don’t fit in with those hipster people.


    Lol! Swag is when you give out free stuff. usually with your logo, or sponsor logos. Think t-shirt, keychains, all that.


    Huh, must me a colloquial thing then? I’ve never heard people around me at least refer to free stuff (promotional merchandise) as swag! I swear I don’t live under a rock either.


    I think Intuition is correct, but that usage has not found its way into dictionaries yet.
    Definition of SWAG

    : sway 1

    a : something (as a decoration) hanging in a curve between two points : festoon

    b : a suspended cluster (as of evergreen branches)

    a : goods acquired by unlawful means : loot

    b : spoils, profits

    : a depression in the earth

    chiefly Australian : a pack of personal belongings


    I think it’s part of the spoils and profits. I first learned of it on…mtv maybe? THey were talking about the “goody” bags, or swag that stars get when they go to award shows. I remember entire game consoles and expensive jewelry being some of the things. It was a little ridiculous and many years ago ( at least ten)


    Yea it can also be called schwag.  But basically just stuff you get at trade shows from vendor booths, free samples from restaurants, crap marketers hand out on college campuses, etc.  In this case it was like Hooters beer koozies, keychains, maybe some hats, and some funky ice cream/yogurt stuff that was supposed to be like a frozen energy drink thing.  Things like that were what I was referencing in the post above.


    The pop-up flash, especially without any kind of diffuser, is always a dead give-away.

    I was shooting a family on an old bridge that’s closed to autos and I noticed a fauxtog behind me.  We were JUST getting started though, so I made sure I took my time… we were there first.  While we weren’t there for a VERY long time, I guess they got tired of waiting.  I had my group of 6 stretched across the bridge right in the middle and they set up at the base behind me.  She put her subjects with their backs to my subjects and got down and started shooting.  No doubt she got me and all my people in her shots, and not just that, but all our gear… my big camera bag, partner’s big camera bag, bags with blankets for sitting on when needed and what not, and all the subjects’ crap as they all had extra shirts they might want, etc.

    Did I mention that these people were both wearing mesh shirts, the woman had these weird legging things on, and had these very ugly dogs with them…


    Back before I did any weddings on my own a friend of my husbands asked me to get some photographs of her wedding day. She had already hired a local photographer as it came in a package she got with the chapel (which was also owned by him) but she had seen my work and liked it.  Well the hired photog provided a second photographer. I did my very best not to be one of those pain in the butt people who gets in the way of the paid photographer. I explained to her (the bride) that I would take some ceremony photos, but for the most part would leave those up to her paid photog so I didn’t get in his way or ruin any of his shots. Well after the ceremony they did some shots at the chapel. I also didn’t take any there as I didn’t want to be a bother and he had the guests all head to the reception location (which was only a short walk across a bridge). They also planned on doing some outdoor shots with the wedding party. Well when they got to the reception location the main photog took the guys, and the 2nd photog took the girls and went separate ways.  I joined the girls as the bride asked me to tag along for these shots. Well once the 2nd photog was alone it was like she didn’t know what she was doing. First she put the hot shoe flash on backwards and couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working (I helped her out with that one). She kept posing the girls facing into the sun. I didn’t want to tell her how to do her job so I didn’t say anything (but the bride did).  After she got about 2-3 different shots she seemed lost. My friend (the bride) asked if I had any that I wanted to do. So I started posing and snapping. Backing off when the paid photog seemed to want to take back over. But after I posed them she would step in and take a shot, then look at me to see what I was going to do next.

    Here is a comparison pic if you are interested:  http://flic.kr/p/dY4sie

    Also, I should mention that at one point both paid photogs disappeared somewhere and as I was standing near the bride and groom, her best friend whom she hadn’t seen in almost 8 years (due to moving and long distance issues) arrived and I got the shot of the first time they saw each other. It was such a special moment with them hugging and crying. She thanked me repeatedly, as did her friend, when they saw the photo. Both said they will treasure the photo forever and were so glad I was there to capture it.


    @Cass, I think both of the shots have redeeming qualities and negative qualities, in different aspects.


    + Slightly shallower DOF, which helps isolate the bridal party from the backgroud

    + Less harsh in contrast and sharpness (It is pixelated, because you copied it from the internet, but I’m speaking besides that)

    + Bride is emphasized a little more as it appears to be shot with a wide-angle lens

    + Wedding party is looking at the camera (I understand this would be normal because they were the paid photographer)

    + Highlights are not blown out as much

    – Blurry thrown leaves, that just DO NOT have their place in this pose. If you’ve seen my portfolio you will see I have done throwing-leaf shots for a few different shoots, but the people were doing the throwing. These leaves being thrown in or falling in just seems odd.

    – White balance is a bit off and it’s slightly flat.


    + White balance seems more natural. Whites are whites, not hazy yellow.

    + You used a faster shutter speed so there is no blur in the falling/thrown leaves.

    – Your flash seems a bit too powerful; some of the whites in her dress and forehead highlights are blown out. Some of the branches in the background are actually casting shadows.

    – The wedding party is not looking at you (which I addressed)

    – The leaves, even though yours are sharp, still don’t seem right in the photo as I addressed already.

    – It seems too sharp. Did you add sharpening in post-processing?

    – The crop makes it weighted a little too much toward the bottom, too much negative space at the top.


    The 2nd hired photog may be a good photographer, but maybe was very nervous being on her own. It may have been overwhelming if she was used to working with direction from a more experienced person.


    Yes, the wedding party was looking at her. I agree about the crop. I didn’t use a flash. Probably blown out because of exposure setting. Also, the sharpness was probably actually the clarity slider in LR. I was a little heavy handed with it when I first started using it.
    As for the 2nd shooter being nervous on her own. According to what the main photog said. She had been interning with him for years. So idk about that.

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