Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Fauxtog, Yes or No?

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    If you’re in business yes


    Nope, not in business, it’s just a hobby…


    Can you explain to me what makes you say that?  What’s wrong with those photos?


    Your images are just not up to par to be professional yet.  It’s obvious to me that you are just a beginner and still learning.

    heres a more thorough critique and hopefully you get some others to post here to help you as well

    First link.  This is your strongest shot

    It would be a lot better without the other kid in the background though.  That’s what kills it.
    White balance is off in all the images, giving a strange unhealthy yellow skin tone.

    Shooting at a bad time of day when the sun is high, without modifiers or correct fill.  It just doesn’t work.  Unwanted shadows and splotches of light.  Not flattering at all.  If you don’t have off camera flash or modifiers to work with, shoot during the magic hour.  The above is the best example.

    Total shade with pop up flash = flat light and unwanted shadows on the background.

    Awkward pose, and bad composition.  Never cut off at the joints of your subject.  I notice this problem with quite a few of your shots.

    The tilt.  I sometimes call it the “Fauxtog tilt”. When  it’s used improperly, it’s just horrible.  Look up “Dutch angle”.  It’s used to create and uneasy disoriented feeling, to put viewers on edge.  This isn’t usually the feeling you want to convey when shooting portraits.  Not to say it never works, but it should be used sparingly and strategically.  One time on my son’s first day of first grade, we were running late and I realized “crap!  I forgot to take his picture!”  Grabbed my camera and popped it in AV mode, checked my aperture, and snapped.  It was tilted and the only “Dutch angle”. I ever shot.  That’s the feeling it gives me.  “Eh, who cares!  Snap!”  That’s nPOA photograph, it’s a snap shot, and snap shots shouldn’t be paid for

    Second link
    Strongest image
    But I think it would have been better if the rule of thirds was followed

    Same issues with the on board flash in these images, plus distracting foregrounds.
    White balance is off as well.

    Study good composition rules, get the flash off your camera, learn how to use and modify light, read your manual and learn how to custom white balance, use the magic hour whenever possible, it is our friend, watch those joints, and never cut them off, and watch that Dutch angle.  And keep shooting!! 🙂


    nPOA??!  That was supposed to read I “that’s not a photograph”. lol sorry about that


    Thank you for your critique.  Couple things, I do not use the pop up flash and like photos with shallow depth of field using my 70-200 f/2.8. Hence the first picture with the older brother blurred out in the background.  I did that on purpose, but apparently it’s not something I should have done?

    You talk about white balance issues several times, I like warmer toned pictures, not ones that are bright white, overexposed, kill the eyes.  I’ll work on the white balancing.  Gotta get a better carry around reflector/white balance…I’m planning on at some point, getting another flash and a set of pocket wizards, along with several modifiers…

    I’m sure you hear/see this all the time, the friend that I shot the first set of pics from loved the photos and she was there with me when I was shooting, she was helping me pose the boys (her nephews)…The second set on facebook are my two kids shot at a walnut tree farm.





    I think that you show promise.
    When I was first starting out I just bought a white 99 cent white board for a reflector and it worked awesome until I got a real one. I know how to use pro lighting, but you can really do a lot with a 5 in 1 reflector.
    Picking times of the day where the light is nice will help too. One hour before the sun sets is always great.
    There seems to be some focus issues here and there, so just pay attention to that, I always try and focus directly on the eyes.


    I agree 100% with what IHF said. Perfect example of constructive criticism. You do have potential. Just follow some of those tips. I also love shallow DOF with my 70-200 f/2.8. But remember, that aperture doesn’t have to stay at 2.8! The photo with the one boy’s face completely out of focus just doesn’t work that way. The subject of that photo was solely the one in focus, the face of the other creates visual tension and distracts from the other. Usually when shooting portraits of multiple people, you should keep all of them in focus. I’ve seen lots of the groom in focus, bride walking up behind not in focus shots… those seem to work for the most part, when done and composed right. But it’s the visual tension that ruins your photo. I love the one of the boy walking, but I agree, place him on the rule of thirds and it would be a much stronger image. Your white balance is just a bit too orange. It’s not horrible. Even if it’s not pop-up flash it’s too intense in some of the images. A diffuser may help. I however prefer using natural light, even on slightly overcast days. Fill flash works best for me outdoors when it’s a sunny day and you don’t want to blow out the sky. Practice with that idea in mind. You can shoot without any flash on an overcast day, just bump up the ISO and maybe use reflectors pointed up at the subjects’ faces.

    Keep practicing, as long as you do you can be very successful.


    There’s a difference between being a fauxtog and a serious hobbyist.  Fauxtogs typically bought their Canon T2i at Best Buy with a kit lens and UV filter because the kid in high school said they would protect your lens (complete crock of shit).  They start a Facebook photography page about 2 months after buying their camera and after all their friends “liked” their horrible images.  They claim hobbyist status in public but tell all their friends they’re going pro.  They offer all images on a CD for the low cost of $25 which tells us they’re not the sole income earner (usually a stay at home mom) and have no CODB plan.  They use a free web based editing application and think selective coloring is to die for.  They have huge logos and a cliche business name like “A Moment Lasts Forever Images” or “Hearts of Love Photography”.   They use the word passion or passionate in their bio and classify their style as “whimsical” or “contemporary”. They buy actions from Etsy.

    A serious hobbyist simply enjoys the love of creating images.  They harbor no fantasy’s of becoming pro.  They are intent on learning about light and the many implements used to produce it or use it.  They may have an online gallery to share with online forum members.  They are generally far more knowledgeable than the 2 month FB “pro”.


    seems to me if you are out just blowing $$ on a 70-200 2.8 you should have some idea on what your doing.. IHF is right on it.. Your WB is off. The boy in the background shouldn’t be there..
    The only thing I could see doing there with something like that if posed is to tripod the camera frame the shot then make the boy take steps backwards like he’s falling out of focus.. that’s just me .. but you ask for opinion and then you seem to get defensive ?


    They make these nifty little contraptions you snap to the end of your lens and take a balanced exposure and set your white balance off of the resulting image.. works pretty well, you should get one


    Don’t spend money on better glass.  That’s not going to solve your serious issue with white balance and depth of field.  You can achieve a pleasing DoF with kit lenses.  It’s all about knowledge and applying it, baby!


    “Fauxtogs typically bought their Canon T2i at Best Buy with a kit lens and UV filter because the kid in high school said they would protect your lens (complete crock of shit).”

    Actually, a filter attached to the front of the lens will provide a degree of mechanical protection if that end of the lens is bashed against something.  Similar protection can be achieved with a lens hood and a lens hood will improve some of your photos.  A filter is also useful if you want to grease the front element — grease a filter instead, it will be easier and safer to clean later.  What a UV filter won’t do is enhance your image by removing UV…  Digital sensors are not film, between the various filters over the sensor and the nature of the photosites used, most digital cameras do not “see” light in the spectrum that would be affected by a UV filter.


    “Don’t spend money on better glass.”

    Phil said he already has a 70-200 f/2.8 lens, so he already has better glass.  Kit lenses vary, the kit lens for a 5D Mk III is a 24-105 mm f/4 L lens, but the most common kit lens is 18-55 mm f/3.5-5.6, and while it is possible to get shallow depth of field out of that lens, it is easier to achieve with better glass.


    Doh- I read so fast I missed his post about having the 70-200.

    As for the UV filter, that’s a hot topic debated in the internet world ranking right below Nikon vs Canon.  I will agree with you about one thing.  Using a UV filter for greasing or stretching white pantyhose for a hazy effect is a good use.

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