Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? How am I doing?

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    I’m 16 and I started with film/darkroom but  bought a dslr in March. People on this site make fun of Canon Rebels and kit lenses, which leads me to believe that I am a fauxtog. But I’ve also seen fancy cameras and know that a photographer can take a good picture with a camera phone with the right skills and lighting. I’m not claiming to be a professional, but I hope to one day be semi-professional. I know I have a long way to go. This guy told me to stop “instagraming” my pictures and “cutting off heads”.

    As for charging, I ask for compensation for senior pics because I spend a lot of time on them and couldn’t keep up. And I’d much rather take pictures than babysit. Studios in my area charge hundreds and they’re no better than a Walmart photog. I apologize that this is so long and that I put my pictures on Facebook… I’ll listen to any constructive criticism and advice. Thank you!


    Recent :https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.414690761899437.84208.139011372800712&type=1


    SENIORS https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.391440967557750.79504.139011372800712&type=3

    Earlier work….PROPS https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.393616620673518.79879.139011372800712&type=3

    FEMALE PORTRAITS https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.374985865869927.76839.139011372800712&type=3


    DANCE https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.391989784169535.79603.139011372800712&type=3


    Just taking a quick look at your wall, your stuff is pretty good. Far beyond anything the alzheimer squad here can manage.


    You can tell that your newer stuff looks better than your older shots, which is a sign of progress. I know your style is that retro look, but a lot of your photos would look IMO, better with the bright colors popping out and you seeing more of the reds, blues and greens. Like I said, just my opinion though.


    Agree with SG, you are making progress, but your photographs lack ‘oomph’. There’s nothing powerful about them, nothing that gives the viewer a direct emotion other than to say ‘oh, that’s nice’. Think about the emotions you want to stir within the viewer when you are taking a photograph, for instance, a HS senior. This is their last photograph before they enter into the ‘real world’. What is it they want to say with these photographs, and how are you going to help them say it?
    Basically, these aren’t anything that Joe Blow can’t do with a point and shoot, why would I come to you for portraits? To get clients, your photographs should move people. Whether thoughtfully, provocatively, retrospectively, what have you, people should feel something the instant they look at your work.

    Not horrible, in fact, not even bad, just lack enthusiasm. Push yourself a little harder to be more than what you are.


    Just MHO.


    Good call, Lolz. I agree with making your pictures more powerful to more than just the client, more than just pictures of people with pretty lighting.


    And your newer work looks really nice tonally. you use the color palette pretty well. I love the fact that you started in the darkroom and worked your way to digital. I wish I would’ve done that, It would have given me a better understanding of composition, tones as well as a grasp of technical prowess. Honestly, my Rebel has lasted four years and I’ve grown accustomed to it, you can become a talented photographer using any kind of camera, and I think you’re well on your way.


    Might have to work on some things technically but from what I can see, you’re well on your way!! Good Luck!


    You have some lovely work, and can only get better with time. When I clicked on the “Seniors” link I was expecting photos of elderly people, heheh.


    Looking pretty good for a 16yo. That’s high praise from me.


    A newer rebel with a 18-55 kit lens is fine. But your first upgrade should be a 50mm 1.4 for $300. Your particular style of photography will blossom with that lens. You will risk looking like a one-trick pony, but you’re good at it, so might as well run with it.


    Remember that when doing shallow DOF photography, you really need to have perfect focus. Make sure your focus is on the face, specifically the leading eye. I did find most of your work in focus, but there were several notable exceptions.


    My suggestion is to shoot in raw and keep those files. In a few years when you’re 20 and have some time, go back and reprocess them to be a little more timeless. What you’re doing now is fine, however.


    You don’t need CC on this forum. You need more practice, and you can be really good. Get that practice now, while all your friends still look like models 🙂

    … and save the raws!


    hey! left you a comment on FB! liked the page! share the loveeeeeeeee 😛 anyway! we have so much in common!!! i’m on here because i am going to try my best to learn how to avoid the hurtful criticism. i know i know… i’m supposed to shoot for myself ……….. but peoples’ comments really do matter, i dont care what anyone says!!! hahah we got meanies with something to say everywhere we go..and everything you post


    You’ve got some skill for sure! Seem to understand lighting very very well. Thankfully.


    Thanks for all the advice! I was looking at the 50mm 1.4 as a lens, so when I can afford it, I will get it.

    And I know what is meant by my pictures lacking inspiration. I think once I get the hang of things and learn better control and am able to also direct people more, I can have more creative control. I have a lot of ideas, but they need to be implemented.

    I also have some information on how to run a “business” at 16. I don’t have to pay income tax until I am over 5K, so I think I am okay there for now. There’s been some criticism for not trying to build my portfolio more first, with my friends and family. Well I did that as often as I could juggling school and I like to think my current work is a work-in-progress and showing my improvements. I know I’ve only been really getting into this for a few months, but I’ve gotten to meet and work with so many people and it’s been so great for me. Who knows, I might not try to become a professional, but this has opened doors for me. Thanks for all the comments, I appreciate them.


    Oh, and another thing. Majority of the time, I will shoot manual. But occasionally if there’s a certain look I want to achieve and I want to get it quickly, I will shoot in aperture priority. A photographer told me I was cheating, but I feel as if I’m using the tools available to me –like what would be the point if I never used my light meter or sensor? And because my kit lens is not good in low light situations, I’ve even tried creative auto with adjustments being in a laundromat. What are opinions on shooting in other modes? Do fauxtogs usually shoot in manual and just not get it right, or auto?


    Generally, people let their camera do all the thinking. They go into Auto or No Flash to do their shooting. I did sports photography for about two years and what I would do is I would see what my camera wanted to do in one of those modes, then I would go into manual and fine tune it. I used it as a guide. I needed a high Shutter Speed to freeze the action and the options the camera gave wouldn’t have produced that effect.


    If you know how it works, I don’t consider that cheating at all. I didn’t even know you could cheat in photography.

    It’s almost like saying, “Oh you don’t know how much light will hit the film at 1/30th f/8? then you’re cheating!” Something like that.



    That sounds about right and what I’ll often do..saves time!


    It really does. it’s the same thing with Auto focus too


    It doesn’t matter what mode you shoot in if you get it right. It’s just very difficult to get it right in greenbox mode. But if you can make automatic functions work for you, you should use them. I shoot people in aperture priority most of the time. Always auto WB as it is irrelevant to raw files. I use autofocus as much as possible, especially with 1.2-1.8 lenses as it is faster and more accurate than any human. (It’s way more important to choose the correct place on the subject to focus and to actively utilize the autofocus points of your camera.) Although in some situations/with some gear manual focus is the best option. Photography is not a religious ritual. The idea is to get the best possible photos in the shortest period of time–to produce the best results at the lowest cost.


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