February 26, 2013 at 3:02 am #7281kbeeMember
I am here to gawk at the train wreck on the front page, but I delve into the forums to learn more. I can look at a dozen blogs telling me what good photography looks like, but sometimes I prefer one like this that tells me what bad looks like.
We all agree it’s subjective; we all see things differently. For the most part, however, I think we can all agree there’s some seriously awful photography being thrown around out there, and it’s making money.
I’m keenly interested in setting up a photography business. I’ve looked into the business licensing and tax laws, and all the other boring paper-pushing that goes with that. It’s sites like these, however, that serve to curb my enthusiasm by reminding me that I am a far way off from being a pro.
My husband (how objective is he, you wonder?) thinks in a short amount of time that I can be a professional. I am grateful for his support and enthusiasm. Yet, we both know, that I would never want to become one of those people featured on this site. That’s going to take time and learning. Until I feel ready, I’m just lurking, reading, learning.
IHF: what you said about emotions being taken advantage of hits the nail on the head with a reply I did earlier regarding how it’s hard to get a real opinion on your work from your clients, friends and family because they are emotionally invested in you or your subject. It irritates me to see fauxtogs making money with seriously sub-standard work, but they continue to generate that revenue not because of their ‘skill’, but rather on the emotional importance of their subject to their clients. That, more than anything, gets my goat, and really makes me hesitate to put out a shingle until I feel I can do justice to someone’s memories and emotions with my skill and artistic ability.February 27, 2013 at 12:01 am #7338IHFMember
Glad you’re on the same page as me Kbee 🙂
I also think about myself as well. If I ever have a business, I want it to profit and grow. My starting rates would be quadruple what the fauxs are charging in my area just for me to pay myself a salary equivalent to minimum wage. This means I’d have to seriously WOW people with my photographs, finished products, and service. I can’t and won’t settle for mediocre, and guess what? My portraiture is currently mediocre. Yep, it’s far better than what a girl/guy with a camera can do, but Ive only been studying and shooting portraiture for just under 3 years. I live in reality and know it takes a lot longer than that to learn what you need to know, AND be able to achieve it consistently. I haven’t even begun to learn strobe (but soon) If I ever decide to go pro, my work will be up to par first. This learn as you go pro crap isn’t for me. It seems dishonest, lazy, careless, and shady, to put it as mildly as possible. When I first got my camera, I shot for other people briefly (only 4 sessions) for acquaintances, and quickly learned, I was learning nothing technical. I learned that most people do not have the patience to wait around for you to mess with settings,lights, equipment, posing etc and would rather you just pretend you know what you are doing, and that people like anything that has themselves or loved ones in it. This is what fauxs learn too when they start, they just choose to continue with it, never questioning why all the photographers before them took so long before they started taking money and opening up shop. They just believe the likes, and ignore their intuition.February 28, 2013 at 11:02 am #7407kbeeMember
Agreed with you on all your points. I know I would need to charge more than the local fauxtogs to clear my menial minimum wage job, but until I feel the work justifies it, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Certainly, I could price like the local fauxtogs to be ‘competitive’, but I don’t want to be that photog by painting myself into a corner as the affordable (grossly underpriced) professional that deserves more.
Learning as you go IS unprofessional, and I just wonder how people feel justified in practicing on their paying clients like that. Granted, I completely back and support enthusiasts/amateurs who do free shoots to get experience, but that’s a whole different story than some of the folks featured here.
And you bring up an interesting point – currently the only victims I have to practice on are myself, my husband and my young niece and nephew. The hubby is patient but I don’t like to impose upon him too much. He goofs off anyway. I practice lighting a lot on myself, but because I don’t have a remote as of yet, pictures end up fuzzy. And the kids? As you said, they’re not exactly patient, so I only have 10 minutes max to shoot them before they’re done. And I’m just not a natural kid person, so I tend to get frustrated at their lack of cooperation. (Buaha!) I need to really spend more time learning my equipment and maybe bribe some of the college age kids in the family to let me shoot them. They can play on their iPhones to give me that time to fiddle and flick through a manual and Google stuff. 😉
The Likes on Facebook you mention makes me laugh! As much as I enjoy FB as a medium to contact family and friends, I think it has done a disservice in the way that fauxtogs have a false sense of support because some people smash the Like button. Reminds me of a batty uncle that Likes everything I post without fail. “Ugh, stomach ache. I feel like I am gonna die.” Within the minute, I get a Like from him (and if I don’t, I wonder if he’s okay). Pretty sure it’s him smashing the Like button on the fauxtogs pages too? 😉
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