Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? How to talk to a fauxtog?

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    So I’m certainly no photo queen, but lately an acquaintance decided to start her own photo business….without knowing how to properly use whatever camera she might have. I do photos on the side of school for 50 and under because at this point in my development I don’t feel like I have the right to charge anyone anything more, and it’s not my job so I don’t need to. The acquaintance, however, charges 75 for what she deems a full session that includes 50 edited images. 50! (this isn’t a wedding category, it’s newborn, maternity, family etc) It’s like she doesn’t know anything about, well, anything! I don’t understand how she can promise having that many quality shots from each session, especially when her quality is quite low:



    Anyways on to the point. I feel like I need to somehow help her get started the right way instead of the way she’s going. I don’t know how to tell her she needs to learn a thing or two about photography and lighting before she jumps right into it. It feels and looks like she bought some backdrops and props, picked up a point and shoot, and started charging way more than she’s worth. I don’t like seeing people pay for pictures they could have taken with their phones. How do you go about telling somebody that they need more training without them hating you? I like her as a person and don’t want to sound rude.



    In case you feel like I need to show some of my work here’s a small compilation: https://500px.com/mackenzie_olson


    She’s not promising 50 quality photos.  She is promising 50 edited photos.

    What about, instead of talking to her, take her on photo walks and challenge each other to improve lighting, posing, focus, etc., etc.


    I’ve never really done a photo walk before so I hadn’t even thought of that. Great suggestion! I definitely need help with posing. I’m pretty bad at that currently.

    True about quality vs. edit, I’m just of the school of thought that you should only deliver images that deserve to be delivered. Which, I guess, depends on your personal preferences. Ugh. Life!


    Some of your own shots have a white haze over them… was that intentional? It appears as though you over-adjusted the ‘blacks’ in post.

    Otherwise, I like a great deal of them, especially the cute “kids” shot.

    As for your friend, many look over-saturated, straight out-of-camera. You might suggest she / he wander from their comfort zone into unchartered territory – perhaps trying ‘incorrect’ camera settings with candids, off-camera flash, deliberately de-saturated colors, maybe using the ‘wrong’ white balance – all to challenge themselves to see other ways they could make a photo ‘work’ either with composition, focus, lighting, whatever, when met with the challenge of those changing conditions. They may be surprised.


    I like CC’s idea of taking her for a walk. Shoot a variety of things in challenging lighting conditions right a long side her and compare the results. With luck she will ask you how come yours look different. Cross your fingers for some “aha” moments such as, just because the baby is dressed in blue doesn’t mean his skin should be blue too, https://www.facebook.com/eye2eyeimages/photos/pb.1391876891133902.-2207520000.1428757979./1391914154463509/?type=3&theaterHopefully questions about what all those buttons do, when you would change the settings and why and with more luck, some things will stick and she will want to learn more.
    I don’t know if any reputable wedding photographers in the area are willing, but I would highly recommend she shadow one from a distance. What she is shooting right now is a world of difference from the day of limited timing, getting the shot right the first and only time (never ever a second chance unless you really want to ask them to kiss again at the altar in front of their guests or pick up the bouquet and toss it again and so on), all the different crummy quality lighting situations you can imagine and having to deal with the most pleasant people in the world to the most crotchety and still having to make the pics look great. Because in the wedding world, shots like this just won’t do (and if you ask me, neither angle is worth diddly when you make the couple in love look like lifeless mannequins), https://www.facebook.com/eye2eyeimages/photos/pb.1391876891133902.-2207520000.1428757979./1392463367741921/?type=3&theater
    Good luck. Hopefully your friend can handle suggestions without seeing it as criticism. Well, it is but boy some people sure get touchy when you tell them their pictures could use improvement. Again, good luck.


    Thanks for all of your suggestions!

    As for the white haze, I don’t remember it being very intentional so it was probably a goof on my part in post.


    Setting black and white points, and adjusting contrast will help eliminate the white haze.  You are shooting to raw files so as to have maximum data to work with during post?


    I don’t think I shot any of the pictures on 500px  in raw regrettably. Definitely not the pictures I took in Italy because I only had one memory card 🙁

    I am starting to work more in raw, though, I’ve just recently started to get it all. Always learning!


    I checked your portfolio and I also checked your fauxtog’s buddy FB page. To be honest, I would much rather pay you the same price she is charging for  her ‘work’ than paying her a cent. Considering that you’ve been working on JPEGs, your images are pretty good. Just try to work more on your posing, there’s a pic of a girl with golden lips where her expression is just kinda weird.

    As for your friend, try the photowalk, try watching tutorials together or just try to do photo educational things with her but if she just doesn’t care and she insists on selling people shitty work, back off. There’s no nice way to tell someone ‘hey bud, your work sucks and you are a joke’ without compromising the friendship. If you care about this person that much you’ll probably have to learn how to detach from the fact that she is a fauxtog.

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