Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? In need of comments & critiques.

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    Okay, so being home from work, I have time to look and go over things now.  I went over a close up shot of her again, and since you guys are helpful with your insights, give me your thoughts on this:


    http://postimg.org/image/fbfp7kxev/   sooc
    http://postimg.org/image/xayxr4ibl/  first edit
    http://postimg.org/image/rpz16klct/  second edit


    “I feel like I’m in need of a more technical understanding than what I’ve acquired in this short time”

    Yet, you are in business?!  I’ll never get that.  It makes no sense at all to me.  Why would you do that to people, and ultimately to yourself and your future  business?  STOP IT!  Don’t solicit.  Shoot for yourself and your learning process, not for others.  Take the time to learn how to make photographs first.  Give yourself a fighting chance to actually make it someday or at the very least become the best photographer you can be wether amateur or pro.

    Have you calibrated?  Have you made prints to help you understand color and check for quality and consistancy in your work?  If not that’s is your very next step.  Printing will help your editing, and your shooting and it’s a fundamental that should never be skipped.  Start printing, get calibrated, understand white balance and color mangment.  Stop with the heavy editing, and work on getting things right in camera.


    I do print my work, and they turned out beautifully, in my opinion.  And basically, because people asked me to.  I started taking photos and posting them, just as personal work, and I started getting people asking about it.  Then, asking about pricing and things like that, so I made it available to them.  They always see everything first, and don’t have to pay me.  But it’s there.  I would never take anyone’s money if they weren’t satisfied with something.  Everything just kind of started happening and it became a little overwhelming.  I ask them what they want and they tell me, and I give it to them.  These girls specifically asked me to do them.  Vanessa even had someone else scheduled initially and then asked that I do it instead because she liked mine.  It’s not specifically to my taste, but it’s what they want.  I’m always looking to improve, and better represent my style.  I’ll be the first to admit a lot of it isn’t fantastic, but there are some that I really do love, and I’m going to be more selective about what I “showcase,” basically.  To answer someone’s question from earlier, I thought of my name because I couldn’t think of anything that didn’t sound ridiculously cheesy to me.  I did not want to be known as “Something Blah Blah Photography.”  I was offering more than just photography when I decided on that, doing custom images, and just recently took it off my website when I redid it.  But if these people want me to photograph them and their families, they know what they’re getting into before-hand.  I do not mislead anybody or misrepresent myself, and they are aware of my previous experience or lack thereof.  All I was asking for was some objective opinions and constructive criticism.  Thank you to those who responded with that.


    You’re Welcome Aperfectcircle

    Keep printing/finishing.  You’re definitely having color issues (among everything else that was discussed with you), wether at this point you believe so or not.  I think learning more about color management and regularly finishing your work will help you have a better understanding, and get you more on track color and editing wise.

    As far as everything else you discussed in your last reply.  Yep, pretty much anybody who starts sharing and makes it known that they are learning/interested in photography will get inquiries and requests, and yes, it can be quite overwhelming.  It’s how all fauxtography businesses are born.  It’s up to us as photographers to take personal responsibility for what we do and put out there.  Otherwise we are in business taking advantage of people’s emotions and love for one another, instead of making money with our skills and expertise.  You know you have a lot to learn, you know your not up to par and have a lot of work ahead of you.  Wouldn’t it be more honest and more productive to say “no” and spend more time learning what you need learn to give reliable, consistant, professional, quality service and finished products?  THEN, go into business shooting for others?  and I highly doubt your clients asked to be orange or magenta, and have their skin change color and exposure throughout their sessions.  There’s no way any of these images could be displayed on a wall together and have a cohesive, clean, professional look.  Sorry, just being honest over here

    and WTF I ask for critique on portraits I KNOW don’t work all the time.  It helps me pin point what went wrong, and see past what is blatantly wrong with it, and see other faults that also help me improve and have a more successful session next time I set up.  I think sometimes it’s more helpful to put up work for critique that we know isn’t working rather than our very best and personal favorites.  Not in every instance of course, but any critique holds the potential for learning and improving.


    Thanks, I hate Fauxtography.

    I understand that everything said is true, and I’m taking those things and working on it.  I always think that sometimes we can see fault in another’s work better than we can see our own.  I keep going over everybody’s comments and going over other pictures and pointing out things to myself.  I’ve offered countless times to just do things for free, and I just feel bad saying no, or when they try to give me something I feel rude telling them that I can’t accept it.  I just realized those links above don’t work, so here’s new ones.

    http://s22.postimg.org/hnhhphnxd/IMG_6480.jpg  Vanessa’s close up SOOC

    http://s16.postimg.org/6xg6uvnxh/IMG_6479_fb.jpg  first edit

    http://s24.postimg.org/a4q4flfb9/IMG_6479_2.jpg re-edit

    And also, ebi might be interested to see the SOOC version of the photo they liked compared to the edited.

    http://s24.postimg.org/q613bj6px/IMG_4899.jpg    SOOC

    http://s23.postimg.org/mh18uaf9n/IMG_4899_fb.jpg  edited <– looking at it now I don’t think I would’ve warmed it up quite as much.


    Getting critiqued can be hard, but in this business you have to develop a thick skin or get used to kiss asses telling you that your great, even if your not. You have potential, but you need to learn some self-discipline when posting photos.
    We, the public, perceive you by what you present to us. If you present crap, we think you are crap, get it. This is why it is so important to only present your best work forward. We all take bad photos, I have a hard drive full of them, from over the years, but you don’t see them anywhere.

    We all start from zero, I think I said that before somewhere, I degress…
    We all have to start somewhere, it’s how we progress that defines our work. Photography os a fickle business that is highly subjective and objective. Everyone is a critic and everyone is an expert, well almost everyone.

    Trust me Aperfectcircle, I give it out even to the super-pro photographers, way more experienced then myself. Should have seen the look on a photographers face when I asked a curious question of why he chose to take a macro photo of a flower instead of focus stacking one. The flower was nice, but I am always curious when people go one direction rather than the other.

    Anyway, back to you, I’ll call you APC to save on typing.

    I have really don’t have a problem you charging people for your time, as long as you are up front about your skill level and such and as long as you are not mis-representing yourself to others. I think thats what drives most of us crazy is when these “Fauxs” just grab their magic box [a.k.a. a camera] with their kit lens and get 1 good photo out of 1500 and suddenly they are “Pro.” It just doesn’t work that way.

    Going to art school, should help you with design and layout, but I have seen way too many “Art grads” who can’t frame a photo to save their lives. My brother went to art school and he is an IT professional, just saying.


    Thanks Bill.  I’m happy to take the constructive criticism and work with it to improve.   I am definitely going to revamp some things on my website and facebook and be more selective about what I post.  I would love to take some classes of some sort, or maybe try to find someone to kind of shadow, especially when venturing on into new types of shoots.  I am completely self taught and it just leaves so much room for error it’s ridiculous.  And thanks for the comments about the charging people.  I don’t think I’ve ever just plain out called myself a “professional” photographer.  Honestly I feel silly getting money for something that I love to do and would do anyway.  I don’t ever make myself out to be more than I am.  People see my work before, and see the work they would be receiving and then pay me, if they do at all.  I would never take someone’s money that was not happy with what they receive.  I would sooner re-shoot or just give them their money back.  As for the whole kit lens thing, I completely agree.  After experimenting with my kit lens for a while, I wanted something more.  I bought a 55-250mm zoom with the same basic abilities as my kit lens, and it still wasn’t what I wanted, although it was nice to have it when walking around town exploring.  I finally got the 85mm that I discovered would fit my current needs, and it has become my favorite.  Then after discovering that was too long for some things I bought a 50mm, which I also like.  I like having the prime lens a lot more than the zoom lately, and haven’t willingly used that kit lens since the last time I was working indoors and found I was tight for space and my 85mm couldn’t work for that.  Hopefully one day I’ll be able to actually call myself a professional, but for now I’m working on everything else.



    That’s the last photo I took which does not have a person in it.  If anyone wants to give me some input on that also that would be great.


    It’s not something you can (really) control too much, without having other equipment, but the bokeh in that shot looks very ‘nervous’ to me (that’s a way to describe it, sure…) to the extent that it’s distracting as it’s the first thing I look at. The cut off flower pot bothers me, but just a tiny bit. Would have been curious to how an even lower angle would look, shooting up at the fence. That would help block some of that bokeh too.


    the re edit on the girl is better but that is not saying much considering how bad it was. you still missed a lot of big stuff and still went a little too far. 100% opacity clone tool on the bigger bumps. I really don’t think you need to do more work than that. Skin work is tricky. Back when I used to retouch, I would spend a good 6 hours on one image of a models face. Essentially what you are doing is dodging and burning the dark areas and the light areas so that wrinkles become subdued and the skin tone looks even. throughout the image. It’s way too much work for senior portrait type stuff…but for magazines, it’s a requirement. Of course, girls see images in magazines and wonder why they can’t look so perfect…It’s a bit ridiculous

    The baby tossing photo needs some magenta sucked out of it. Otherwise I like it. I don’t know how the right side got flared, but I didn’t mind it.


    I like the baby tossing one, it works with the warm colour since warm colours obviously make you feel a little more happy (basic psychology, green is the opposite)

    Since you are entirely self taught I would probably advice you to read up a little on colour theory, about how colour is balanced and what makes for complementary colours.


    Thanks to all of you for your responses.  Nesgran, I think I will do that.  To be honest, I never thought about it because I thought the color looked exactly like it did to my eye without the camera, but it would change when I edited them.  I’ll definitely be looking into color.  There’s a lot of things I seem to habitually warm up just because I like to to be a little warmer.  Jones, that location is two blocks away from my house, so next time I have a chance and it’s nice (it’s been raining here the last couple of days) I’ll try out that lower angle.  Cameraclicker, thanks for posting those.  With her face I’m going to try to get closer to that, I think I can do it.  Ebi, it is tricky.  For me, I feel like this excessive makeup and dark skin is more difficult than dealing with more fair skin.  I’m going to take everything into consideration and rework most things, and try to be more subtle and natural.


    Here’s my take on the girl.


    I am, by no means whatsoever, a photoshop master, but as portraits are my focus I get lots and lots of teens with really (sorry) bad skin as we all had at that time of our lives.

    I tried a technique that I regularly use on females. Not as good as I would have liked, but as ebi said, you can’t go dodging and burning when you’ve got lots of images like that. Awesome for a magazine cover you HAVE to get right, not so awesome when you have that, 50 other photos, and 3 other sessions to work through, and you’re constantly shooting more.


    Anyway, let me know what you think. I suspect that CC and I may perhaps be using a similar (or the same, even. lol) technique.Maybe it’s just opposite around here, but I have actually had seniors upset feeling that I over-retouched their face (when, in fact, I didn’t actually do any photoshopping to their face in that particular example!)

    I find leaving some of the ‘imperfections’ there makes your photo more alive.




    I used the content aware healing brush (band-aid tool) for her blemishes; painted low opacity face colours over a spot the healing brush messed up and over the brightest parts; sharpened her eyes; and, blurred the left edge.  It took ten or fifteen minutes.  I still see a couple of editing flaws I would fix.

    Some people don’t want any editing, others are OK with varying degrees of editing.  A good make-up artist helps as does lighting and camera to subject angle.


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