Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Needing reassurance!

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    hmmm. I see the style you are going for but most of your photos are loosing information in the highlights. It’s possible to shoot in the style you do and not burn your images.

    But all in all you are doing fine. Don’t worry about the 1st commenters comment. He’s just a little bitter he’s loosing clients and he hasn’t adjusted his business model to the times.

    For example, ¬†I was asked by a client to do a Wedding. I told him my charging rate. After realizing that I might be a bit out of his budget, I deferred him to a few photographers I’m training. Photographers who are amazing in their own right. They charge quite a bit less than I do. But guess what? They still chose me in the end.

    I wouldn’t say you are a faux. You are a photographer. Just need a bit more training to perfect your style.



    Though, in essence, I agree with what you said. There’s somethings that just concerned me a little with your post.

    1. I’ve worked with great photographers who’s only been shooting for half a year and I’ve worked with horrible photographers who has shot for 20 years.

    2. She can charge just as much as she wants. If clients pay her then that’s great. We aren’t selling products of equal value. If you want to charge $1000 for a shoot. Make your shots worth $1000/

    Either than that yeah I agree with what you said. You could have said it in a bit less douchy way ūüėõ but all in all your critiques of her work are spot on. I wouldn’t say she should stop charging. She just needs to take that step from being talented to being technically sound.


    Where to start?

    Well first I would say to disregard the people who say you are a fauxtog. I think some people are mistaking going into a business as you assuming your pro. It is clear you do not think that way.

    My checklist for a photographer (non pro).

    Foundations of photography. Check

    Understanding of basic composition and lighting. Check

    Post processing ability without overdoing. Check

    A unique style. Check

    And Most importantly, clients that are willing to pay and are HAPPY with the results. At the end of the day it is about them and if they are happy and are coming back for more then you are offering something that people want and like. Check.


    I think some of the ‘pros’ on here have been sniffing their own farts for so long they forget that not everyone can afford a photographer that flies to conferences in big cities and have 30 years experience under their belt. That clients¬†exist¬†along all price points and not everyone can serve those who pay ¬†several thousand to get the pro. Some people can only afford one to two hundred dollars so photographers have to¬†exist¬†along the whole spectrum. ¬†Would I like to have Peter Hurley take my picture. Hell yeah. Will I EVER hire him to take my picture? Hell No.

    The only way to improve is to shoot. Improve by taking smaller jobs and eventually move higher in the price point scale. Then a new crop of photographers will be born and the cycle continues.

    I would say that if people are paying, do not stop charging. We live in the 21st century where a client will go to your fb page and website and see your work. If they decide they like your stuff and think you are worth what you are charging than they will hire you. You are not misrepresenting your work. You are not cheating people or nor not delivering quality as promised (my definition of a fauxtog).¬†MBC is presumptuous in assuming that he knows more about how you¬†fulfill¬†your clients expectations and¬†condescending¬†in implying both parties (you and your clients) inability put a value on your service. ¬†To put it another way as a metaphor. Some people think that you need to be a Lamborghini to be considered a photographer. Well, people need Hondas. It’s not a meticulously fine tuned marvel of engineering but still a car. And wayyy more people buy Hondas. You can look up to a lambo and think ‘wow, one day’ but in the mean time you have a place as¬†a legitimate car (photog).

    Keep doing what you are doing. Very impressive work for only 9 months in the photography realm. As some people have said, room for improvement. But that is always true. Everyone can improve. And I wouldn’t brush off other photogs with ‘he didnt even know what a prime was’. We already¬†exist¬†in a douchy community, lets not perpetuate it. Explain and educate. There was a time when you didn’t know either. I’ll leave with a quote from A Game of Thrones:

    Jon Snow: “But I am better than any of them”

    Lord Commander: “You are better than noone!”





    To continue your analogy. I do not expect every photographer to be a Lamborghini. But I expect them to at least be a Honda. If you sell me a car I expect it to start every time I turn the key in the ignition and get me to my destination without breaking down every time, if it fails to do so more than once a year, it’s not a car, it’s a lemon on wheels.

    You people seem to be completely missing my entire point because you’re fixated on this idea that I’m full of myself and want to tear down this young, talented photographer. I will say this in all caps in the hope you will get the point.

    I WANT HER TO SUCCEED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And the path to success is not the fauxtog path that she is currently taking. If I got some vindictive pleasure from destroying people, it would be much more effective to just let them continue marching dilutedly toward their own destruction, because failure is on the horizon.

    Every single fauxtog featured on the main blog is charging for their work, were selected by the clients on Facebook, and both client and photographer are happy with the results. Assuming that if people are paying you’re not a fauxtog is completely missing the point.

    I have been doing this a very long time and I have seen thousands of fauxtographers rush into business, have anemic success for a little while, completely fail to grow, raise their prices because they can’t afford to do it cheep anymore, and go out of business in debt or worse.

    The general definition used in the real world for a professional is that it is someone whose work is worth charging for. Therefore, and I’ll say this in all caps so you get the point.

    IF YOU CHARGE FOR YOUR WORK YOU THINK YOUR WORK IS PROFESSIONAL LEVEL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    If you think you are still an amateur, or learning (and I’m not talking learning in the “we’re all always learning” sense, which we all are) and you charge for your work. You are, by definition, telling people you are a pro when you’re not. Even if you never say the words “I”m a pro.” Intentionally or not, you’re lying to your clients, and that is what bothers me about fauxtography.

    Every last one of us produces substandard work when they are learning. When I retired, I took two years off from charging because I’d spent so long working with professional talent that I couldn’t get a decent pose when I was working with an amateur or a non-model client, with a pro, you get the pose you want from a few words, with a client you who doesn’t know the lingo have to explain how to pose, and that takes practice. If I had charged money for shooting while I was picking up that learning curve (shooting a lot of garbage in the process), I would have been acting like a fauxtog and that is unacceptable.

    I am hard on people like the OP because I see potential in their work and I don’t want to see that wasted. She is phenomenal, for someone who has studied, but never really shot before. But to use your analogy, she’s a car without an engine, she doesn’t have the skill to propel her business and so she’s having to push it everywhere. But being in business, she hasn’t had the time to start building an engine because she’s pushing the car everywhere. There is no marked improvement in the 9 months she’s been shooting, and if she keeps doing what she’s doing, she will fail.

    AND I DON”T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN TO HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And you people coming in here and telling her she isn’t doing anything wrong is risking that. I don’t say a word on this site unless I believe it is what the person requesting review NEEDS to hear, I couldn’t care less what she wants to hear and what you think I ought to say. I don’t get angry at their responses, although sometimes I respond with force, again, I think that’s what they need. But it drives me crazy to have people come in here, see me being hard on someone, and feel the need to offer undue encouragement because they feel they’ve got to protect her from the big bad bully who is only picking on her to make himself look big. Doing so proves that you not only don’t understand me, you don’t understand that in the real world, the people that are hardest on you are often the ones who are most concerned for your success.

    I’ve walked the hard road to success in this business, I’ve helped who knows how many other photographers along that same road over the years, and I want to help the OP too. You are encouraging her to take the easy, fun path, when that path leads straight to a cliff, both for the business and her passion for photography. I encourage her to take the hard road, it isn’t always fun, it is never easy, but it leads upward and onward with no limits to how far and how high you can go.

    If there is any question to if the path I am suggesting, while old fashioned, is a better path, let me add this, 20 years ago, the odds of starting a successful studio were not great, about 10:1. Nine out of every ten photographers failed and went out of business within 3 years. Today, now that the “charge while you’re learning” thing is popular, about 1 in 1000 start-ups survives their first 3 years, and better than half will fail in serious debt because of it. And in all this time, the total number of studios lasting more than 3 years had remained virtually unchanged (only increasing due to coincide with population growth).

    At this point I have spoken my peace, I have already repeated myself several times on this thread and I tire of it. To the OP, I truly hope that you will take my advice and change to a track that will give you a fighting chance to succeed in what is an incredibly competitive and difficult field. If you choose to progress the way you are, I wish you the best of luck in beating the 1,000:1 odds that you will fail.


    You are NOT a fauxtog. You may have a few things to work on, but you’re not a fauxtog and you should not stop charging people for your work. Your work is so much better than the fauxtogs I see in my town. Your jaw would drop when you saw theirs. MBC obviously has a lot of experience, and he’s probably an excellent photographer, but some of his comments are discouraging! A lot of those points he brought up are things that you learn over time. I’m learning those things as well. I consider myself semi-professional. I don’t have a storefront. I’ve been in the photography business a few years (first as an assistant, now on my own). There is no way you’re going to be able to afford new, better equipment or software by just not charging. The way I figure is, don’t charge top-notch prices until you have a lot more experience and some higher end equipment. There are fauxtogs in my town who charge “$50 for the session and you get the disk with all the photos we take and the copyright!” Yeah, no. I know my work is worth a lot more than that as yours is also. I’m not going to charge $300 for a portrait session, because I’m not there yet. From looking at a few of your images, I would agree that maybe you need to work on posing and angles a bit. Your technical knowledge of using your equipment properly looks nice. Your images are sharp, and for the most part, well-exposed. Some of the color/white balance seemed a bit off to me on some of the images. I wasn’t crazy about a few of the locations. You’re shooting quite wide-open though so it helps minimize distractions on the background but some were a bit overpowering. And your logo? It fits your target market well. If you wanted to get into glamour or senior photography, maybe do a re-design, but it looks very child-friendly. I like your newborn photos.

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