Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? So, am I a fauxtog?

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    I have recently started up a photography business, and while I am only new to photography, I have been modelling for the past 3 years and behind the scenes so have picked up (hopefully) a few tips. I am still learning, but would love to get more into glamour / boudoir photography. I’m a bit worried I could be a fauxtog, seeing the amazing work my photographer friends come up with, but after looking at this site I’m hoping I’m not quite as bad as some on here… You never know though… So please be honest!



    Sarah is looking a bit over exposed.


    Never will understand starting a business based on only wanting to learn a profession.

    Photography is about photographing light.  Shooting mid day without modifiers isn’t going to work.  You’ve made it about the subject first (not that your direction and posing are done very well mind you).  It must be about light first to insure your subject looks their best.  Unmodified mid day sun is notgoing to  accomplish  that Fundamental.  Amateurs are not in business, and beginners do not specialize in anything, as they are still exploring.  I think some changes in your “about” need to take place.

    As things stand, yes.  You are a fauxtog

    My suggestion, don’t be in business.  Shoot for yourself.  Shoot to learn.  Being in business will just stifle the learning process


    Ok, thanks for your feedback, and this is going to sound fully amatuer…. How do I ‘modify’ the light then?


    And is there any hope for me, or should I ”not give up my day job”….


    Light Modifiers:

    Polarizers. These are filters that are attached to the lens (go ahead and google.  There are several different types)

    Diffusers. A diffuser is anything that’s positioned between your subject and your light source in order to make the light softer and less directional. Diffusers also reduce the intensity of light.

    Common diffusers include silks, scrims, nets, and grid cloths. Silks come in different weights, which determine how much they reduce the intensity of the light. Diffusers that let some light through, like grid cloths, will reduce intensity less and provide a more directional light. Diffusion cloths are usually stretched on a metal frame. Smaller diffusers are often collapsible discs.

    To tone down hot spots or make lighting more even, you can use a large diffuser overhead or to one side of the scene. This is especially useful on very sunny days, when strong, directional sunlight can create harsh shadows and high light ratios on your subjects.

    Reflectors. There are times when you might want to add more light, either to fill a shadow side and even out the lighting ratio, or to give a little more snap to flat lighting on an overcast day.

    You can use any white or metallic surface as a reflector. Just be aware that any coloring in the reflective material will create a color cast in the light. That includes metallic surfaces that aren’t silver. Using a metallic surface will also create more specular highlights on the subject, while the light from a plain white reflector will be softer.

    Common reflectors include panels and reflective fabrics stretched on frames, as well as smaller cards and collapsible discs.

    Flags. If you’re dealing with an extreme available light ratio or an unwanted hot spot, you may need to completely block the light. Anything that blocks the light is called a “flag.” It’s usually made of a flat black material, so that it doesn’t reflect any light or add a color cast to the scene.

    Another use for black surfaces as modifiers is to create negative fill. Just as you would set up a reflector to bounce fill light into a shadow area to make it brighter, you can set up a black surface to prevent light from bouncing onto an area to make it darker.

    Common materials used as flags are black panels and Duvetyne.


    Learning off camera flash and/or lighting is another option.

    First learn the exposure triangle, then move on to other things.

    Without learning either natural/available light modification and/or learning how to use it to your advantage, or learning off camera lighting and flash correctly, you will only make snap shots that anyone with a camera can make.

    Then there’s basic composition, posing/directing, color management (monitor calibration to prepare images for print, Custom WB etc).  All these basics should be learned BEFORE you open up shop.  If you take on learning business at the same time as learning your fundamentals… well… you’re not doing yourself or your clients any favors.


    Good Luck!  I hope I helped get you started in the right direction


    Thank you!! ^^ That really helped. I have just purchased a reflector, but have not had a chance to use it yet. I would like to look more into off camera flash etc, but I don’t know what photogrpahy basics I really need first, and what is just added ‘extras’. I’m guessing I really need a flash, and I now have the reflecter is that all I need for now?


    Honestly, right now at your skill level, all you need is your camera.  Learn your camera first, and know it like the back of your hand.  Learn the exposure triangle. Learn good composition rules and when it works to break them.  Read your camera’s manual.  Learn how to meter, control your settings, how to WB in camera, how to select your focus, how to lock your focus so you can recompose if necessary, when and how to compensate your exposure, how to read histograms, all of your manual modes and what they can do for you, learn how shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, effect your images, Learn DOF and how focal distance, and aperture effect DOF.  Lot’s of resources online for this, but your manual is the very best place to start, keep it close. You can learn photography without going into debt, you already have too much you’ve taken all on to learn at once.  But you cant be in business and take it all on at once without losing the game, and over spending and burning out.  Always learn and master what you already have, before buying anything more to conquer.  If you follow that rule, you’ll be just fine.

    Learn what makes a good photo good and a bad photo bad.  Learn to criticize your work.  Shoot shoot shoot and shoot some more.

    Then take on lighting and light modification.  It’s actually easier to learn studio lighting first and then take on natural/available lighting, but lot’s chose to go the other way around due to finances. and are successful at doing so.  Until then, the magic hour will be your best friend.  Use it, learn it, shoot it, and use it some more.  It’s a gift for all of us to utilize.  Even all of us without modifiers and flash kits 😉

    Take down the price lists, and marketing, and get “business” out of the equation for now, and discover your REAL potential.  Let yourself enjoy being a student of the very best craft ever to exist.  You don’t need clients to learn this stuff.  You already have what you need.


    Right now, yes, you’re a fauxtog. No, you’re not doomed to be there forever. First step- STOP! No, don’t stop taking pictures. Stop advertising that you are a business. Take down your pricing. Make the purpose of your page to state something like “I’d love to get into the business of photography someday. While I’m learning, I’d like to get as much practice as I can. Message me if you’re interested in helping me out by modeling for me.” Then, like others have said, pick up your camera manual. What camera and lens/lenses are you shooting with? Do you have a DSLR? That really is a must if you want to learn and pursue this dream. Pick up a book that explains the basics of photography. One book I have is the Canon Rebel T2i Digital Field Guide by Charlotte K. Lowrie. (Even if that’s not the camera you own, the book is great in explaining lighting, composition, focusing, etc. and goes into details about how different types of lenses work). You really need to master light and understand how it affects your image first and foremost. Don’t worry about flashes, modifiers, or reflectors yet until you have a solid understanding about how your camera works.

    You are not going to learn anything if you are trying to make money instantly. People will see your work and you will be branded as a fauxtog, and it may be hard to get rid of that image once you do become good.


    If you have “I have started a photography business” and ” I am new to photography” in the same sentence, then yes, you are a fauxtog.


    Interesting concept.. I think it’s a 50/50 split. Yes and No — Yes, because you’re by definition just ‘learning’ your camera and the basics and selling yourself as a professional and No because you’ll probably stop charging or at least letting people know you’re learning and giving them the opportunity to know the truth before you ruin whatever event they hire you to do.

    Your photos aren’t terrible the composition isn’t awful like some of the things I’ve seen that wouldn’t qualify as bird droppings.
    I think admitting you have a problem is the first step in rehabilitation!


    I’m sorry, but the photos are not good at all. Bad lighting, bad posing, tilted horizons, oversaturation, focus issues, lacking composition. Take the time to learn photography. For the life of me, I don’t understand why is it appropriate or acceptable to start a photography business before you’ve actually learned photography! I’m just curious- to the OP, what made you think that you should set up shop and take money from people before you’ve learned the basics?


    I’ve just done a recent shoot. Yesterday infact, and I used my relfector in some shots, I’m hoping there is some improvement? I’m really appreciating the advice from you guys.

    Eta: It was a FREE shoot by the way….


    Yes unfortunately you are a fauxtog and yes please stop charging until you get your work to a level you can be proud of.  It can not only  hurt you by getting a reputation for bad quality work, but can also hurt other photographers in your area by charging to low for something you may want to make a living off of in the future.  I recommend contacting some other photographers who’s work you like and offering to shadow them or intern for them for free. Also shooting any one you can at the same time. Experience, learning your camera, and learning how to edit is what will make you a photographer.


    So I’ve done a lot more shoots lately (free ones) and I’m hoping I’m improving? PLease can I have some feedback on my recent shoots?

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