Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? So what classifies a 'real' photographer?

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    I think there is a spectrum of what a true professional is vs. a fauxtog. Personally I feel I fall in between. I have a goal to make a living someday as a photographer, but for right now, it’s what I do on the side of my job, and yes I charge accordingly. I don’t charge as much as some around me who have more experience/better equipment, but I WILL charge more later on. I won’t sink low to give cheap work for cheap prices. I have told myself I will never stop taking suggestions or learning. I took a few photography courses when I was in college and thought I was ‘good” then, now I see I was not. But it was a learning process. I never charged anyone for photos then. (Well, except some family photos for a friend, didn’t charge much, but they were horrible… but they knew I was a beginner). I also worked as the editor and assistant to a very good local photographer for almost a year until her family moved away. She was very picky and got me to see how important properly editing photos, color correcting, exposure correcting, etc. was. Her plan was to get me out shooting with her more but then her husband got a job out of state and I didn’t get the chance. However, she was my mentor since then with shooting, as is my best friend who is also a freelance photographer in a different town. (She works also for a pro but is allowed to do her own stuff as well). The first wedding I did, you could maybe consider me a faux. But it was a girl I work with, and I charged them dirt cheap for it being my first, and she knew that. I’ve done two weddings since then (one as the 2nd shooter being contracted out, one on my own) and I think both turned out amazing. I know I’m not the best, and not all my images are perfect, and I have technical errors here and there, but I always try to be very conscious of these things and know I’ve been improving all the time. It’s so foolish to believe you can fix a bad photo with Photoshop. You can take an ok photo and make it look a little better, but nothing beats a photo done right the first time and just enhanced a little.

    I briefly checked out those pages and the first two they don’t quite have their exposure right and don’t seem to color correct in post-processing, but the images aren’t horrible. I wouldn’t call them a faux, I’d consider them to be good but not great. The third one was kind of all over. Some of her images look good, while many look over-edited or too contrasty. When I edit I try to be pretty consistent. I’ll throw in some black and whites for images that work in black and white, and then some different-style edits in addition to a clean edit. Nobody wants everything edited for a vintage look.

    I also wouldn’t say someone isn’t professional if they aren’t a member of the PPA or have business insurance. Yes, those are good things, and someday I will be at this point, but it’s a process. I can’t afford some of this stuff yet. I don’t charge as much as some of the super-pro studios do. I’m working on saving up for a full-frame camera and another lens. Occasionally my equipment I feel is hindering an image from being perfect. I’ve used top-notch equipment a few times and it takes it that extra level. I call myself semi-professional.

    A fauxtographer is not someone like any of these links posted by the original poster. Those are photographers that are good and have potential but aren’t quite there yet. I’m sure some of my images fall into that category, especially some of my work from a year ago. For laughs, here are a few fauxtogs in my town that people surprisingly pay for, and if you’d ask them about lenses, RAW, f-stops, shutter speed, white balance, exposure, or Photoshop actions, they’d probably give a blank stare and reply “Um, I just like taking pictures. I have a nice camera.”:





    Here is my Flickr page. I’d appreciate any constructive criticism : http://www.flickr.com/photos/roxanne_elise_photography/


    @browneyedgirl89 I took at look at some of your images and I think they aren’t bad for the most part. I’m not a pro, so I’m not going to give you a very detailed review—there are others better equipped to do that. I know about RAW, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, lens designations, etc. However, I do think you tend to use tilted horizons and walls a little too much for my taste. It’s the first thing I notice in shots that do have it before I can concentrate on the real subject matter. I also wondered if some of the shots were composites because of the titled horizon and other elements of the photo that should have been tilted on that same plane, but were not tilted. But that’s just my opinion and if you’re using that technique to make you different that the rest of them out there, faux or not, that’s fine, too. Good luck to you on further refining your photographic techniques.


    Thanks, while I don’t think I use tilted horizons too much, maybe I just don’t notice it because it’s me. I do it a lot of times because I feel it adds a little more of a dynamic feel to an image, with angled lines helping to lead to the subject. Sometimes I do it, sometimes I don’t, I think some images could work well either way. I probably picked that up from the photog I used to work for, she did that a lot. No they aren’t composites- some of mine are composites like when I have a family photo where I’ll take 10 of the same pose since somebody is always blinking or has a funny face, then I’ll carefully swap faces. I’ve done some composites with babies/kids though. I try to keep things looking as natural as possible… I see some fauxtogs literally photoshopping people onto backgrounds that they never were on in the beginning!


    Your techniques with camera are pretty good, so i won’t comment on that, instead though I will say that If you are going to take the next step with your portraiture or fashion then you need to realize that how they pose and their body language greatly affects the photo.

    [http://www.flickr.com/photos/roxanne_elise_photography/8018748116/in/photostream] love this photo. Good job.


    She looks really awkward and it’s too posed. Her eyes and mouth just don’t make it seem as though she’s relaxed. Whenever I shoot with a new model or someone i’ve never worked with, the first hour of photography is usually rubbish. Because I spend time making it feel as though the poses don’t matter. And when that happens, when she relaxes, then the more natural positions comes out and things fall into place.

    For example


    why does she have her face on the wall? the wall is neither sexy nor is it appealing. The pose isn’t necessary.


    Don’t make them do the go 2 pose of hand on hips. and if that happens, be aware of the other arm that it doesn’t just dangle there.

    Anyway that’s it on body language now to your grading.

    I think you might be getting too comfortable with your grading. For example.  The basketballer shoot just didn’t fit the part. With the grading it gave the photo a soft atmosphere as opposed to what the image.


    this image could have been really powerful but the grading to this just didn’t fit at all.

    Just make sure that you aren’t too comfortable with grading. This could have been an opportunity for you to try out different techniques, different feels but to me this photo fell really short to the impact it could have.

    I know that all of them are individually graded. But they were all running in the similar direction


    @Soaringturkeys, by grading do you mean noise reduction or skin softening? If so, I can kind of see what you mean there. I’ve done a lot or portraits of women which skin softening is more desirable and necessary but that does make sense with a guy.

    Lol, though, the first image is actually me. My friend took it and I did the editing. She and I do that for each other all the time- give the credit to the shooter and do our own editing. I am usually very uncomfortable posing for photos myself, but practicing on each other helps each of us coach someone for posing.


    Yeah that is a part of the grading process. But with colour. Most shots, wether it be through curves or whatever, are done mostly by pushing the blues highlight down to get a yellowish highlight. Red’s would be pushed up. Etc.


    I need to verse myself better in using curves. I usually do adjusting to color in Lightroom (luminance, saturation, and hue for each color separately) as well as white balance. Then I bring the image into Photoshop and do more, including using a variety of actions. Many of the actions have curve adjustments in them and I have a few favorites I know how they react with the images. Maybe that’s cheating a bit?


    Ewwwwww, ACTIONS!?  Personally I don’t like them or use them.  Its only cheating if you didn’t built the actions yourself.  If you took them from someone or downloaded from the net, then yeah, it’s kind of cheating.  But everyone has their own opinion on actions.  This is merely mine.


    Purchased them on the net… I’ve made a few simple ones myself, would like to learn a little more how to make them. There are some very successful businesswomen that sell actions (Florabella, My Four Hens, Paint the Moon, Stacie Jensen/Rock My Edits) Hey, technology is changing. If you really think about it, Photoshop is “cheating” in some ways. If I could blow my clients away with my SOOCs I’d be a happy camper.


    Sorry to break it to you but it’s cheating a lot. But using actions is exactly the same as using auto instead of manual on a camera. Using actions means that you don’t know what you are controlling and aren’t learning.  Photoshop isn’t cheating. I thought about it and it’s as cheat as using A DSLR.

    Do you allow the camera to evaluate what kind of photo that will come out of a camera? It doesn’t matter if you are already so rehearsed with the outcome of an action, it’s exactly the same as letting the camera shoot in auto and saying, “no i chose to do auto because I knew this setting would react like this”. Adjusting things like luminance and saturation doesn’t take long and are easy [also white balance shouldn’t be done on Lightroom. That should be done in camera and you should be shooting in K] .

    If you cut down photography as 3 equal areas. Planning, Shooting, Post-Production. You just said that you are only 2 thirds a photographer and one third computer.

    The fundamental things that Photoshop allows isn’t cheating. Grading something allows you to do so much and creates a lot of platforms for you to enhance a photo. Using Presets however is cheating.

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