Home Forums Am I a Fauxtog? Still learning…

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    Hi. I am completely self-taught and I feel that I have been improving as a photographer – however I am always open to constructive criticism from people in the photography field. It’s how a person grows.

    So I am just wanting to post my website. I would love some feedback. Prefer if it’s constructive, as just being MEAN isn’t helping anyone.

    Note: Some of my older stuff is posted on the website and is mixed in with the newer stuff. I plan to go through it soon to update and remove some old photos. Also, please do not comment on my rates. My photography rates are quite low, as I am still learning and building my portfolio.

    So, I guess the real question is… Would you consider me a fauxtographer??

    My website: http://www.melissasuemullins.com


    i wish i could like your main photo, but the composition is a bit weird to me.. and I can’t seem to grasp how the guy’s arm got where it is, or at least I hope it’s his if it’s that hairy lol

    looking at your boudoir photos, it’s borderline fauxtog but not quite there. You can see in the expressions of your subjects that they’re enjoying getting their picture taken by you, which is great. You just need to work on getting that expression to come out in a way that better suits the mood you’re trying to set. The lighting too.

    this one’s cool http://melissasuemullins.weebly.com/uploads/1/0/9/6/10961146/283046_orig.jpg but if you’re trying to capture raw human emotion like that, i’d prefer more raw, lifelike editing. it’s a bit highly airbrushed. What you could do is take that, overlay it over the same photo without all the editing, then lower the opacity until you get a right balance between wax and human.


    this one would be considered fauxtog though, sorry http://melissasuemullins.weebly.com/uploads/1/0/9/6/10961146/2239433_orig.jpg


    Hi DavidVRJ – thanks so much for the feedback. 🙂

    Boudoir photos are something I just started working on, and still trying to get the “feel of”. Portraits are the main thing I have been doing. I suppose my main photo should probably reflect that more than having the boudoir photo on there.

    The one that would be considered fauxtog is a very old one I did for my cousin – and I should delete that one. 🙂 Thank you

    I really do appreciate the feedback. I want to grow as a photographer, and it helps to have people be able to point out things that do have to be worked on. Thank you


    I’m still learning too, but I don’t have a website, market, or have clients.  I don’t feel it nessesary to invest so much into the learning process or be in business while I learn and build my fundamental  skills nessesary to be a professional photographer someday. To me it doesn’t seem right to ask others to invest in my learning process as well. Once I have a foundation build,  then it will be time to portfolio build and be in business.  I WILL shoot at a discount while building my portfolio, but my real prices will be displayed/posted so people can see that soon I will be raising prices, and so they can see the true value of my work.  Right now what you are doing is collecting clients that like cheap prices, and labeling yourself as the cheap tog, all while working too hard shooting for others, instead of for yourself.  marketing, customer service, people skills, etc is not growing as a photographer. Yes!  These are all very important things to learn if  you want to be a successful professional, but not so important to learn while you are still clearly struggling and learning the basics of photography.  You’ve taken too much on at once.  You are a fauxtog, but only because you practice like onE, and have jumped in head first without building your foundation first.

    If you disagree, and feel you are still ready to be in business and portfolio building.  Please take the nessesary steps to be legit.  Get your ducks in a row, figure out what you need to charge to make a profit after fees, expenses and the cost of doing business, and post those prices while you build, so your clients know how much you are worth.



    “I am completely self-taught and I feel that I have been improving as a photographer”
    Opening with an excuse is bad. It says “My stuff sucks, so don’t even bother looking.” And, I almost didn’t.
    Some of your studio work is nice to look at, and it is 10 times stronger than stuff done with natural light or in environments you can’t control.
    Get out of the studio. Find objects that would be hard to photograph, and photograph them. The over-all feeling of your stuff is that you found your comfort zone and haven’t left it. Challenge yourself. You seem to have a good feel for the process of photography, but it looks and feels like a process.
    You don’t want your prices discussed, so tough shit.
    Do you want to make money or build your portfolio? The prices you are charging do neither well. This is discussed ad nauseam on many other sites/blogs/forums, Google for clarification.

    To end on a positive note:
    http://melissasuemullins.weebly.com/uploads/1/0/9/6/10961146/2239433_orig.jpg is one of my favorite pictures, and could have been one of your strongest portraits with a bit less editing. It had a strong initial impact, and didn’t feel over edited until I looked closer.


    I’m away, and on my phone currently, but as soon as I am able, I’ll post some links that will help you understand the business end of things. I know this is not the help you were looking for but I feel you desperately need help in this area if you are serious about making a living in photography someday.


    I appreciate the feedback from everyone – and “I Hate Fauxtography” that would be very nice – thank you


    no one special hit a home run there with his comment. You got to challenge yourself to grow as a photographer. you can’t just navigate the rut of mediocrity and expect to be a talented photographer.


    I honsetly felt uncomfortable looking at the boudoir. The light makes it look shady instead of sexy. I also noticed on your about page that you recently “upgarded” cameras. Honestly, you had no reason to upgrade since you’d yet to have mastered the first camera. I wouldnt even call the rebel an upgrade since it is still considered entry level and meant for learning (NOT for running a business).


    Ok, I was too quick with my last response. let me make a more thorough critique for you so that you understand better.

    For the boudoir, i did a quick google search for you since you said you just started dabbling in it. Here are two VERY helpful links. Not just for boudoir, for photography in general.



    One thing i suggest, now that you have a new camera, is to scan the flickr pool for your model.

    What the heck, here you go: http://www.flickr.com/groups/canon450d/pool/

    Here’s a portrait pic off that pool (again, using the same camera you use): http://www.flickr.com/photos/unaddicted/7708676280/in/pool-canon450d

    Here’s a portrait off your portfolio: http://melissasuemullins.weebly.com/uploads/1/0/9/6/10961146/6397631_orig.jpg

    Can you spot the difference? If you look in the tags you can even find out that  they used a 50mm lense! VERY helpful.

    Here’s another and in the comments they tell you the EXACT setup: http://www.flickr.com/photos/robrook/7611766466/in/pool-canon450d

    Baby photos from pool: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dirty_a_ngel/7601412192/in/pool-593043@N20/


    One of yours: http://melissasuemullins.weebly.com/uploads/1/0/9/6/10961146/5905102_orig.jpg

    Animals pool:http://www.flickr.com/photos/rodrigovila/7497492610/in/pool-canon450d/

    Your animals:http://melissasuemullins.weebly.com/uploads/1/0/9/6/10961146/3817805_orig.jpg

    I hope i made my point clear without sounding like a COMPLETE ass. My point is only that you HAVE the same equipment as these people do, the only difference is that they have better understanding/control of their camera. Everyone keeps saying it over and over again, when you are still in the early stages of learning you shouldn’t be opening up shop. Hopefully this was of SOME help.

    Side note: i sincerely hope that linking those pics wasn’t taboo. I think the direct link credits the photogs…but if there’s an issue let me know.




    Thanks very much for the information Archy. 🙂 I appreciate it very much and will check out the links when I have some time tomorrow!

    Thanks as well Brownie. I appreciate the feedback.



    Cost of business calculator

    Lots of good links within

    Fauxtography(a little about pricing in the article as well)



    Starting a photography business
    (notice there’s no mention of learning basics. Why?  Because this guy assumes that’s a given. I have a feeling he may have wrote it a while ago, or he’s not from America )

    These are just a few articles I found when I googled for a few minutes.

    This is just my opinion(I’m sure I have company though), but
    “I am still learning and portfolio building” is an oxymoron


    And remember, any hobbiest selling a product, will price their items at value. The expense in producing and delivering the product+ thier time, and what they feel their product is worth.  Your goal is to not be a hobbiest, and to be in business, yet you aren’t even priced for hobby income.


    Love the baby picture

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