Home Forums Main YANAP Discussion Forum Whether we like it or not, fauxtogs ARE making money….

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    As an eye doctor by trade, I talk with many strangers everyday mostly about medical care, but the conversations will sometimes turn to polite, lighthearted banter at the end of the exam – especially if the patient lists something interesting on our office intake history form in the Hobbies field.

    This past saturday just such a conversation took place when I noticed under hobbies ‘children’s photography’ had been written by this young lady of 28. She was a FT mom of 2 so my thoughts were she meant shots of her own kids.

    She did not.

    Paraphrasing her words: “I shoot families and their kids. It’s about an hour long shoot, sometimes at their house and sometimes in a park or something. They can choose what they think are the best 25 images, and I give them on a small flash drive. I charge $225. I don’t advertise, don’t have to. It’s word of mouth in my neighborhood. Everyone’s having babies, so once I shot one family they all started talking about me as the ‘Picture Lady.’ I’m booked for 2 to 3 shoots every weekend, but sometimes I don’t know if I’ll have a gig until friday night, but I seem to always get lucky.”

    My questions now:

    What camera? Rebel Xsi.

    do you use Lightroom or …?  I just download the pics to my computer with the software the camera came with.

    do you edit the photos for the folks? No, they usually come out just fine. They sometimes want, like, sepia, or something but they do it, not me.

    Raw or jpeg? Umm, well I use the green box thingy on the dial, is that what you mean? Someone else asked me about that too….

    Do you use a flash? Yeah, the camera comes with one that pops up.


    One of her clients is a patient of mine. How do I know? The client referred her to me for her medical eye problem, she said.

    In all fairness, I haven’t seen any of her images, but those answers above are verbatim what she said.

    Also, many other fauxtog images on here that I HAVE seen – well, those folks are getting paid also.

    Is it just that smartphone cameras caused everyone to become so ‘dummied down’ over what nice photos really are? Honestly, even my own parents (in their 80s) chastised my candid christmas card 2 yrs ago because the photo was not centered, no one was looking at the camera and the background ‘was all blurry.’


    Actually, for basic adjustments, the Canon software is pretty good.  Many people don’t even realize they received a decent editor, so good for her!

    I don’t have an XSi but I suspect the green box only delivers JPEGs.  The creative modes support raw capture.

    Some pictures look good with Rule of Thirds, and a soft background, others look good centred with a hard lens.  If her customers are happy, and are getting what they expect, then why not!


    I feel like I’m missing out, my primary camera doesn’t even have this magical green box, nor does it have a pop up flash. I ought to sell it so I can utilise my mad photographing skills


    The lady described her photography as being just a hobby, and said that she wasn’t advertising herself as a photographer, so she’s in a whole different category from most of the fauxtographers that end up on this page.

    If people are willing to pay her money for her hobby, then I don’t really see much wrong with that.  She’s probably taking better pictures than they would themselves, and she might have excellent people-skills.
    Without any proper equipment or knowledge, she’s definitely not in the same league as actual professionals, but the families who she photographs might not even be able to tell the difference.

    I’m not sure that smartphones are to blame, though. With any form of art (and wine, food etc.)  there are people who are only satisfied with an excellent product, and people who really don’t mind, so long as they get something which isn’t terrible.  Not everybody demands high levels of artistic expertise in everything they consume, and without a bit of specialist knowledge, a lot of people don’t know even know what constitutes a “good” photograph.

    My sister has her children photographed by a friend of hers, and I personally think they’re all atrocious.  It’s all old-fashioned 80’s backgrounds, awkward unrealistic posing,  and weird sepia finishes that sometimes have a selectively coloured bonus level of awfulness.
    My sister likes them though, and that’s what really matters.  It’s her children, and her money, and if she was dissatisfied, there are a hundred other photographers that she could go to.
    The only time she’s ever complimented a picture of mine, it was an awfully overexposed photo of a friend on the beach, where the background was blown out to being almost pure white.  All my photographer friends (and myself) considered the picture to be a failure, but to her, that was the best one of the bunch.

    It used to drive me crazy, but I’ve accepted that not everybody has the same standards that I do.
    My girlfriend is a coffee expert, and has the same feeling every time I drink a latte with syrup in it.


    that was a terrific explanation, spanghew. There are times I feel I’m drilling a hole in water explaining to others what my thoughts were on a composition of a particular photo to no avail, whilst my wife will say of an accidental shutter actuation, “why did you delete that one?! It was perfect!”

    I started this thread because my hat’s off to the pros on this site who can poke fun at fauxtogs without grabbing a weapon and going postal on someone because they’re stealing your potential clients. But I guess the point is they’re NOT your potential clients because they can’t appreciate what you have to offer. They don’t see the value in your service. You’re better off without them.

    I’m a hobbyist, and gonna stay that way. 🙂


    My issue is when “hobby” photographers charge for services and then don’t pay taxes.


    You said:

    “In all fairness, I haven’t seen any of her images, but those answers above are verbatim what she said.”

    Yes you have…


    Agreed, ebi.

    As a hobbyist, I am fortunate enough to have top grade glass, body & other gear worth $20K and have taken 6 years to really learn their use both by trial n error and watching COUNTLESS online tutorials before bed. And I really don’t have an organized ‘portfolio’ even though I posted what I thought would have counted as one some weeks ago on this forum.

    And, after all of this, I would be petrified to ask a person for money if I was approached with “would you shoot my…” I’d shoot the event, as in the case of my aunt & uncle’s 50th wedding anniv party 5 months back, but then I’d look at every shot in LR and go “that’s crap” or “I can’t believe I thought that would be a good shot!” and then eventually say “well, this is the best I could do, I guess.” The photos were not really bad – my self-critiquing was way over the top because someone was expecting me to do a good job, and I was looking at the shots like a photographer, NOT as a ‘client.’

    In the end, I’m a doctor, not a pro photographer. And I think it is not right that other folks who are fauxtographers because perhaps they are out of work or are just on ego-trips are taking money from your pocket. Because if those same clients saw some of the work I’ve seen from you guys on this board, I think they would cough up the $$$$ to spend on you.

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