Judge Joe Knows Photography, Calls Out Fauxtog

Who knew Judge Joe Brown knew such much about photography?

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  1. great! I rarely do commercial work these days but I see so many fauxtogs showing up to shoot pro jobs with inadequate equipment AND training…ok you can get fantastic shots out of an old beat up Holga or Diana camera covered in tape but you still need to understand the basics of light, composition and also what you want in each shot – what are you saying with your image, etc. I’ve shot in chapels and other locations with very dim lighting where no flash is allowed – you just have to plan ahead, work with what you have and also have the necessary tools (equipment and training) to understand what you need to do to get the best quality image. The two women in this video were too ego-driven – they were not going to admit to any fault of their own (it was the light, the pastor, the bride, etc). If you can’t do a job then don’t take it…let someone else with proper training and equipment handle something that you can’t.
    We are all human – no one is born knowing how to be a photographer – it’s a learned trait (with some natural talent if you’re lucky) but being able to admit that you’re not up to a certain level yet is part of the business. There are lots of photographers who can handle the job – get your training and the right equipment (you can even hire good lenses easily) and then move up the ladder – being successful along the way…not jumping to the top of the ladder because you have your first DSLR. There is a “law” called “having to suck at new things”… you can’t be good at everything especially not the first time you try.

  2. Hahahaha omg that’s a fauxtog whose picture you’ve had on here before! That first picture that shows up when he starts looking at her examples she brought has been posted before. 😛

    Way to go Joe Brown for owning her.

    • I thought I had seen that photo here before too! Glad I’m not the only one that caught that.


    • Actually they paid $1300 and were asking for $1000 back. The judge was just so fed up with them that he awarded the plaintiff $2500. I think he was hoping to award them enough to put the fauxtographer out of “business” permanently. Their attitude towards him was outrageous too. They didn’t seem to realize that photography itself hasn’t changed at all, just the equipment. The same rules still apply. Judge Brown at one point even said that he’s published photos before; I’d love to see some of them. He really knew his stuff.

      The question “what speed is your lens?” was perfect. They had no clue what that even meant or how to begin to answer any of his questions. I’m pretty sure they were just green-boxing it up (running on full auto).

  4. The main point missed is – did the pictures the bride received match the pictures that she was shown as samples. If not, then she gets her money back. If they do, then she doesn’t. If she didn’t look at samples then she doesn’t get her money back. The skill (or lack) of the photographer doesn’t matter.

    Judge Joe has people that tell him things. That was “reality” television.

  5. This one has been around for a couple of years now. Here’s my take on it:
    1) as point out above – did she see samples? if yes, then too bad, so sad.
    2) Just having a tripod available doesn’t mean a thing. I never shoot a wedding with a tripod – it limits my movement and a lot of churches don’t allow them.
    3) Judge Joe got it wrong. DEAD WRONG. Many churches / pastors don’t allow ANY FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY after the processional. Doesn’t matter if that Pastor is from that church or not – IT IS HIS CHURCH the during the wedding and what he / she says goes.
    4) Two points where the photographer(s) are ripable – 1) She didn’t know what speed her lens was – duh…could have been nerves – under the lights – etc… but still – she should have been able to say it’s a f3.5 to f5.6 – 2) If as she claims (and I know for a fact) a lot of churches have no flash rules – then she dang well should invest in fast glass.
    5) the photos they showed were not problematic from an exposure view – at least what I saw of them. They may have been printed at Costco (maybe she listens to Rockwell) – but they weren’t bad – and honestly who wants a print bigger than 8×10 or 11×14 of their wedding? I wish they had actually shown some of the “Bad” photos. Judge Joe can’t tell from the photo if it can be blown up more – Look at the RAW file.

    Based on what I saw – ruling for plaintiff for $1,250.00

    • The very first photo with the spot colored bouquets was a perfect example of a bad photo from this wedding.

      And yes, she should have had a lens with a wider aperture, but she could have also bumped up her ISO. She should know how far she can move it before she starts to have problems with noise.

      I agree about the flash photography being banned in churches often. That is indeed a common problem. However, as “professionals” claiming to have shot tons of weddings, they should know how to compensate for that. They stated that they’ve shot tons of different things; I have a hard time believing that they had never once before encountered a low light situation.

      I do again agree with you about the use of a tripod. I think though that them stating that they DID use them, just shows their lack of experience even more. Not just from a lack of mobility standpoint as you mentioned, but also from a motion blur standpoint. If they used a tripod, and slowed down their shutter speeds, they would eliminate camera shake, but would still have motion blur from their subjects. Even the slightest sway from a person standing motionless would appear. Again they needed to know the limitations of their equipment (lenses, ISO noise, etc.) and how to correctly compensate.

    • Those were bad photos

    • Anonymous

      “They may have been printed at Costco (maybe she listens to Rockwell) – but they weren’t bad – and honestly who wants a print bigger than 8×10 or 11×14 of their wedding?”

      A LOT of people want prints 16×20 or larger of their wedding portraits – I print them quite frequently.

  6. Kit lens fauxtog owned by Judge Joe Brown. Priceless.

  7. I don’t agree with the judge awarding the plaintiff any money. That photographer was obviously not very good, charging only 1300 to begin with. The plaintiff saw previous work, and it seems like what she saw matched what the photographer gave her. Regardless of the skill or knowledge of the photographer, the bride knew what she was getting into, and should not have been awarded any money.

    • This is just awful

      She was only awarded the money based off of the way they treated the judge along with their lack of knowledge of photography when claiming to be professionals. If they were calm and answered the questions intelligently or had a contract that protected them against things like this then none of this would have happened.

      I agree it is the fault of the bride for hiring a cheap photographer and the bad photos are a direct result of her poor decision of who she hired. She doesn’t deserve any money back what so ever.

    • It is possible for them to rip good photos off the internet and claim they belong to them

  8. I know it’s easy to blame the bride, but you have to remember that most people don’t know good photography when they see it. $2500 would hire a decent REAL photographer. The the fauxtog is the one more at fault here for scamming people out of that much money. It’s one thing to undercut pro prices and offer a shoddy product, but it’s outright larceny to charge (lower end) pro prices and show up with a kit lens. If she charged $500 I’d be more inclined to blame the bride for being cheap.

    • Watching the entire video – it sounds like the photographers charged $1,300.00 – the bride was suing for $1,000.00 – she was willing to pay the photographer $300.00 – The judge on his own bumped it up to $2,500.00 because (as others pointed out) the photographers were not respecting him and his authority (among other reasons).

      $1,300.00 is a decent photographer for 5 – 8 hours – they are from rural Michigan – so it seems reasonable. But at that rate – they should have more than a rebel and kit lenses.

      • Can we please stop saying “with only a Rebel”?! I have seen some amazing pictures taken with a point-and-shoot. It’s not the camera, it’s the photographer.

  9. Wow I hate to sound like a camera snob, but the two lenses those ladies have is basically what I have, only I have the 55-250 IS instead of a 70-300 lens. I was tempted to get the latter, but read reviews that it had AF issues and took a long time to “hunt” in low light. ….and I also have the “thrifty-fifty”..because I’m a near-broke hobbyist and it’s a good lens for the price. I hope those two aren’t still relying on onboard flash like I am.

    BUT in my own defense, I know better than to try to shoot a wedding with what I have. If I had asked that price, I would have rented some better quality gear for the day if I had to.

  10. To spike:> You’re fine. Knowing your limits is important. Also your nifty fifty is a great lens in low light, and will make better images by far than the kit lens, inside a dim church. Learn how that lens affects your photography, and you’ll never look back. Also you’ll understand in your head and instinctively why Judge Joe asked “what speed is your lens”.

    • Agreed. And if you take it outside, you’ll get some fantastic shallow depth of field portrait shots.

  11. Dear Judge Brown you are the best. Put it too em

  12. Amandaggogo

    Way to go Judge Joe Brown!!

  13. Rch2411 Photography

    They should have taken the time to visit the church prior to take practice photos. Church officials are usually ok with visitors with prior notice. Also agree with ISO comment being higher. Lightroom has good a noise reducer if it got to high. Point always check light asap and plus digital you can shoot off 10 pics at different ISO in a few mins and see the results right then.

  14. PMKphotography

    i’ve seen this more than once on JJB and it makes me laugh every time! I wish all Fauxtogs got punishment for their CRAP!!! but I guess thats why YNAP is here…

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