The Fauxtog Challenge

YANAP Challenge

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  1. A Photographer

    I’m guilty of #1 and #5.

  2. Whoever is “guilty of #1” as the other comment says, is a fauxtog.
    And whoever thinks that already knows everything about photography….kill it with fire

    • Being selftaught doesn’t mean you’re a fauxtog at all. If anything, I think photography schools cloud your creative side with the teachers ideals. What you lack in education, you need to compensate in hard work and passion.

      • I agree. I am 100% self taught and my images sell around the world on a daily basis. To go even farther, I’ve had college students contact me of how to do certain thing both with the capture of the image and processing the images.
        I have used a bedsheet for the BG. If you know how to set it up, it can work, but its more of a hassle.

      • Thank you. I’m self taught, and I’ve used selective coloring in the beginning, but I know better now.

      • I’ve taken classes and courses from wise old sages running camera shops, but have never been to photography school. In fact, a few months back, a random local photography teacher whom I’ve never met found me through some tagged images of one of my models on facebook and struck up a private conversation with me because apparently my images caught his eye. I was literally visiting colleges and searching for financial aid at that point, planning to get a photography degree. He told me that it would be a bad idea for me, considering how much I’d learned on my own and through local classes. He said that he’d seen many very talented and artistic photographers go through photography school and lose their artistic eye through too many imposed ideals and “rules” but gain an inflated view of themselves. I’ve spoken to a few other amazing and successful photographers, and have found that many of them have learned outside of getting a degree, and it hasn’t limited them, but instead they’re far less in debt and therefore have more financial freedom within their business (and that includes financial freedom for workshops and such that will further their photographic education and experience). And to compare to that, many (though not all) photography students are struggling to start or maintain their businesses because of debt. So, I’ve decided to stick to my photography groups, local classes, workshops, and personal research/practice/growth.
        Not really sure if that counts as “100% self taught”… but I am definitely guilty of #5. Other than that, nope.

    • Bullshit. Complete bullshit

      Ansel Adams?
      Henri Cartier-Bresson?

      Try this:
      How about Nicéphore Niépce?

      There is nothing wrong with being self taught as long as you are highly critical and analytical with your work and learn from everything you do.

      • Read the entire list until you get to “if answered yes THREE TIMES.” Not once.

        And really, just self taught entirely? That means you never attended any class, workshop at Imaging USA or elsewhere. Entirely self taught? If you can honestly answer that question with yes, then yes, you are a hack.

      • Yes, I have never attended any class. Entirely self taught.

        I may be a hack, but I’m a better photographer than you ever will be.

      • Kat: wake up and smell the coffee and preferably drink some before posting.

        The comment that this sub-thread is about says “Whoever is “guilty of #1″ as the other comment says, is a fauxtog.”

        They are saying that anyone is a fauxtog who is guilty of number 1. irrespective of how many other strikes they have.

        And it is possible to be self taught. As per the examples above, where the hell do you think they got the experience from?

        And as for other people who are self taught who you seem to be calling hacks. Yes it is possible to be entirely self taught. It’s called picking up a book or ten……or more.

      • That makes no sense at all. How can a person be self taught? You have to at least hear about things. How do you know what lenses to buy? You have never ever gotten any advice from anyone at any time. That is absurd. I have never gone to school for photography but I have at had some random advice and watch a Dom Bower video here or there. People are self taught like my foot does not stink. Everyone learns from somewhere. How did you know a camera even takes pictures? You had to learn it at some point. Guess you lived in a box and all knowledge came to you.

      • Guys, I think it’s obvious Kat is full of shit, and probably jealous she had to take a million classes to take photos that were as good as photos taken by someone that doesn’t take any.

  3. #9 needs to be edited. Because everyone, including nationally-recognized professionals have used selective coloring. I have in professional competitions (both WPPI and PPA) and have taken high honors with it.

    • I agree. “If you are STILL using selective coloring” would be better.

    • Phew, only two out of ten! But I am self taught because I havent yet found a decent photography course that I can afford. I do keep learning though.
      And I am not a fauxtographer because I don’t publish my work except on facebook to friends and on Flickr.

  4. Mark this as my least favorite YANAP post because many of the items listed don’t preclude a good photo. If a pro photographer experiments successfully with cell phone photography, are they now suddenly a fauxtog? If I use a bed sheet and blow it out with a strobe, is it less effective than a typical backdrop? If I’ve spent 20 years experimenting with equipment, technique, and composition to good effect, am I less a photographer for having taught myself?

    Sorry, but this post really misses the mark. Let’s get back to horribly lit, slightly disgusting boudoir photos. Those are at least funny.

  5. I think even a pro can say yes to @ least one thing on the list and the list is missing very important things I see wrong with Fauxtogs all the time. Like using ur expensive camera in A and not M.. Or even understanding what ur camera can do! And not understanding Auto Focus.. Then having ur camera take a nice pic or two and then open up a business and start taking peoples money for subpar work. Then seeing their work and 1 out of 10 is actually in focus where it should be and that was just the luck of the camera.. I am both self taught(started taking picture @ the age of 9) and went to school to learn and understand the fundimentals and can say that by doing that I was able to take my photos to the next level! I would say ur a Fauxtog if ur self taught and that time is under 2 years. As for selective colouring I am so sick of hearing how horrible it is! If exicuted correctly then it can be nice. I do not do it in people portraits and only do it to my nature work.. But almost always get good feed back from those photos (and not from family & friends!)

    • Did you teach yourself English, too? 🙂

      The self-taught thing is wrong in its essence and reasoning, but probably right statistically.

    • There is nothing wrong with using A or T modes. Try shooting sports in dynamically changing conditions and see how helpful M is then.

      • cameraclicker

        I think he meant A for auto, not A for aperture priority. ‘Course I could be mistaken.
        School is a shortcut to getting some of the basics in a fairly organized manner, and sometimes it helps one learn to think about a subject. Whether they were self taught or thrashed out ideas with their peers, most of the pioneers had to work it out for themselves because there were no classes and there was no school. Uneducated is a completely different thing than self educated.

  6. I am guilty of number 5. I use bed sheets, shower curtains, lace shawls, antique bed spreads, whatever I can get to give me the look I want. But I dont claim to be a professional. I only do pictures of my family and friends as a hobby. Also, the whole self taught debate, if you have read a book or magazine or even gotten ideas from other photographers you cannot claim to be 100% self taught. You learned something from somebody or something. I also don’t think this is literally “the rules” to being a fauxtog. I have seen pictures taken by so called photographers who break none of these rules and still have crappy pictures. Instead of dissecting and examining this post, lets all just say “it’s funny cause it’s true” like every other stereotype and go on with our day.

  7. Guilty of #9, and cannot say about #2 since I don’t try to sell or share my photos. As for being self-taught, there are other ways to learn besides “self-teaching” or school. I was an assistant for several years for both still photographers and videographers. Priceless education and I got paid for it to boot.

  8. Being self-taught make someone a hack does it Kat? Funny, neither i or the rest of the world ever realised David Bailey was a hack, i always thought he was one of the best known and most sought after fashion photographers of his generation, guess we were all wrong 🙂

  9. SoniKalien

    I am guilty of 1-9. But I haven’t been featured here and I do not class my-self as a professional photographer. So that lets me off. 😀

  10. You’ve missed the mark with this one YANAP. Most of the things listed don’t necessarily affect a persons ability to produce professional quality work.

    #1- The key to professionalism is not to be tutored by some pretentious twat who is likely to develop this kind of website; which, albeit, is generally entertaining; then try to insult anyone who even wants to be a better photographer.

    #2- Early stages of a business will be friends and family, this industry doesn’t start out with only people you don’t know. My ‘fans’ are still about 30% Family and Friends.

    #3- Okay this one is all yours- I don’t even know what it is!

    #4- It’s okay to play with mobile photography, I can produce incredibly high quality images with only my Instagram app. I would never try to use it in selling an image though.

    #5- If exposed correctly and cleaned and ironed, a bed sheet is a great, cheap, alternative to backdrops. Don’t knock it until you understand it’s light, not equipment, that matters.

    #6- This one is yours too, I agree you should only share your best work.

    #7- I don’t have anything to say.

    #8- It’s not a cure, it’s more of a way to tone them down and remove some of the really bad ones, to the point it still looks natural, grandma will love you for it.

    #9- Selective colouring is a creative technique that when executed well, and for the right reason (ie; to bring mood, ambience or a certain emotion to an image) then it’s okay. Using it the way some YANAP submissions do- Not okay.

    #10- Seldom, but it has happened, I’ve stumbled across some YANAP posts that are really not as bad as you make them out to be. For the most part they’re awful, but once in a while it’s someone who’s new to a certain type who did an okay job.

    Though I detest those who go into the industry with no idea what they’re doing, it’s not wholly their fault, it’s the people who want to pay a stupidly low amount without realising they will get an inferior product from this person who aide the issue.

    It’s not our duty to tell people they can’t be photographers, it’s our duty to help people; who want to learn; to be better photographers.

  11. I come from large extended families on both sides, so #2 is true for me. I’ve used a bed sheet for a backdrop but only because I don’t have chromakey green when I’m doing composites. With selective colouring, I’ve done once or twice for a leaf here or there on B&W autumn shots. I was paid ONCE (at a friend’s insistence) for taking portraits of her family . So I have 4/10. Am I a fauxtog? I call bullshit on that one.

  12. This is WAAAAAAY off YANAP.

    Perhaps this could feature as a post on You Are Not a Blogger…?

  13. I’m only guilty of #5 if a piece of poster boaard counts as a bed-sheet…
    Not saying anything about the other numbers….

  14. roycebennett

    Technically I’m self taught and I have used selective coloring before. But when I say self taught, I have not taken a single class or workshop. I have though studied everything I can about photography. Started off with DigitalPhotographySchool and sprouted out towards all kinds of other media and publications. Read all of Scott Kelby’s books. Subscribe to several photographer blogs ranging from Jared Polin to YNAP.

    Do I think I can learn more? Most definitely. I do not believe that you can ever stop learning about something that you are passionate about and truly love and enjoy.

  15. i think i knwo someone who is guilty of at least 4 out of 10 if not 5 of them… i would love to submit but idk

  16. mrrabbit2502

    I’m smashing my camera RIGHT NOW!!! Oh crap. I was only guilty of four of the things on the list, wait only two. Ok, I need a new camera now. I’m gonna upgrade to the Canon Rebel… finally I won’t be out gunned by those moms with a big camera. HA HA! And it comes with editing software, by by picMonkey.

  17. Jessica Costa

    Guilty of #4…

  18. I’m guilty of #1 (though well read, have watched hundred+ hours of instructional video and have hundreds of thousands of images as practice) and #9 (but only for goofing off). Not a fauxtog under these criteria…

  19. Scrappycrow

    I’ve done #5 a number of times for head shots. I don’t have a studio, so when someone wants a neutral (and neither high- nor low-key) shot, I use a medium-grey pattern-free bedsheet. Even if it’s not ironed, with proper positioning of the subject & lighting and a judicious aperture, you can’t see any wrinkles in the background.

  20. This poster should be called YOU ARE NOT A GRAPHIC DESIGNER

  21. Sometimes you can capture the best composed photographs with your cell phone. Considering them pro or not is a different matter, but cell phones definitely don’t make for fauxtogs.

  22. I hate to burst someone’s bubble but I figured I would let the photograph Nazi’s in on a little secret.

    If being self taught makes you a Fauxtog then who taught the first person to ever use a camera how to be a “real” photographer? Wouldn’t they be self taught?

    So … someone had to self teach in order to teach the next person. Do you get where this is going?

    Also, I know of world renowned professional photogs who make 7 figures a year and use selective coloring sometimes. What is this elitist horse poop?

    While I agree that 99% of the pics posted here are god awful I do believe the community is even worse.

    How to tell you are a Failtog:
    1: You make fun of everyone else’s photography.

    2: You connect with other people who sit around on the internet and talk about how they are so angry that other people can afford a camera.

    3. You think you need to spend 75k on a crappy, over priced school of Photoshop in order to be a “real” photographer.

    More than half of the most influential photographers in the world are self taught. I would advise most of you to put your camera down and pick up a book.

  23. 1. False
    2. Most likely True.
    3. What is PicMonkey? False.
    4. False.
    5. False.
    6. True.
    7. Never!
    8. False.
    9.True. These days I use it for underlying editing purposes that no one notices or that are not so much “creative”.
    10. False.

  24. maniniyot

    I agree that this post misses the mark. However, if this is for humor’s sake then it may be funny. The difference between a pro and someone is the ability to effectively perform the task on hand. Even if you are the photographer with the best equipment and technical knowledge but miss whatever the client requires then you shouldn’t be a pro. It is akin to a cab driver who doesn’t know how to get to your destination safely, efficiently, and comfortably. The biggest myth is that you need to have pro grade equipment to be pro. Definitely not, but you need to have pro equipment to be reliable, accurate and consistent. There will always be clients with bad taste. The ultimate question is- Are a fauxtographer if your clients love your “horrible” output?

  25. Im definately guilty of #5 and #9
    I do alot of boudoir and and a good ironed white sheet can do wonders infront of a large window.
    selective colour… clients have asked for it in photos and I charge extra for extra editing they ask to be done.

  26. 1. F
    2. T
    3. F
    4. F
    5. F
    6. F
    7. F
    8. F
    9. T
    10. F

    I will take one Not-a-Fauxtog Certificate please.

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