I’m a “Natural Light” Photographer TOO!

My beloved profession has been flooded the past few years with “natural” light fauxtograpers, i.e. person with a camera.  These people don’t have a studio, the great outdoors is their studio!lol  ANYWAY…a Mom of a senior came into the studio today with the proofs of her son’s senior pictures, taken by one of these newbies.  She was very disappointed with how washed-out they were, his head was clipped off at the top (not in a good way) and he looked distorted.  The fauxtographer told her there was nothing wrong with these and wouldn’t do any retakes. This is my shocked face :-0 I told her if she did have more taken she’d just get more of the same.  She agreed.

She asked me why my portraits look so much better….(really? seriously?, is what I was thinking) BUT I was nice and told her that alot of these fauxtographers don’t spend any time or effort to learn proper portrait skills. Rather than spending their money on training, they spend it on the camera because they think that’s all it takes.  And the images still look bad, so they run a Photoshop effect on them and call them “Creative, edgy”.  You can put lipstick on a pig, it’s still a pig.

After she left, I sat down to work on some outdoor senior images, and this one was first.  This image is a fairly typical for a outdoor senior. Notice how there is direction to the light on her face, creating hi-light and shadow giving her face dimension? Notice how her hair is backlit seperating her from the background?  Notice how the wind is blowing her hair just a little?  Notice her eyes are not in shadow?  Notice the proper skin tone and color, it’s not “washed-out” or has one of the ugly effects put on it to give it the “creative, edgy” look?  Notice the camera angle and lens selection used to avoid lens distortion and compress and blur the background?

All of these techniques are learned, AND applied.  They are the basics in professional portrait lighting, it’s not an accident.  Anything less than this is amature, lazy and sloppy.  I often say to newbies, “If you couldn’t look at the back of the camera after you take a picture, would you still be a fauxtographer?”

Please show alittle respect for the profession that I’ve spent 27 years of my life perfecting.  There’s more to what I do than buying a camera, even a “really nice one”.  Call these wannabee newbies what they are, just people with a camera. Oh, and a Facebook page.

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~ by Jim on September 20, 2012.

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