Watch out NYC! The newest faux-tographer has hit the streets!

Joined
Jul 19, 2010
Messages
850
Location
Rochester, NY
My sister's father-in-law has decided that he's a "professional with 40 years experience" so has a business name, and has his first wedding this weekend.

The same person who, at my niece's first birthday, spent over half the party in the sunroom trying to figure out why his flash wasn't working right. (It wasn't seated completely on the camera.) Then he spend a solid half hour telling me about his new lighting setup that is "just as good as a professional studio." It's some contraption that has an umbrella that goes behind his head or something.

His "40 years of experience" includes the years of in depth experience using his camera on auto-mode. He had a kinda bulky lens on his camera and I asked him what it was (assuming it was a 2.8 lens) and he had no idea what I meant when I asked about fixed aperture.

I truly feel bad for the unsuspecting bride who will end up with crappy photos for a high price tag. then again, considering what his "samples" look like on his site, perhaps she'll be getting what she signed up for...
 
Joined
Jul 19, 2010
Messages
850
Location
Rochester, NY
He has 25 or 30, no wedding shots. I'm sure he used pictures from weddings he's attended to get the job.

The retouching is rather frightening too. Yes, I know, we all start somewhere. However, this one is the ultimate "Uncle Bob" it's just frustrating...

I know I have a LOT to learn, and will probably never know as much as some people here have already forgotten. But that's kinda the point - I'm here to learn and get better. People like him, well, they already know everything, so what's the problem??
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2006
Messages
8,391
Location
LA (Lower Arkansas)
I see 'em every day. And for some reason, they always seem to make a little money with their "professional" shots.

I was actually chatting with one of these "pros" and mentioned that I might be organizing a class to teach beginners how to use their cameras (aperture, ISO, shutter speed, etc.). She told me that she'd love to attend to learn how to use the "meter thing" in her camera.

It's a good thing that most people don't know what makes a good photo. Otherwise our court systems would be even more clogged.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
14,901
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Glad camera gear prices are on the rise. So only the insane and those willing to starve themselves will become professionals! :tongue:

Rich dentist are still welcomed, since they're the ones who sell their gear in mint condition to the starving photographer. :wink: :biggrin:
 
Joined
Dec 30, 2008
Messages
1,677
Location
Littleton, CO
There are a lot out there. I sometimes browse the local CL ads for wedding photographers. 9/10 the photos they have on their sites are junk. Look like they were shot with a P&S.

I'm probably spoiled by looking at the shots posted here on the Cafe but still...
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
2,115
Location
Nowhereland
There are a lot out there. I sometimes browse the local CL ads for wedding photographers. 9/10 the photos they have on their sites are junk. Look like they were shot with a P&S.

I'm probably spoiled by looking at the shots posted here on the Cafe but still...
Yeah we have that here as well. A majority are blown out but then they call it high key, I call it blown out. I guess that is what makes them pros and me a mere amateur, their is HK and mine are over exposed.
 
Joined
Apr 2, 2011
Messages
25
Location
Houston, TX
It has always been the same, I started in this wonderful business in 1970 and have seen this type of photographer over and over again.
 
Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
1,370
Location
Canada
My biggest fear of being a pro, if ever, would be ruining someone else's memories. If it were all my own, no harm no foul. But I can't imagine doing that to someone's wedding, or engagement or any sort of celebration.
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
1,959
Location
Australia
My sister's father-in-law has decided that he's a "professional with 40 years experience" so has a business name, and has his first wedding this weekend.

The same person who, at my niece's first birthday, spent over half the party in the sunroom trying to figure out why his flash wasn't working right. (It wasn't seated completely on the camera.) Then he spend a solid half hour telling me about his new lighting setup that is "just as good as a professional studio." It's some contraption that has an umbrella that goes behind his head or something.

His "40 years of experience" includes the years of in depth experience using his camera on auto-mode. He had a kinda bulky lens on his camera and I asked him what it was (assuming it was a 2.8 lens) and he had no idea what I meant when I asked about fixed aperture.

I truly feel bad for the unsuspecting bride who will end up with crappy photos for a high price tag. then again, considering what his "samples" look like on his site, perhaps she'll be getting what she signed up for...
bring 'em on I say!

the amount of money i've earned doing 'rescue' jobs over the years is astounding.

one couple had such a bad job done on their pix (by a faux-tographer), i arranged with them to get the wedding party together again, full dress and makeup, the works so i could at least give them a half decent album of formal portraits.

all the wedding day pix were scrounged from friends and family.

actually, don't bring 'em on. they cause a world of hurt and hassles for all concerned.

that's the downside to the photography game. all anyone needs to call themselves a 'pro' is a camera and the guts to charge for their work.

there are a LOT of crappy 'professional' snappers out there.
 
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Joined
Mar 24, 2011
Messages
1,370
Location
Canada
^ That's an interesting concept, Photo Rescues. I suppose there will always be a niche for it as long as there are bad photogs.
 
Joined
May 5, 2006
Messages
650
Location
Alabama USA
Tried this ONCE

Shot a friend of a friends wedding some 25 years ago. Warned them I'm NOT a pro and only charged them for film and processing. I thought about 1/4 of the images were very good, especially the pre-wedding portrait of the bride. I sat her next to a huge plate glass window and had a friend hold up a white sheet to reflect light onto her other side. The lace detail in her gown really came out and her likeness was very beautiful. Alas, they were'nt happy and didn't pay me for the film or processing:frown:.
A hard lesson, a pro has to please not only themselves but also their client!
PS, I had to organize the wedding party in various configurations for group portraits, and the couple kept hassling me about why I was doing this? I hope they appreciate them now.
In the last 25 years many people have asked me to shoot their weddings and I ALWAYS tell them HIRE A PRO!
 
Joined
Mar 20, 2011
Messages
1,959
Location
Australia
A hard lesson, a pro has to please not only themselves but also their client!
err, i work on pleasing the client FIRST and worrying about my own sensibilities a loooooooong way second.


PS, I had to organize the wedding party in various configurations for group portraits, and the couple kept hassling me about why I was doing this? I hope they appreciate them now.
the 'every-possible-combination-of-the-couple-with-various-family-members-and-friends' sequence is a shoot i like to do right after the service outside the church.

it's also, imho, one of the most important series of pictures you'll shoot the whole day.

if you're quick, you can knock it all over in ~10 minutes or so and then it's done. i always make a point of discussing this particular part of the days shoot with the couple BEFORE the day.

funny, but i've had more complaints about 'you didn't get a pic of the couple with great aunt Maude' than about any other aspect of shooting a wedding.

edit: perhaps i should point out that i have been offering a 'satisfaction guarantee' for the whole 18 years i've been in this game. if the client isn't happy with the pictures they don't pay me a cent (including any expenses) but they don't get the pictures either. i have NEVER had a client hold me to that guarantee.
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2007
Messages
1,667
Location
BC
Someone joined one of the D7000 groups on Flickr that I belong to. She just got a D7000, has about 4 mediocre photos on her stream and is telling us about how she's set up a CL ad for wedding photography, etc., etc. I just had to shake my head.
 
Joined
May 5, 2006
Messages
650
Location
Alabama USA
err, i work on pleasing the client FIRST and worrying about my own sensibilities a loooooooong way second.




the 'every-possible-combination-of-the-couple-with-various-family-members-and-friends' sequence is a shoot i like to do right after the service outside the church.

it's also, imho, one of the most important series of pictures you'll shoot the whole day.

if you're quick, you can knock it all over in ~10 minutes or so and then it's done. i always make a point of discussing this particular part of the days shoot with the couple BEFORE the day.

funny, but i've had more complaints about 'you didn't get a pic of the couple with great aunt Maude' than about any other aspect of shooting a wedding.

edit: perhaps i should point out that i have been offering a 'satisfaction guarantee' for the whole 18 years i've been in this game. if the client isn't happy with the pictures they don't pay me a cent (including any expenses) but they don't get the pictures either. i have NEVER had a client hold me to that guarantee.
This is why you are a professional and I am not.
 
Joined
Mar 31, 2005
Messages
14,461
Location
Toronto Canada
Someone joined one of the D7000 groups on Flickr that I belong to. She just got a D7000, has about 4 mediocre photos on her stream and is telling us about how she's set up a CL ad for wedding photography, etc., etc. I just had to shake my head.
Well, the other way to look at it is that anyone who hires their wedding photog from Craigslist gets exactly what they deserve. It's like hiring a real estate agent from a park bench ad.
 

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