FAUXtographer to PHOtographer | Tulsa Photographer

I almost made the title of this post “FAUXtographer to PROtographer” but even after 2 full years of shooting I still can’t call myself a pro. I don’t know that I ever will. I am always improving {or trying to!}. I will NEVER think that I have “arrived”. I will never forget going into photography completely blind, shooting in Auto, using Picnik to edit, not knowing what aperture was. I just jumped in and was a full blown FAUXtographer. Anyone can buy a DSLR and call themselves a photographer. I did it….and wish I hadn’t. I look at my first shoots and am ashamed of myself. I had no idea what I was doing! And people paid me to have no idea what I was doing!! LOL We all start somewhere. If you go to an uber famous/popular photographer’s page and get discouraged because your images don’t look like that, have no fear. I promise their beginning images didn’t look like that!
If you’re new and want to know how to improve your photography ask yourself a few questions… Do you know how to shoot in Manual? Are you using editing software to enhance or FIX your pictures? When you edit them do they look REAL? If not, take the time to learn these things and everything else will eventually fall into place.
Below are images from the first 2 sessions I ever did. I also show an unedited image from one of those shoots, how I edited it then, and how I would edit it now.
Good thing these kids are so darn cute. THEY are what saved me!
Feel free to laugh. I have no shame 🙂
Don’t be jealous of my awesome Picnik “logo/watermark”……that I thought was sooooo cool! Poor Brodey! I promise in real life he isn’t an oompa-loompa baby like I edited him to be!

Look how awful this black and white is!!! AH!! You mean that black in the corners isn’t real?! HA!
Completely over saturated, terrible use of lighting, ETC.
This used to be my favorite picture {when I didn’t know better}…and if I took this same shot today I think it would be great. But today it would be in FOCUS with no  where near the amount of editing.
Here is my straight out of camera….shot in AUTO and good lighting saved me.
 Here is how I edited it 2 years ago. What? You don’t like the blown out white, deathly skin tones, and black trees and grass?!
Here is a quick edit I did last night.Besides my image I edited last night, all above images were {obviously.} edited in Picnik. I will keep my anti-Picnik comments to myself so as to not sound too hypocritical 😉
After using Photoshop for about 5 years now, I can’t believe I ever used anything else!
Here are 2 of my pretty recent images.

If you’ve been feeling discouraged with your images I hope seeing this eases your mind a bit.
Keep at it and don’t give up.

Andrea Machado - March 2, 2012 - 10:55 AM

Thanks for sharing. I’m just getting my portfolio together now, and when I look at awesome photographers (like yourself) I get a pit in my stomach and second guess if I’m doing the right thing by pursuing my passion. I keep thinking I’ll never be that good. It always gives me hope when you guys are so generous in sharing the pics of when you first started. So, thank you again!

Lindsey - March 2, 2012 - 11:12 AM

Thank you for posting this – it really does help to see posts like this from time to time!

Lizette - March 2, 2012 - 11:45 AM

Wow, i am so happy that you posted this. See, I always took pictures, ever since I was little. Now I want to pursue it and it’s hard because I feel like the photoshoots I do, aren’t good enough. I always second guess myself. I’m slowly starting to ask people to me my “models”. I have learned to shoot in manual, well I self taught myself, and I used photoshop for the first time a month ago and fell in love! I think I’m on the right track, now I just need to start shooting more to enhance my pictures. I know you probably don’t know half of the people that comment on your pictures, but I am definitely a fan of yours. You inspire people.

susie - March 5, 2012 - 8:52 PM

thanks for sharing..sometimes learning is very frustrating…but a very necessary part of the journey!! We all have to start somewhere! 🙂

Glad to know that perhaps there is HOPE that I will be a PHOTOgrapher one day!

Julie B - May 21, 2012 - 12:13 PM

Hey I just discovered that black edges thing, lol! I need to make the jump to Photoshop. Your work is so inspiring. Thanks for posting your old stuff. I was just happy I could see the differences/what was not so hot! You’re the best Amy!!!

Jessica G. - September 27, 2012 - 2:20 PM

It’s great fr anyone pursuing photography to see this! I’m in my fourth year of photography at Ryerson University in Canada and I get asked a lot why my program is that long…people are amazed there’s that much to learn, and the crazy part is I still have so much to learn! With the digital age it’s so easy for anyone to pick up a camera and call themselves a photographer. It’s so important that people recognize the history, craft and skill involved with being a real professional photographer! This is such a good example of the learning process that’s involved, to do things the right way!

marie - December 11, 2012 - 1:08 AM

I’m so glad I came across your post! You do beautiful work.

I am a beginner. Photography is something I’ve always been interested in but have always been too shy to pursue. I finally decided life is too short and I want to give it a shot.

I have yet to enroll in classes but am still practicing and reading on my own. I have a looooong way to go but I feel more assured now that anything is possible.

Thank you for the kind words and reassurance. This is a must-see post for anyone with aspirations.

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