Beware of fauxtographers


Take good care, fauxtographers are not photographers and they are certainly not neither artists nor professional photographers.

It's really funny to see how photographers are probably the only artists and professionals who have to actually add the word "professional" to the one that really describes them as what they truly are.  Perhaps this is a matter that only depends on the language and that maybe proves not to be true for other countries and for other languages, but I can assure that in Spanish we always refer to ourselves as "professional photographers" when we want to mean that this is our artistic and professional activity.

We never say in Spanish “a professional architect” or “a professional lawyer” and even less “a professional doctor” because we recognize their college education and their undisputed abilities to successfully perform their professions.

That’s maybe why whenever I meet a new person in Spain and I introduce myself as a photographer I must stress that I am a professional photographer and normally I have to answer to some intriguingquestions about me as a “professional” photographer that frequently arise: " Can you make a living from photography? " , " Do you photograph weddings? " and sure " Can you take my photographs for free? " .

Most of the time I have fun answering these questions but not that much when I find myself continuously reaffirming my artistic and professional skills and experience and my architectural photography work is compared with some type of amateur wannabe photographers that the Urban Dictionary calls as “fauxtographers” .

Joan Miró Foundation  |  Josep Lluís Sert  |  Barcelona

A fauxtographer, according to the Urban Dictionary, is “a person who tries to jump on the photography band-wagon by "pointing-and-shooting" hundreds of terrible pictures, which they will upload to myspace in an album titled "my photography", "my art", or "critique my work". Always followed up by the person adding "photography" to their General section, or adding "photography is my life ..." to their about ee.” 

Or also,  “a person that claims to be a good photographer when in reality they just set their camera to automatic mode and start shooting. This person also happens to fumble over photographic terms or has no knowledge of the terms or switches the color mode to monochrome and calls it artistic no matter what the hell is in in frame.”

And even, “an amateur photographer who misrepresents themselves as a professional photographer or photojournalist simply because they bought a DSLR camera and have a Nikon strap” or “Similar to a actual photographer, but not a real artist. Not to be confused with a simple camera owner.”

That’s the point, a camera owner is not a photographer. And this is specially true for architectural photography and all the dedicated work it takes to successfully interpret and communicate an architecture project in photographs.

Please take care of your architecture projects and beware of fauxtographers.


David Cardelús