Fauxtography Friday

I have been wanting to do this for a while now – have a “faux-tography friday” here on the blogaroo.

Being a photographer (and having been blessed with the amazing gift of bull……youfillintheblank), I am asked a lot of questions about how to get better pictures, what camera should i buy, how do i make my picture look like…..etc etc.

and i love it! I love being able to answer questions about pictures because i absolutely LOVE taking pictures and snapping little moments in time to look back on and enjoy and remember and re-live.

So – on friday’s i’ll try to focus (HA – pun intended….) on all things photographic.  Or faux-tographic as the case may be. Why the play on words? Well….if you really know me, you’d know the answer to that question. It’s because I have an answer/reason/explanation for EVERYTHING. So even if I am by no means a photographic expert, i know how to fake it till I make it – and while it may not be scientifically true, it will SOUND good enough that you’ll believe it. And it will be MOSTLy true. I promise.

So here we go – first up – a question i am asked A LOT.

What kind of camera should i buy?

Little known fact – I used to work as a consultant at a Best Buy concept store that was geared around marketing electronics solely to women. It was tons of fun. there were little characters that were specific genres of women (e.g. – Susie was a soccer mom who wanted to take pics of her son and then upload them easily on her computer, Debbie was a middle aged woman looking to stay up on trends/purchase electronics for capturing memories of the grandkids that would soon be coming, Violet was a college student, etc etc) Plus it was just a really super-fun job.

But while there, i learned a lot about cameras, and what kind of cameras suit different situations.

and what it boils down to is – What kind of pictures are you taking?

There are a lot of people who think that they NEED an SLR (the kind of camera with long lenses that you can interchange). SLR stands for “single lens reflex”, but that really means nothing to most people. They just want “to be able to zoom”, “take better pictures of the kids”, “have a nicer camera”. And those are all very good reasons for having an SLR – but here’s a secret:

{you can get all those things without the expense of an SLR.}

I am not trying to dissuade anyone from GETTING an SLR if that is what they truly want. Lord knows I love both of mine. But I hate seeing people get these amazing cameras, spend LOTS of money on them, and then never take them off the “auto” setting because its too much work. You could have gotten a very nice point-and-shoot camera and used all that extra money for a video camera to boot! And still gotten similar results!

SLR’s ARE great cameras, no doubt about it. But what makes them take awesome pictures is the knowledge BEHIND the camera. Knowing what lens to use for which situation. Knowing how to utilize all the awesome menu’s on the camera, and yes, taking it off auto. Knowing how to tell your camera what kind of light you are in, and how to use that light to get just the right shot. it’s a learning process. i don’t claim to know it all myself even. But if you aren’t really interested in learning all about that stuff, you don’t have to waste all that extra money on an SLR when you can accomplish the same goals with an awesome point-n-shoot.

So for now, let’s focus on a point and shoot – which still has LOTS of ground to cover!

The “zoom” that most people want – that does actually come built in to many point and shoots (PS for short for the rest of this post!) In order to get great zoom on an SLR, you need to have various lenses, which add even MORE to the cost. And even then, to get a close up of my daughter on stage at a dance recital or a really awesome clear pic of little Aiden running down the soccer field, you’re looking at a really really expensive lens and probably an external flash, which you can’t even USE in dance recitals anyways.

I’ll do another post soon about how to look for the different numbers that are plastered all over most PS cameras and what they mean, but for now, let’s just assume that all numbers are equal. Which brings us to brand – what BRAND of camera should you get?

For most people in the PS market – it comes down to price. Is there anything spectacularly different between a Nikon, Canon, Sony or Konecheewa brand of camera? Well, yes and no.  they probably all have the same basic parts – but will have different aspects. Sony tends to have very user friendly menu’s/button placements, Canon has fast processors, Nikon has awesome color profiles that produce gorgeous prints. And Konecheewa is my generic term for, well, generic cameras. These are the kind of cameras that are advertised in like the Aldi ad for ridiculously low prices, or that are on the back tables in Big Lots, or on the bottom shelf of the Best Buy display.

And this is the lesson I want you all to walk away with


Bottom line.

a really nice camera, one that SHOULD meet most of your photographic needs and last for more than three months, will probably run you around $300. You can get away with one down around $200 if you catch a great sale, and if you can swign $400 a whole new world will open up to you, but 300 smackers sounds about right.

Back to the brand discussion – it’s truly a matter of preference, of what feels good in your hands and seems easy to use. You really have to go to the store, take advantage of all the models they have on display and use one. Narrow it down by looking for online reviews first – just google the name of the camera you are thinking of (Canon Powershot or Sony Powershot for instance). Or do it in reverse – go to the store and pick up a few, then go home and google your heart out once you have specific brands to look for.

Does that help make it all as clear as mud? Well, sorry. Ok, I’ll make it real super easy – I’ll link you to three cameras that I think are really neat and worth the money.

51M8z3xQyUL._SL500_AA280_ Nikon Coolpix.

I will admit – I am partial to Nikon. I own a Nikon DSLR and a Nikon film SLR before that. Since they do SUCH AN AMAZING JOB with their SLR market though, many people feel their PS cameras are a little lacking. I like the features that come with this one though, plus it CAN come in hot pink if you do a little searching. Who DOESN’T love a hot pink camera I ask you???


51FVBjR2mxL._SL500_AA280_ The Canon Powershot.

Now i have heard GREAT things about the G10, G11 Canon point and shoots, but they are a little out of the $300 price range, so I went with this one. i can wholeheartedly NOT recommend any of the Powershot “SDxxx” models (where the x’s are different numbers). They have a known motor defect with the lens. Yours might work for 3 years, 3 months or 3 weeks, but at some point, that motor will quit working and you are left with a completely unfixable unusable camera. Well, you CAN send it in for repairs, but Canon, I have heard, will say its not covered under their warranty OR the cost to ship it and repair it will be more than what you paid for the camera to begin with. This is what happened to my poor little powershot. it was a great camera while it lasted though!


and finally – Sony’s entry, the Cybershot. The nice thing about Sony – you can get a LOT of camera for the same price as some of the other two (nikon/canon), simply because they aren’t one of the major camera players (yet – i think they’re really starting to make their own market!). One drawback is that sony uses proprietary cards, which can sometimes be a pain (don’t always work in plug and play cameras, computer, card readers, etc.), plus they cost more than say a generic pack of SD cards. BUT – overall, this is a great little camera for the money.

(if you click any of the pics it will take you to the amazon page for that camera with reviews and everything).


So there you have it.

a “brief” little overview of cameras for our first Fauxtography Friday.

PLEASE feel free to email me more questions that I can answer on upcoming Fridays!

Happy Snapping!



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  1. Dear fauxtography guru, I tried to email you but your email link no workee. My question is, how do I get my photos to look like yours. thank you, a reader.

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