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Welcome to Michael's blog. Michael Andrew, (aka Michael The Maven) is a freelance producer, photography instructor, tech innovator, and when needed, disaster aid specialist. Disclaimer: Michael is a participant in Bhphoto & Amazon affiliate programs that provides an advertising commission if you purchase through links on this website.


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09.19.09         michael's insights  

Decision Making Bravery


Hi Michael- I am thinking about purchasing either a Canon Rebel T1i or a 50D. Which one should I get?

Michael- I am struggling deciding between Photoshop Elements and the older CS3. Can you tell me why I would want one over the other?

Should I get the Canon 5DII or should I wait for the 7D?

Hey Mr Mentor Man- I was wondering, can you take a look at my portfolio (see attached link) and tell me what I can do to improve?

Michael- Im interested in starting a photography business, but just don’t know where to start…can you tell me how to get it going?

Hi Michael- I am interested in getting a good all round lens. I hear the 28-135 is nice, but think I might need something a little nicer. Can you give me suggestions? Thanks!


I am sympathetic to everyone who has such a question, Ive been there- I know exactly how you feel. However, as a rule, whenever someone sends me an email like this, I do not respond. There are a number of reasons, and I’m not trying to be rude. I get hundreds of them and could literally spend all day answering emails. (BTW-If you are looking for specific information to help you make a decision, please go to the forum, where you have a much better chance of having your question answered by myself or someone else.)

I also think, especially if you are trying to start a business that you need to learn to be brave about making your own decisions. There is a natural human tendency, when we face uncertainty, we become fearful and want to remove the responsibility off our shoulders and have someone else decide for us.

Other times, we have the right idea of what the correct choice is, but we still ask others because we want to feel validated and confident that our decision is correct. Many times in these cases, we ask around, get advice we don’t really want to hear, and go ahead with our original choice anyway. I think this is better than turning it over completely to other people, but there comes a point when we need to learn to think and decide completely for ourselves. Otherwise, someone else will do the deciding for us and that’s just wrong!

What I am saying is, we need to become comfortable with blaming only ourselves for a bad choice. Hard to do, but it will absolutely set you free and is one of the biggest keys to happiness. When we learn to accept the responsibility for our decisions, we understand that we control our own destiny. If you are unhappy- yes…its your fault and this is a good thing, because if you accept this, you can choose to be happy.

It doesn’t matter so much that you are correct every single time. What matters most is that you are brave enough to make the decision and be willing to live with the consequences. This is an extremely valuable skill. Being so fearful that you do not make the choice, is nearly the same (if not worse) as not having the opportunity to.

As you progress in your field of work, the SPEED with which your decision making process happens will become more and more important. Workflow is a perfect example with photographers- if you cannot decide what you want to do with an image, you will be sucked into Photoshop Hypnosis and you will lose profitability due to lost time.

If you study it out and are still too nervous to decide- the photography business (or anything business) probably isn’t for you. (This is my nice way of saying if you are asking these questions at the top of this post, you are not ready.)

If you study it out and are willing to take a chance, even if you may be wrong….you are going to do just great. (That’s right…even if the choice is wrong).

Learn to collect information quickly, measure the benefit compared with the cost, project the possible consequences and then make your own decisions. It’s a skill that you will get better and better with over time. Exercise it, make your decision muscles stronger, especially when it’s uncomfortable.

The more you can do this, the more dynamic and more creative you will be in all phases of your life.

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