Melody (09.08.09, 9:13 PM): I have to agree. I love photography and everything that goes with it. I don't want to do it as a business, I just want it as a hobby that I truly love and crave to know more about. I spent years dreaming of the day when I would be able to buy the DSLR that I wanted. Took a long time to come to be able to afford it. But what a feeling when I was finally able to buy it!! On the flip side... I have a friend who one day just decided that he wanted to be a wedding photographer. Jumped in with both feet and bought thousands of dollars worth of equipment. Equipment that he had no clue how to use, he just bought it because someone said that he should have it. And then had the audacity to tell me all about every little piece bought. I tell you this really hurt. Having spent everything I had, and didn't have, just to buy the camera I wanted. I research everything before I buy it, making absolutely sure that it is what I really, really want. I spent three months researching video cameras before I bought mine. I know that I will certainly appreciate every little piece of gear I add to my collection, being that I have to work hard and wait for it. I know my friend has worked for his money too, but some people just seem to have more money than they know what to do with. I sincerely thank you Michael for doing all these how-to videos. Someday I will have the funds to attend a workshop. And I love road-trips so that would not hold me back! I sure hope you will make it into Canada someday... reading your blog I found out that you would have been 15 mins from my place!

Tony Scoma (08.15.09, 5:08 PM): Michael, You are so right on. I have been creating a network marketing organization with a fantastic company called Nikken for 18 years now. What most people think is a waste of time and you cannot possibly make money - well I have raised 10 children, made millions of dollars and traveled the world sharing something that I believe in - a concept of balance and energy. I started with nothing - no contacts, not much knowledge, but I had a dream and a belief in myself and my cause. It has been way more than a profession - it is a Mission! I agree with your personal and political views. Having known you when you were a teenager, I am very impressed with your focus, commitment and knowledge. Let me share one more thing: I have interacted with people from Moscow to Sydney, Tokyo to Coppenhagen, Buenos Aires to British Columbia - there is beauty and wonder in all cultures and people, but ultimately as you strip away race, nationality and culture, you end up with human beings that want to love and be loved. Unfortunately, to be the best mother, father, professional, business person, politician or teacher: You must sacrifice so that you can DO, and then BE and then HAVE ALL THAT YOU WANT.

Diane (08.14.09, 5:56 PM): I feel like I've just been scolded......that's not a bad thing, Michael. I deserved it. I was one of those who wanted so desperately to attend a workshop but 1) funds and 2) location stopped me.....or I let it stop me. So, I guess I'm just not ready for that "next" step....but I will get there, of that I am sure.

cravephotography (08.13.09, 2:55 PM): Thank You Michael. I needed to hear that and I agree with you 100%. Sometimes I feel like I am looking for an easier way to absorb all of the photography information and dread reading my manuals, etc... But I know deep down I have to do it. It doesn't matter if someone tells you all of the magic settings etc... It won't make a bit of difference unless it all makes sense and clicks in your own mind. There is no way around it, you have to learn for yourself and do the homework. I have been doing my photography for only 9 months, but I have watched mega tutorials, read in books, played with my camera, done countless free photo shoots, and attended several workshops (including yours which rocked!) I have tried to balance being a wife and mother and learn photography, photoshop, create a blog, and now I am working on my website. I usually only average about 5 hours of sleep a night if I'm lucky. I stay up forcing myself to learn. If people really had a clue how much went in to making yourself a legitimate photographer, I think the weak hearted couldn't cut it. It takes an amazing amount of drive and motivation and learning to be able to succeed. I am optomistic that at some point it will all come together and I will be successful. P.S. I have your spare mount for your tri-pod. I need to mail it to you somehow. E-mail me at and let me know where to send it!

michael andrew (08.12.09, 1:06 AM): thank you so much everyone for your feedback and insight. Ive gotten many emails from this post and I appreciated hearing from you. I have some more posts coming on this topic, slight different aspects. I saw it today at the workshop, everyone who has sacrificed to get their own camera are much better students and have much more drive.

Derrick (08.11.09, 7:14 PM): You hit the nail on he head, Since purchasing my DSLR in April 2008, I felt like I was drinking water from a fire hydrant, You have helped me tremendously and I find the more I learn the more I want. I set goals for myself, 2008-2009 to try and master basics then establish a business in late 2009 for my debut in 2010. I have taken my camera to every family function / party and the non family members are asking me if I do this professionally. What encouraging words for me and they haven't seen my work yet.... I have been asked to possibly do a wedding in May 2010. Looks like my stars are lining up...I hope to have my portfolio ready by the end of year so what they see is what they get. At the end of the day, if you don't set goals, you can talk all you want but you won't have the drive to finish. Thanks.

Tami (08.11.09, 4:18 PM): It's not about the money....if people really want something they will find a way to get it done. Most people have exactly what they really want....they just don't know it. I have someone in my life that says they have wanted to open their own business for years...they call me all the time and ask if they can sit down and pick my brain. The last time I said no...."I'm not qualifed to talk about this with you." And I'm not....she wants to analyze and worry about something she has not even started yet. I don't know what she really wants....she obviously doesn't know what she wants either. But I know this .... she likes to sit and talk and analyze.... so she needs to pay a shrink to help her figure it out. I look at it like this.....this is the only life I have....and I want to spend my time doing the things I love with people I enjoy.

Mark Iuzzolino (08.11.09, 9:17 AM): Awesome insight and thanks for sharing.

Scott Roeben (08.11.09, 1:04 AM): This whole area is fascinating! Recently, a local camera shop had strobist-inspired workshop, and it was free. Thread after thread on our local photo club message board were devoted to just this kind of lighting. I thought the room would be overflowing, because the workshop was FREE. Not a single person showed from our club. And while 25 people gave RSVPs to the event, five showed up. Amazing. It was clear that what people say they want, and what they want, are often different things. It's like we delude ourselves in a way. I've always prided myself on helping others as much as possible, but this is making me re-think doing so many shoots for free. Charity aside, people might not see it as generosity, but rather that my abilities have no value. Hmm.

Kelly Easter (08.10.09, 11:11 PM): What vessel can change its course even one degree when it is not in motion? (I can't think of any... let alone a student of photography.)

Kathy (08.10.09, 9:25 PM): I couldn't agree with you more!!!

Boz (08.10.09, 8:28 PM): Been There Done That. It's frustrating when you are simply trying to help, but essentially the other individual has to make the choice to put in the effort first...and when you run across the 1% who just Needs the help, and actually takes it and run with in a great way - it feels terrific too! Pretty far in few between though.

Julia Shinkle (08.10.09, 7:47 PM): I agree. I returned pop cans to earn some of the money to pay for my camera. It means so much more to me because of that.

Alstare Photogrpahy (08.10.09, 5:29 PM): Well said! I was just talking about this same thing only a few days ago ironically.

Lauri (08.10.09, 5:25 PM): I couldn't agree more! I am learning everything the hard way about opening a new studio but I wouldn't change it for a second!! Thank you so much for everything you taught at the workshop - it was amazing!

Adrian (08.10.09, 4:18 PM): well said.