One of the more common questions I get from beginning photographers is how to start a website. I hear stories of beginners going out, buying Dreamweaver and attempting to code (which really means learning HTML to program) the site themselves because they cannot afford a professional looking site. In fact, when I made my very first website, this is what I did.

I think everyone at one time or another has considered doing their own oil change to save $5-10 (or more). I have other friends who will even attempt not-so-easy car repairs because they are trying to save money.

Sometimes, it is definitely better to just do it yourself instead of hiring someone, like making dinner for example.

I am more and more convinced that instead of trying to do everything yourself, you have to learn to be brave, find GOOD help, and pay GOOD money to get things done. There is much more involved in price than just the cost of doing something- there is also the cost of the experience the person has gained to do it, as well as their equipment and overhead.

If you are looking for a website to be made, just go to They are affordable and very easy to manage. Pay the extra $100 per year for the hosting too. While it may be somewhat of a pain to get set up initially, its totally worth saving the head ache, worry, lack of knowledge, etc. and in the end, it will be much cheaper, faster, and more professional looking than anything we could make on our own.

The designer of this Blog, Brock Martin, is the equivalent of superman when it comes to Blog Programming. Interestingly, I have offered him many, many other jobs, and he has turned me down because he wasn’t interested in doing it, at any price. When he does take the jobs I offer him, the dude is amazingly fast, amazingly professional, and amazingly nice. Cost is no longer an issue in my mind with him because I know he will get it done right.

(As a side note, Twice this last week, I was on the other end of this. I had 2 proposed shoots, one was a wedding and the other was for a promotional. I gave the best quote I could (meaning this is what I was willing to do the work for), and in both cases- the customer said it was too much, and then counter offered with much lower bids. I explained to them that I would not be willing to do the projects because “I know what it takes to do a good job and I cannot do a good job for that cost. I will only work on your project if I can do the best job possible” and I then politely referred them to other photographers. This happens to me in about 90% of the jobs I am offered, and of the 10% I do take, they are very happy and happy to pay me for what I do. These are the customers I want to attract.)

I will be the first to admit that sometimes, people you hire are going to be incompetent. Chalk it up as lesson learned, no matter what, do not hire them again and then move on.

I’m making this comment because I am getting to the point where I need more than one person helping me (that would be my editor Adam) in order to complete the many, many projects I have going. Ive tried hiring other people in the past, sometimes it just doesnt work out, and they get fired. So the point I am trying to make here is, you shouldn’t ever have to think you have to do everything on your own, in fact, with the right people, planning and preparation, you can do much more by letting specialists do what they do best, so you can focus on doing what you do best.

The Top Secret Michael Andrew Product testing is finished. There are a few more steps we have to go through in order to mass produce it, but I would imagine they will be available for sale in about 2-4 weeks, just depending on if there are any hangups. There will be several announcements leading up to the actual sale of it, and there will even be an introductory price. I have a fully functional version in my possession which I have already started using, and all I can say is WOW. It’s so dang cool! 🙂

Several others of these types of product are on the drawing board, but because I would rather be busy filming and making new lessons, I think I will have a new assistant here within the next week or two. This assistant will oversee and manage the development of the new products for me, and I would inspect the final drafts of them before they go into production. This will allow me to focus on the next dvds:

– Advanced Photography Techniques DVD (Production is already underway!)
– Photography Lighting Crash Course DVD
– Wedding Photography Crash Course DVD

More to come!