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Blog Lite

Aug 8

In Uncategorized at 10:46am

Many thanks to all who replied to the last post. It means a lot, and I know Tom was overwhelmed by the reaction and that has re-upped his determination.

That’s one of the many things I have always treasured about being a shooter. You can get up in the morning with an idea in your head, take a camera, and go make it real. Pretty direct. Pretty cool.

Blog’s gonna be a bit intermittent for a while. Out of the country now, with sporadic access to the internet. After I come home, got a couple days, and then journey into the mysterious land surrounded by the yellow border. It’ll be pretty wacky.

Again, thanks to all. Blogging has reaffirmed my thinking, which is something I talk about in my classes. All of us, in this community, we are all photographers, sharing a common passion, and thus all in the same boat together, in a roiling sea. Lots of pressures on us. Time, budget, access, budget, speed of technology, restrictions, rights, budget, rates, cost of gear…did I mention budget? Man, it can be rough, navigating these waters, to continue the analogy. But, if we all continue to bail in collegial fashion, and help each other out, we’ll stay afloat. More tk…..

Andy Poupart says:

on August 8, 2008 at 11:33 am

Have a great trip, Joe, wherever you are headed. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog, and was considerably moved by the last entry. I, at least, will be here, ready to read whatever you post whenever you get back. Be well.

Rosanne Christie says:

on August 8, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Dear Joe:
Your last paragraph really hit home here. I am a photo enthusiast, not a pro. Yet people in the photographer community have been so gracious with tips, time and energy. Through the last year folks like yourself, Craig Tanner, Rick Sammon, and Scott Kelby have taken enormous amounts of energy to help photographers of any level learn to be better photographers. Many of you have personally reached out to me about a question I have or to comment on a photo of mine, and it just thrills and encourages me to keep going, keep taking those photos.

It is because our community is chuck full of leaders like you who are down to earth and natural teachers that I am proud to say I am a photographer.

Thank you. Safe Travels.

John Milleker says:

on August 8, 2008 at 1:37 pm

I’m sorry I missed the entry four days ago – touching story, please keep us updated on Tom. Have a safe trip!

Rishi says:

on August 8, 2008 at 2:36 pm

Dear Joe,

This blog of yours is a continuous source of inspiration and encouragement for me. Wish you success in wherever and for whatever you’re headed…selfishly wishing you could still find time to write every once in a while and guide all of us. :)


Ken says:

on August 8, 2008 at 4:39 pm

I wish you guys would make it to KY for one them thar seminars.

We did get electricity and shoes last year by our kind governor.

Really you won’t need electricity with all those SB900’s and 800’s

Ken in Ky

Pierre says:

on August 8, 2008 at 6:07 pm

Don’t worry, we’ll be there.

Anxiously waiting for more motivating words.

John Leonard says:

on August 8, 2008 at 6:45 pm

Joe, have a safe trip. Someone snapped a picture of your gear at the airport waiting to be loaded!

Alessandro Rosa says:

on August 8, 2008 at 7:18 pm

With regard to your last paragraph, I think that the problem with the economics of professional photography today is professional photographers. There has been such a willingness to undercut the competition, to do things on the cheap, that it has driven the prices so far down that almost no one can survive.

When photographers as a group get there business skills together, and this will probably be never, they will realize that they can’t keep taking jobs for what is being offered. If there are no photographers out there willing to accept the rate, then the buyers are going to need to up what they are willing to pay. Plus far too many of the people who call themselves professional photographers today are Mongo’s with a digicam who can just barely figure out which way to point the lens. From Craig’s list ads offering $200 bucks for ten hours of work to assist on a wedding or looking for a photographer willing to actually willing to shoot the entire wedding for that same amount, to “reality” TV, to Paris Hilton, to photography we have become a society of the amateur. What has allowed this is that the buyers are willing to accept amateur work which they can pay next to nothing for rather than demand the best and pay accordingly.

Problem is that there is always going to be some halfway competent kid out there with a camera and computer that will take the job for a fraction of what it would take an actual pro with actual overhead to produce the job and there will always be media buyers more than willing to trade quality for a cheap product. So for the true professionals like Joe, they will do it because they love it, and then they will have to supplement it by teaching or writing books or waiting tables… Too bad.

Doug Smith says:

on August 8, 2008 at 11:32 pm

I’m relatively new to your blog, and quite thankful that someone pointed me to it. You’re a prince of a guy, Joe. God speed.

Richard Cave says:

on August 9, 2008 at 10:21 am

Joe, you have hit the proverbial nail on the head. At the present time I am sat in the most beautiful place on the planet and my masters are asking me to do boring and uninspiring shots. It is always a battle and it is always uphill. I cringe when people come up to me and tell me I have a easy job. They dont see the sweat, tears and silent tantrums we go through (daily). However a bad day out of the office is better than a good day in the office. Which I might have read somewhere, some obscure photo book!

All that frustration goes as soon as you see the smile on the clients face. Also the paycheck helps.

Look forward to more of your ramblings but I have a job to shoot.


JimmyD says:

on August 9, 2008 at 2:02 pm

Hey Joe,
Awesome story and set-up. If you ever do another gig for someone like Tom in the SoCal (Orange County) area and need someone to help set-up and/or schlep stuff for you (for no-pay) drop me an e-mail. I’d be happy to help.

Lucas says:

on August 9, 2008 at 4:06 pm

wow that was a lot of stuff to be shipped.
yea.. will be missing ur blog for some times till u updated. >.<

john fowler says:

on August 9, 2008 at 8:04 pm

Joe: As so many here say, your blog, your book and your personality form a continuing and wonderful inspiration for all of us. I have a new mantra when faced with a difficult situation – “What would Joe McNally do with this?”

Bon voyage (Comme on dit en francais chez moi).

Walter G. Rowand Jr. says:

on August 9, 2008 at 8:21 pm

Hello Joe, Thank you for your blog. I have learned a lot from your videos also and most of all THANKS FOR BEING JOE. Your are one of a kind. Stay safe on your trip and i will wait till you get back. Best Regards, Walt Rowand.

Lewis Woodyard says:

on August 10, 2008 at 3:33 pm

Return safe. We will leave a light on in the window for ya’.

Mark K_NJ says:

on August 10, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Travel safe, my friend. And Brad too. We await your next tender pecks at the keyboard….

Hans Darroca says:

on August 10, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Hi Joe, you’re an inspiration! I’m a struggling photography student here in Melbourne. I came across ur book “The Moment it Clicks” a couple of weeks ago which one of my classmate showed it to me, which I borrowed from her. I am also a Nikon user and it helps a lot the tips…… from ur book. Thank you very much. Bon Voyage!!!!

Bill says:

on August 11, 2008 at 1:01 am

Joe,Happy travels and safe! Thanks for the inspirational efforts. I look forward to seeing more in the near future. If ya ever get to Australia….there’s a coffee (or other strong drink)awaiting you.

Matt Durst says:

on August 11, 2008 at 10:59 pm


Thanks for the blog. I have learned a lot over the past few months just by reading your blog. Have a great trip and I look forward to your intermittent posts!

Gary says:

on August 12, 2008 at 6:05 am

Joe, really enjoyed your post with Tom. Really hit home, as I’m a man with a camera, a family and MS. It is truly therapy to be able to get out and take pictures of my children and grandbabies, the AZ desert, heck my neighborhood… anything. Photography seems to add the “connect” where MS is the disconnect.

I don’t mean to sound sappy, but with MS you have to stay grounded, attached and interactive with your environment (don’t forget family, friends). Photography, not the cure, but is perhaps one sweet placebo.

God bless both you and Tom,

Michael Warth says:

on August 12, 2008 at 5:19 pm


Have a safe trip. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, and stories with the rest of us.

I enjoy reading the comments as much as the blog; your readers also have great insight and touching comments to add.



Robert Guercio says:

on August 13, 2008 at 4:45 am

Hey Joe,

Thought I’d stop by your blog and it’s keeping me busy scanning through your entries. Technical stuff is a bit advanced for me but the human interest stories are great. I was quite touched by story about Tom.
We’ll be seeing Rosemary the weekend from next.

Take care,

Billy Mitchell says:

on August 13, 2008 at 4:05 pm

Joe, Just thought your readers might like to know this.

The Nikon SB900 does not fit many cold shoes like the Justin Clamp or Crane cold shoe. It does fit the Really Right Stuff cold shoe perfectly. And of course it fits the camera hot shoes.

After looking at it and trying on several shoes I thought it was because the body of the flash was lower to the flash shoe and most of the shoes it would not fit were plastic and had a thicker top lip than is on a camera hot shoe or the RRS cold shoe.

So I took a Crane cold shoe for Nikon flashes and sanded down the top. And now the SB900 fits the shoe. Same for the Justin Clamp shoe. I started with coarse sand paper then to medium then to very fine and it worked great. If you do it just keep the shoe level and only do enough to get the shoe to fit. Too much and you will weaken a plastic shoe. Be sure to finish with the very fine so the flash will slide on easy.

While I can’t guarantee this is the only solution, it worked for me. I’m sure that Bogen and other companies will modify their cold shoes to work in the future.

Stanley Chiu says:

on August 13, 2008 at 11:55 pm

Joe, I miss your blogs! Please post something soon : )

Btw, that last post was amazing. Not just the touching story but the entire execution of the shoot. It’s really making me rethink what is possible with some basic equipment and a little ingenuity.

Graham Cooper says:

on August 16, 2008 at 6:24 am

Joe, I was very moved by what you did for your friend Tom.
You’re a very humane human. A kind person and a very good friend.


K.K. says:

on August 21, 2008 at 2:16 am

Joe, I wish I could buy you a cup of coffee and pick your brains for 15-20 minutes as I’m losing passion in my photography because bills keep coming in and I cannot keep doing photography for free. It seems people think that photography should be free and I don’t dig the whole starving artist thing. I believe in sacrifice, but I am at that point if you know what I mean.

John Lewis says:

on August 22, 2008 at 4:19 am

Hey! Joe when are you going to come to Northern Ireland? I would be willing to help you organize an event this side of the pond.


PuppyvexPip says:

on March 4, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Excellent site and I am really pleased to see you have what I am actually looking for here: this .. as it’s taken me literally 1 hours and 06 minutes of searching the web to find you (just kidding!) so I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor :)

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