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This Just In…..

Nov 4

In Books, Stories, Thoughts at 10:44am

Hot Shoe Diaries was the number one reader’s pick for the arts and photography category on Amazon for 2009.


Pretty cool. I’ve gotten some wonderful feedback from folks who really enjoyed the book and I thank everyone for the kind words that have been sent my way. Very appreciative of the support, and thanks for letting Amazon know about it!

It’s been an interesting week.  There was the good news about the book, and then Lynn, my studio manager for 18 years, was going back and forth with a major multi-national who had a check for us, but had the wrong address listed. It batted around the GPO in NYC for a bit, and was returned, so thankfully, they called and got it all adjusted properly and re-sent it.  (As far as Lynn’s longevity with me is concerned, rest assured I am extremely appreciative. I just called Rome, and tried to put her name on the list for beatification as a saint. They asked, well, has she performed any miracles? I said, “Are you kidding me? We’re still in business!” The line went dead. Maybe I shoulda emailed?)

We anxiously awaited the check. This could be it! What a great week! First the Amazon rating, and now, a check! The one that puts us over the top! No more worries! Livin’ large. Next trip to LA, book me the Walter Iooss memorial suite at  Shutters on the Beach!

It showed up, and frankly, it was disappointing.


Eighty two cents? Jeez. Undaunted, I went into a convenience store  and walked up to the very nice lady at the counter and asked if there was anything in the store I could buy for .82 cents.

She looked at me hard, and didn’t even have to say, “Are ya stupid, or just plain crazy?”

I assured her I was not, and that I knew it was a little weird, but my budget limit was eighty two cents.

She tried to be helpful, but was having a hard time thinking of stuff. I suggested a box of Tic Tacs but no way. Tic Tacs are like, around $1.55 most places, except Kennedy Airport, where they are $17.26. The little boxes generally have 36 individual tic tacs, which makes them about 4.3 cents per, so I could have converted my check into 19 of those minty little guys, but they don’t sell them individually.

Newspaper? Not even close. Refrigerator magnet?  I got the look again. I got outta the store, lest I discovered hassling the clerk early in the morning might lead me to discover eighty two cents could possibly purchase a big noise and a used shotgun shell.

But hey, things are okay. I just got notification from Delta that I’m in the million miler club. Million miles, just on Delta. Sheesh. Evidence, perhaps, of a life gone wrong? Dunno. But it worked out this morning. On a non-refundable coach class ticket, I got an upgrade to first! Way cool. I was thinking on it, you know, anticipating the delights of the first class cabin. Eggs Benedict? A Mimosa? Pigs in a blanket? A foot rub? An exclusive first ever in the air viewing of “This Is It”?

Not quite.


Breakfast. Oh, well. More tk….

Justin Van Leeuwen says:

on November 4, 2009 at 10:54 am

Ahhhh, my co-workers must think I’m nuts laughing and crying like this. When you write your first storybook, I’ll be your proof-reader. No joke. You’re a heckuvah storyteller Joe.

Carl Licari says:

on November 4, 2009 at 10:55 am

You’re living large Joe!

Mark says:

on November 4, 2009 at 10:57 am

Beautiful! A great week indeed for Team McNally!

Andrew says:

on November 4, 2009 at 11:02 am

Could it be this bad ? Doggy treats for the man of many pixels ?! What is the world coming to Joe ? SERENITY NOW !$&@

Rusty Bryant says:

on November 4, 2009 at 11:05 am

Hilarious Joe!

Cynthia Utterback says:

on November 4, 2009 at 11:05 am

Laughing so hard it hurts!!!
Maybe I’ll check with our rural country store… doubt 82¢ will buy anything there either though :(
I confess I havn’t read the book ‘yet’ but I will for sure.

Magnus Bogucki says:

on November 4, 2009 at 11:07 am

hahah what a great article!!

Drew Fulton says:

on November 4, 2009 at 11:09 am

Congrats Joe! Your book is on my list of things to pick up. I’ve flipped through in a bookstore and really enjoyed it. Keep it up.

Richard Cave says:

on November 4, 2009 at 11:16 am

well done, look forward to more!

Andrew Fielding says:

on November 4, 2009 at 11:25 am

Wow, I want to write a book and make the big bucks! Though in all seriousness I’ve seen my dad get checks for a penny for books he wrote 40 years ago. On another note, greatly anticipating your location lighting seminar in L.A. on Friday, I’m flying in from Denver for it.

Debby Clark says:

on November 4, 2009 at 11:31 am

Great post! Loved the Hot Shoe Diaries, and my husband devours anything you write or video. We’ll ‘see’ you in LA at the Location Lighting seminar — I’m so excited!

John A. says:

on November 4, 2009 at 11:34 am

Create one of the best selling books of 2009, fly around the world at least 100 times …and you get rewarded with a cookie and eighty-two cents …and I still be there are tens of thousands of people out there wishing they were you! (including myself).

Congrats on the book, I know its been my favorite photography book so far!

Ian Lozada says:

on November 4, 2009 at 11:44 am

I guess you can buy something for 82 cents after all.

JBT says:

on November 4, 2009 at 11:44 am

Joe, Don’t be too hard on those Delta “perks”. Lately, I’m just happy when they land on the runway. Don’t know if you heard about the Delta flight a few weeks ago that actually landed in Atlanta on the Taxiway. Not to mention those guy who fell asleep (oops!)got caught up in a heated discussion about company policy, and forgot to land! I hope you have an up-charge in your contracts for “hazard pay” every time you’re required to travel…

Juanxo says:

on November 4, 2009 at 11:44 am

Oh! the humanity
good one, this could become a saying; hey! i won’t do the job for the 80 cent check!

Jon T says:

on November 4, 2009 at 12:11 pm

Well, I bought your book in the UK, and a great read it was – and it still read from time tim eto time – so you can guess where it resides 😉

But please Joe, tell me your share was worth more than just 82c ?!

jason inman says:

on November 4, 2009 at 12:39 pm

Congrats on the #1 rating! It is so well deserved… I learned more from the Hot Shoe Diaries (and from The Moment it Clicks) about photography than from all the other books I have read put together… Congrats on the cheque too… as a photographer I know how much every penny counts 😉

Joe says:

on November 4, 2009 at 12:50 pm

You’re such a high roller… 😉

Lewis W says:

on November 4, 2009 at 1:19 pm

Success is the sweetest revenge. A check AND a cookie. Good boy.

Bob DeChiara says:

on November 4, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Great post Joe. Always worth the wait for a great post. Thanks for autographing my copy of the Hot Shoe Diaries at PSW Boston. A great informative, inspirational, humerous, etc, etc, etc, read. What are you going to do with the 82 cents?


Sid and Michelle says:

on November 4, 2009 at 1:42 pm

Huge congratulations to Joe for being #1 – and not just for the book!

Chris Ballard says:

on November 4, 2009 at 1:50 pm

Joe, congrats it’s a great book, so hopefully you will soon be in the multi-dollar range. Hopefully this shows how much joy and wonder it has brought to me 😉

Tim Nosenzo says:

on November 4, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Congrat’s on the Amazon rating, and the …um… check!

Ziv says:

on November 4, 2009 at 2:34 pm

First Class is not what is used to be.
Congratulations on the book. You deserve every success.


Josh says:

on November 4, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Joe, don’t you know you have to go to the Bodega??? Saw this at a touring of the Mountain Film Festival. So funny:

see you in LA!

Kwantowy says:

on November 4, 2009 at 6:02 pm

$0.82? A can of beer in Poland.

Tom Marriage says:

on November 4, 2009 at 6:21 pm


The treat from Delta—Do you eat it or insert it?

Hot Shoe Diaries is the best. I have reread it numerous times. Great read.


Norm Cooper says:

on November 4, 2009 at 8:01 pm

I found this at the local big-box bookstore the other day! Maybe you would have better sales in the Sexuality section?

Cindy Farr-Weinfeld says:

on November 4, 2009 at 8:09 pm

I think commentator Joe A. said it all–you rock Joe! You ARE a fab storyteller and I enjoy every post you write! (Not to mention loving and envying your photographic skills!) Here’s to many checks larger than 82 cents! lol! Cindy

Dave says:

on November 4, 2009 at 8:48 pm

Cookie? I thought it was a loofah.

Alejandro Cerutti says:

on November 4, 2009 at 9:05 pm

Man, you are SO funny and SO a great photographer!!!!! Every time I see you posted something and I have my family around I translate to them your stories 😛
Greetings from Argentina; by the way, when re you going to visit Patagonia?


Levi Sim says:

on November 5, 2009 at 12:59 am

Congrats on the rating!

Sorry, it would have happened sooner, but I’ve lent my copy to just about everyone in Cache Valley, Utah…


Wayne says:

on November 5, 2009 at 6:06 am

You’d know Joe is part Irish with those story telling skills!

Keep them coming, they brighten up my day no end!!

Randall says:

on November 5, 2009 at 7:36 am

Congrats on the book! Don’t spend that check all in one place, now.

karen grau says:

on November 5, 2009 at 9:26 am

I have read and reread Hot Shoe Diaries. Always find something new and useful. Took away the fear of flash for me.

Bill Bogle, Jr. says:

on November 5, 2009 at 10:22 am


It looks like Delta is serving Zwieback cookies now. Maybe the first class passengers have teething issues. Or is that Delta’s version of a thumb drive? With the royalties rolling in, you may need all the perks you can get.

Keep flying and shooting.

Bill Bogle, Jr.

TrevJ says:

on November 5, 2009 at 10:28 am

Hilarious!! For a minute I thought I had inadvertently typed in! 😉
I tell ya…

martin says:

on November 5, 2009 at 10:32 am

been there done that (royalty check thingy)…makes for great cosmic humor…glad you still have yours…more important than the money really.

frank says:

on November 5, 2009 at 11:37 am

Joe, congrats – your two books changed the way I look at lighting a scene! Thank you!

I agree with the others. If you write a novel, it will be a best seller comedy. Nice job!


Michael Wise says:

on November 5, 2009 at 11:57 am

Great book, I just can’t get enough.

See you in LA Friday

Jon Tiffin says:

on November 5, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Congratulations Joe!
Always look forward to your blog commentary. Relentlessly keeping me in stitches with your as-life-happens approach to story telling, let alone the incredibly useful and intelligent McGyver tricks you pull out of your hat to handle the shortfalls you encounter. Has David given you a one-on-one on the how-to of a stand-up routine?

And the masses chant…
Encore! Encore! Encore! Encore! Encore! Encore!

Todd W says:

on November 5, 2009 at 12:29 pm

Joe – You are one funny SOB, keep’m coming!

Myron says:

on November 5, 2009 at 2:11 pm

The Fortunes of the Under Appreciated

Manic Depression has Captured My Brain.

The tears of the insane bounce like bullets off my Brain and they rightly put the subways underground.

If it weren’t for the Bad Luck There Wouldn’t be any Luck at all.

A picture is worth a thousand words and 82 cents

That 0.82 more than mine

Dan Ward says:

on November 5, 2009 at 2:18 pm

I think you should put a warning on articles like this… NSFW.

I read thru this article quietly chuckling in my cubicle at work till I scrolled the screen down to reveal the ‘breakfast’ pic. My spontaneous outburst drew the type of attention that’s hard to explain. “I, um, got something caught in my throat. Ya, that also explains the spittle on my screen.”

Thanks alot Joe.

Indramning says:

on November 5, 2009 at 8:01 pm

Sweet. I’ll try to save your economy by purchacing your book :-)

LM says:

on November 5, 2009 at 9:15 pm

Probably cost them more in postage.

I’ve flown Delta just once but it was the best trip I’ve experienced, even with a stop over. They gave us Haagen Daz ice-cream as our wake up snack. And that was economy class!

Fred Troilo says:

on November 6, 2009 at 9:34 am

Joe – congratulations on the book! I love it and can’t wait for the next one. That check – IMPRESSIVE. That’s why I stay in this business.

And yes you were right, Andy did shut down my boys…


Rich Charpentier says:

on November 6, 2009 at 10:40 am

How was the Delta biscuit? More importantly, think it’s worth more than $.82?

Great story as usual! Always look forward to your new posts.

Danté Bell says:

on November 6, 2009 at 11:22 pm

What a riot! My wife has flown for NWA, well, for a long time. Now NWA is Delta and she was just a conference with some of the big wigs. Too bad I hadn’t seen your post b4 she went, she would have loved it! Nice photo, too!

Libby says:

on November 8, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Oh Joe, the check story is just too funny. I do suggest though that you take Kwantowy’s advice and go to Poland for that 82 cent can of beer 😉

Your book is on my Xmas list. I have seen an excerpt – outstanding stuff. You are my Hot Shoe Hero.

Tai Segel says:

on November 9, 2009 at 8:09 am

Gratz with the Nr.1 Rating 😀 It is a great book, and hard to get shipped to Denmark! (sold out everywere i tried)

David says:

on November 9, 2009 at 11:14 am

I just got a copy last week and am enjoying it thoroughly!

Dave S says:

on November 11, 2009 at 10:10 am

You are a card, wow the 82c check LOL. Congrats on the books you made. I love your Blog so entertaining and truly, a lesson for me in journalism writing it seems. You should just try the humor in any subject of book, I think you would do great.

Ariane says:

on February 15, 2010 at 5:51 am

Hope it´s better now…. :-)
Working hard on recommending your book over here in Germany which has been published in German – finally!!!!
By the way – just wanted to say THANKYOU for your great book. It´s the best book I´ve ever read on photography so far and it´s so inspiring!!!!!
What a pity I can´t find any workshops on this page. :-(

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